The furthest thing from your mind is health and wellness when you are actively using drugs. The physical appearance along with the internal health of someone in active addiction shows signs of neglect quickly. What if you are so desperate for a fix the only way to get it is to share a needle? Many users find themselves in this predicament and despite the extreme risks, they take the hit off the dirty needle.
If you or a loved one is in recovery, it is important to become proactive with getting your health back on track. Make becoming knowledgeable on how to be tested for diseases like Hepatitis C (Hep C or HCV) a priority.
Heroin and Sharing Needles
Sharing needles for any reason is unsafe. Heroin users are at greater risk to contract the Hep C virus because sharing needles is common. In 2015, 60–80% of injected drug users (IDUs) were Hep C positive for the virus. According to the US National Library of Medicine, Hep C surpassed the human immune deficiency (HIV/AIDS) virus death rate in the United States in 2013. In 2015, there were 5.2 million people living in the US with chronic hepatitis.
While there has been a vaccine for Hepatitis A and B since the early 1980s, there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C. Hep C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease.
What is Contracting Hep C?
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation. Basically, your liver starts to swell. Hep C spreads through contaminated blood. The infection spreads when blood contaminated with the virus enters the bloodstream of a person who does not have the virus. The Mayo Clinic states that about half of the infected population are not aware they have HCV. This is usually because they are not experiencing symptoms. Symptoms at their basic level can take up to a decade to appear.
An estimated 80% of infected people will develop chronic HCV. Untreated chronic HCV is associated with increased risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer; these are costly and life-threatening. According to WebMd, the disease is called acute Hepatitis C when you first get it. The symptoms are:
- Belly pain that includes clay-colored poop and dark-colored urine.
- Jaundice- yellow tint to eyes and/or skin.
- Sudden vomiting or nausea and lack of appetite (flu-like symptoms).
- Joint pains and fatigue.
- Fever that won’t go away.
If the Hep C virus is undetected for a long period of time, your body may begin to experience symptoms of cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). Those symptoms can include:
- Fluid buildup in your belly. This is called ascites.
- You begin to easily bruise and bleed.
- Confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech creep up. This is known as Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE).
- Your skin becomes itchy and hives or rashes appear.
- Swollen legs and spidery blood vessels under your skin become noticeable.
Symptoms usually show up between 2-12 weeks after exposure to the virus. However, it is important to be mindful that you may not experience any symptoms at all.
How and Where to Get Tested for Hep C
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine Hep C testing for all current and former injection drug users. If available, you may have the opportunity to get tested for Hep C in rehab.
The American Liver Foundation explains the blood test used is called the Hepatitis C antibody test. The test will show if you have ever been infected, but it will not show if you are still infected. If the test is positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are infected, it just means that you were exposed to the virus at some point in your life. Once you have been infected, you will always carry the virus’ antibodies in your blood.
Going to an addiction treatment center will not only improve success for recovery from the addiction but will also improve the chances that the individual recovers from the Hepatitis C if infected.
Offering HCV testing in drug abuse treatment programs could help increase HCV case finding and decrease the transmission of the virus. A Better Today Recovery Services offers individualized treatment that is needed for heroin users to kick the mind-altering substance. They walk beside patients in rehabilitating both the body and the mind along with offering high-quality treatments for Hepatitis C.
What Medicines Work to Cure Hep C?
Until recently, Hep C treatment required weekly injections and oral medications. These medications were considered painful because they didn’t target the virus that made you sick. Instead, they revved up your immune system so that your body would fight Hep C the way it would when fighting the flu.
Today, chronic HCV is usually curable with oral medications (no shots needed) taken every day for 2-6 months. This medication targets the virus that is making you sick and slows down the damage being done to the liver.
The choice of medication and the length of treatment will depend on the Hepatitis C genotype, the presence of any existing liver damage, all other medical conditions, and if prior treatments have been given for Hepatitis. Due to research constantly evolving, recommendations for medications and treatment regimens are always changing. It is best to discuss treatment options with a medical professional and/or an addiction specialist.
Clean Needle Clinics to Prevent the Spread of Hep C
Needle exchange programs have become more universal in the U.S. At least 33 states have needle exchange programs in place to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases. According to A Better Today Recovery Services, Syringe Services Programs provide sterile needles and other supplies to anyone for free or for a minimal cost. Supplies may also be available through a pharmacy without a prescription.
Because most people with HCV do not know they have it, catching the infection as early as possible and beginning treatments is ideal in avoiding major liver damage. If you haven’t already been tested and you are or have been an injected drug user, talk to a doctor about being tested for the virus.
 Risk Factors Associated with HCV among Opioid-dependent Patients in a Multisite Study. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4558248/
 Missed Opportunities for Hepatitis C Testing in Opioid Treatment Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3670662/
 Hepatitis C – Symptoms and causes. (2019, May 29). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/symptoms-causes/syc-20354278
 Risk Factors Associated with HCV among Opioid-dependent Patients in a Multisite Study. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4558248/
 Understanding Symptoms of Hepatitis C. (2002, February 1). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/understanding-hepatitis-c-symptoms
 Cirrhosis and Your Liver. (2005, August 1). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information#1
 Ascites Basics. (2016, December 19). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/ascites-medref
 Hepatic Encephalopathy. (2015, August 20). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/brain/hepatic-encephalopathy-overview#1
 U.S. 2009 Surveillance Data for Acute Viral Hepatitis | Statistics & Surveillance | Division of Viral Hepatitis | CDC. (2019, February 5). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/statistics/2009surveillance/index.htm
 Getting Tested for Hepatitis C — American Liver Foundation. (2018, March 15). Retrieved from https://liverfoundation.org/getting-tested-for-hepatitis-c/
 Hepatitis C – Symptoms and causes. (2019, May 29). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/symptoms-causes/syc-20354278
Buprenorphine is a drug commonly used to help people overcome an addiction to opioids. People often think that addiction is a choice, but that isn’t the case. While some people do use opioids for recreational purposes, many people become addicted because of a painful injury. They take the medication to minimize the pain that they feel and end up becoming addicted to the medication.
Buprenorphine needs to be prescribed by a doctor, but it isn’t a medication that you can get at every pharmacy. There are some pharmacies that choose not to carry the medication at all and some who choose to only carry minimal amounts of it. The following guide walks you through a few reasons why pharmacies choose to carry limited amounts of Buprenorphine or to not at all.
Moral Convictions Can Make Supplying Buprenorphine Difficult
While Buprenorphine can be used for addiction treatment, it can also be dangerous if it isn’t taken correctly. Some people recover from an addiction to opioids just to become addicted to Buprenorphine. Many pharmacists track and notice when someone takes the drug, how often they come to get it and monitor signs that addiction may be occurring. Worrying that one addiction may be being replaced with another addiction can be difficult for pharmacists to handle. Many pharmacies choose not to carry Buprenorphine to avoid having to force their pharmacists into this moral dilemma.
Buprenorphine in the Irresponsible Hands Can Lead to Death
It’s important to know that Buprenorphine not only needs to be taken properly, but it also needs to be stored properly. It’s important for the drug to be kept out of the hands of children and away from pets. If someone reports to a pharmacist that someone is being irresponsible with the drug, something has to be done. The pharmacist may feel obligated to protect the children or pets in the addict's house. Having Buprenorphine readily available in the pharmacy can create a difficult situation if the pharmacists feel the drugs aren’t being handled safely.
Carrying Buprenorphine Can Be Dangerous
Taking the medication needs to be properly monitored and if someone becomes addicted to it, they will do just about anything to get it. This presents risks for the pharmacists because someone addicted to the drug may try to rob the pharmacy as a way to get the drugs that they crave.
If the pharmacist feels that the person may be abusing their medications, they can refuse to fill the prescription. When this happens, it can make the person become irate and there is no way of knowing how they may react. It’s the pharmacist's job to make sure that they do not fill prescriptions that they fear could be dangerous for the person to take. Abusing Buprenorphine can lead to respiratory issues and even death so taking the appropriate measures to protect the people using it is important.
Buprenorphine is worth a lot of money on the street. People who abuse it will pay a lot of money to get it without a prescription. This can lead to drug dealers attempting to steal the drugs from the pharmacy, which can also create a dangerous situation for the pharmacy. Most pharmacies do not have any security on site which means that the pharmacists will be sitting ducks if someone wants to steal drugs from them.
Supply and Demand of the Medication Can be Difficult to Balance
There are many rural pharmacies that aren’t able to get a constant supply of Buprenorphine. The last thing they want to do is be able to provide a supply of the drug to those that need it one day only to not be able to supply it the next. Pharmacies that aren’t able to regularly get the supply of the drug often choose to avoid stocking it at all. This allows the suppliers of Buprenorphine to know which pharmacies will have the medications they need on a constant basis.
Buprenorphine Can be Expensive
Many people who are in addiction recovery don’t have a lot of money. Many people have lost their jobs due to their addiction or haven’t been able to get a job in a long time. This means that the money they have readily available will be minimal. If they don’t qualify for government assistance to get the medication, it means that they will only be able to afford to purchase it sporadically. Buprenorphine needs to be taken on a constant basis in order to be as effective as possible.
Pharmacies located in areas with low average incomes may not carry the drug because they know that most people won’t be able to afford to pay for them regularly. The drug takes up room in their storage and if it isn’t selling, it can be more of an irritation than a help to others. The pharmacists not only have to keep a constant count on how much Buprenorphine they have in stock, know the expiration dates for the drug and keep the medication secure so that it cannot be taken from the pharmacy without anyone knowing. This requires a huge commitment and can take away from the other things that the pharmacist needs to take care of.
Buprenorphine Can Help with Your Recovery
Buprenorphine is crucial to recovery for many people. Having access to the drug is important, but it can be difficult for them to obtain if the supply is limited in their area. There are some pharmacies that refuse to let people know if they have the medication in stock over the phone for safety reasons. They don’t want the general public to know if they do or do not have the drug to minimize the likelihood of a robbery taking place. You may need to go into a few different pharmacies in your area to find out if they carry Buprenorphine. If you know that you are going to take the drug for an extended period of time, let the pharmacist know. They can order it in advance to ensure that it is always available to you when you need it.
Opioid addiction has become a crisis that is sweeping the nation. According to the Department of Health and Human Services more than 10 million people were abusing opioids in 2019 alone. The people battling the addiction are often highlighted in the news, but the children and families that are affected by the substance abuse usually go overlooked. On Saturday, Eboni Fields, who is the clinical director of ABTRS will be going on ABC15 in Phoenix to discuss Sesame Street tackling the opioid epidemic.
Addressing the issue of substance abuse to the nearly 5.7 million children affected by it on their level hasn’t happened in the media. Sesame Street has decided to take a stand to help educate the community about the dangers of substance abuse for those using and their family. On the 50th episode, Sesame Street plans to have their muppet Karli delve into the opioid crisis. Karli is featured as a child who is living in foster care due to her mother’s addiction to drugs. Millions of children across the United States are in the same situation as Karli and can relate to the story being told. There are many benefits of addressing the opioid epidemic in this matter. The following guide walks you through a few things that Sesame Street may be trying to do with their unique approach to the crisis.
Educate Children to Prevent Future Addiction
Sesame Street can use this broadcast to educate children about the toll that opioid addiction takes. It can help them to learn that addiction isn’t something that is chosen. It is something that can happen unexpectedly and take a toll on everyone that surrounds the person. It can also help to inform them of how dangerous opioid addiction can be in terms that they can grasp. Many of the documentaries and news programs speak in terms that children do not understand making them useless to them. Being properly informed about what can cause addiction and its dangers could keep a child from using in the future. It’s very common for people who are exposed to addiction early in life to use in the future. Proper education at an early age could be the key to lowering the addiction rates in the United States.
Ensure Children Know Addiction Isn’t Their Fault
When children are removed from a home because their parents are battling an addiction, it is often difficult for them to understand what is going on. It isn’t often fully explained to them that they have done nothing wrong to lead to the removal. Seeing that other children have been removed who are in similar situations can help them realize the change isn’t their fault. This can give them peace of mind and help them to be able to rebuild their lives.
Let Children Surrounded by Substance Abuse Know They Aren’t Alone
Many children who live with someone who is abusing drugs think that they are alone. They assume that no one else is going through the things that they are going through. This isn’t the case and the show could help them to know that. Seeing that there is a better quality of life available could spark a child to seek help from an outsider. Children who live with someone in the throes of addiction are often neglected and sometimes abused. Being able to get the children out of the situation could save their life. If the show can inform children that it’s okay to get help, they may feel more obliged to do so.
Help Parents to See Substance Abuse Affects More than Just Themselves
When someone is battling substance abuse, they are often wrapped up in themselves. They are more worried about when they are going to get their next fix than anything else. This can lead to neglect of their children and their home. This creates a very dangerous situation. Seeing a show that tells how addiction effects a child could spark someone who is battling an addiction to get help. It could help them to realize that they are hurting their kids and that they need help.
Let Families Know It’s Okay to Step in When Needed
Family members who know that someone is battling an addiction often feel guilty about stepping in when needed. Leaving children in harm’s way is not only dangerous, but it could be deadly. The show could help to show families that it’s okay to step in when needed. With more than 130 people overdosing from opioids on a daily basis in 2018, acting quickly is essential. They could see the better quality of life that Karli has once she was removed from the home. It could make the family feel that there is a chance the children in their life could have the same outcome. The show could serve as inspiration to get children out of dangerous situations.
Remove Some of the Stigma that Comes with Addiction
Many people are afraid to talk about addiction because of the stigma that it brings. They are fearful that they will be judged or that their children will be taken away instantly. It’s important to know that someone who wants to make a change can. There are many different treatment options available to help someone overcome their addiction. Seeing that a child, even though it’s a muppet, could help someone in addiction want to get help. Being able to remove the stigma of addiction could save a lot of lives in the long run.
Being able to overcome an addiction is never easy. Showing children that they are not alone if their parents are battling an addiction is important. Sesame Street aims to educate children about all different things about life. Addiction is a new topic that needs to be discussed. If you or someone you love is battling an addiction, it’s important to get help right away. You can reach out to a local treatment facility to find out more about addiction and the treatment options that are available. There is a good chance that you could seek outpatient treatment so that you can still parent your child during your recovery. This allows you to be the parent your child really needs you to be and better yourself at the same time.
Beginning 2017, Arizona has recorded a significant increase in drug overdose deaths than ever before. Generally, opioid abuse and deaths from opioid overdose have increased nationally in what is now being described as the opioid epidemic. However, Arizona seems to have been hit very hard, specifically by fentanyl deaths.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), this year alone, more than 1 million fentanyl pills have been seized in Arizona. With such seizures, it is no surprise that fentanyl deaths around Arizona are spiraling out of control.
Fentanyl is a big problem in Arizona if the response from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is anything to go by. Towards end of 2018, the department awarded Arizona $26 million to fight the opioid crisis, with the government allocating at least $1 billion for all states. Unfortunately, the synthetic opioid fentanyl problem seems to be going downhill as pills seized this year increased by more than 800,000 compared to 2018.
What is fentanyl?
According to Center for Disease Control and prevention, fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America right now. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is prescribed as transdermal patches or lozenges, but these have been diverted to misuse in most parts of U.S.
The first response to the fentanyl invasion was to limit its prescription. Arizona had some of the highest prescriptions in the U.S. However, these efforts failed because fentanyl is a man-made opioid and can be manufactured. Recent cases of fentanyl-associated harm, overdose and fatalities are linked to illegally manufactured fentanyl. In Arizona, the fentanyl invasion has come in form of Mexican Oxy.
Illegally made fentanyl is peddled through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often blended with heroin and/or cocaine as a mishmash product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to intensify its euphoric effects.
Why is Fentanyl so Deadly?
Fentanyl is now the most commonly abused drug and leading cause of drug overdose as per Department of Health and Human Services report. Generally, drug overdoses from synthetic opioid have increased by almost 113% every year since 2013 through 2016.
According to CNN Wire, fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and between 80 and 100 times more powerful than morphine. Just a quarter of a milligram of fentanyl can be fatal. To understand just how fatal this is, a standard low-dose aspirin is 81 milligrams for comparison sake. So cut the aspirin tablet into 324 pieces and only one of these pieces is equal to a quarter milligram. Only a third of that aspirin is considered a deadly dose of fentanyl.
Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are manmade, unlike semi-synthetic opioids such as oxycodone or naturally-occurring ones such as morphine or codeine. Fentanyl has an extreme capacity to bind more to opioid receptors in the brain than most other opioids. This makes it much stronger and so much more deadly.
Prevalence of Fentanyl Use in Arizona
13 out of the total 15 counties in Arizona have recorded fentanyl deaths between mid- 2017 and early 2019. The most affected county, La Paz recorded 597 deaths in 100,000 people in the same period, while the least affected has death rates of 106 within the same population and period.
Fentanyl deaths have surpassed those of heroin, and have affected all Arizona demographic groups. Residents say it is the worst kind of drug invasion seen in the last 30 years. This comes as the state grapples with plenty of pills and powder vended locally from incoming fentanyl shipments that are also circulated everywhere in the U.S.
Alarmingly, in spite of early efforts by the government to stop the invasion before it causes more fentanyl deaths; its use is has spread like wildfire. For instance, according to the DEA in Arizona, in 2017; its agents confiscated 172 pounds of powdered fentanyl. In 2018, they seized a total of 445 pounds pointing to 159 percent increase.
In 2017, DEA agents had also seized over 95,000 pills of fentanyl laced pills. This amount increased in 2018 to 379,000, which translated to almost 300 percent increase. In 2019, 1,138,288 illegally manufactured fentanyl pills were seized. Such significant increase in illegally manufactured fentanyl shows that war on fentanyl deaths is far from over.
Why the Sudden Arizona Invasion?
Earlier we mentioned Mexico Oxy – a form of fentanyl that has claimed several lives in Arizona. The fatal fentanyl pills apprehended by law enforcement are mainly designed to look a lot like oxycodone M-30 tablets.
The number of states reporting increased confiscations in fentanyl has been on the increase, but more pain is being felt in Arizona. According to the DEA, for as low as $200 a woman was used to smuggle Mexican Oxy to Arizona. She gave one of these deadly pills to a 17-year-old basketball player who was saved by Phoenix police from fentanyl overdose.
DEA believes that these pills are trafficked into U.S. by Mexican cartels where they are being manufactured illegally. The Arizona-Mexican border could be a big problem that Mexican cartels exploit to traffic fentanyl into Phoenix. It is then packaged as oxycodone. There was also a new discovery of a rustic fentanyl lab in remote Sinaloa.
Clearly, the illegal substance is also being manufactured across the U.S. border, in addition to legal importation that comes from Mexico and China according to NBC news. Then this remains an issue of law enforcement more than it is about regulation.
How can Fentanyl Deaths be Avoided?
The government is making efforts to contain the fentanyl invasion in Arizona. For starters, there is a helpline designated to help those in crisis to provide emergency help in case of overdose and other symptoms. The helpline is live. Clergy and faith leaders across Phoenix have also taken a more aggressive role by learning how to administer a life-saving medication properly.
One of the popular opinions is to allow the widespread use of fentanyl test strip for all people. There is a problem however when people are popping pills in clubs. Fentanyl use seems to have crossed lots of demographics as well, but its abuse is prevalent among young people between 15 and 19. Use of these testing kits may not be effective.
The most effective way to perhaps deal with these skyrocketing fentanyl deaths is by focusing on law enforcement. All efforts need to shift to blocking illegal manufacture and import of fentanyl.
Here, we will keep updating you on all latest the developments in keeping Arizona safe from fentanyl. You can also contact us for any emergency related to fentanyl and opioid overdose.
Maricopa County saw 1,350 of its residents die of a drug overdose from June 2018 to May 2019. The county government points out, “The majority of the deaths involved opioids, methamphetamine, or alcohol.”
These deaths are preventable and A Better Today Recovery Services (ABTRS) is committed to saving as many people as possible. But they can’t do it alone. For that reason, they’re calling on you to join them for an evening of discussion, education, and networking.
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: 4801 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85008
RSVP (Space is Limited): Click Here to Register
During this event, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other members of the community, including Jorn LeBlanc. He’s the Director of Operations at ABTRS with a passionate perspective. “We feel a social responsibility to be a guiding light for our community on this issue. If you have been impacted by addiction or are a local addiction professional, this open house if for you,” he said.
ABTRS will take this opportunity to introduce their new Medical Director to the community. Dr. Nicki Rippeteau, M.D., shares a similar perspective with LeBlanc. Throughout her 30 years of practice, she’s had a passion for saving lives and healing families. She’s a great fit for ABTRS’s long-running mission of doing the same.
You’ll be able to hear from the Phoenix Police Department, as well. They’ll be sharing eye-opening information about how substance abuse and addiction impacts the area. In addition, an intervention specialist will be sharing his knowledge gained from 10 years of personal intervention experience.
Meet many of the support staff that are the foundation of treatment at ABTRS. Some of them have their own stories of overcoming addiction and have come back to the treatment center to help others find their way to recovery.
ABTRS has been helping people overcome addiction and live a life of recovery for over 10 years. Their full list of services allows us to custom tailor a treatment plan for everyone. Their treatment coordinators establish a path to recovery that includes everything from detox to varying levels of treatment to aftercare.
In fact, just this year they opened a cutting-edge independent living program in which patients can comfortably transition out of supervised living at their own pace. ABTRS allows people to participate in their sober living program for up to one full year after successfully completing a treatment program.
Register here for the event, as space is limited. Light refreshments will be served. Be a part of the mission to help those desperate for healing. We hope to see you there!
 “Overdose Deaths*.” Overdose Deaths* | Maricopa County, AZ, 31 May 2019, www.maricopa.gov/5079/Overdose-Deaths.
Addiction is a damaging disease that affects millions of lives across the United States. While innovative technologies and medical advancements have shed light on addiction, there is still a stigma that surrounds this disease. Without treatment, addiction can lead to dangerous and even life threatening effects. Recognizing how this disease affects the mind and body can help to eliminate this potentially powerful stigma. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, you deserve the help you need in order to lead a happier and healthier life.
What Is Addiction?
When drugs and alcohol enter your system, they affect the mind and body abnormally. This can cause physical and chemical changes. One of the primary organs affected by drug and alcohol use is the brain. This delicate, yet powerful organ, is the control center for how your mind and body operate. While affecting your mood, coordination, and memory, drug and alcohol use also affects your brain’s reward pathway.
Addiction is regarded as a chronic relapsing brain disease. Normally, your brain will recognize something as positive and release dopamine in the reward pathway. This tells your brain that something good has just happened and to repeat this in the future. Drugs and alcohol make this reward pathway act abnormally, causing a surge of dopamine to be released. These levels are higher than what would be released due to anything occurring naturally in your environment.
This can cause rewiring of the brain’s natural reward system. Thus, intense cravings and compulsive behavior will result as your brain seeks more of the substance. The thought of the substance will completely take over their brain, causing irritability, mood changes, and impulsive tendencies. Even when negative consequences ensue, the person will not be able to stop as their brain has gone through a change.
When Will Someone Become Addicted?
There is no timeline for when an addiction will develop. It can develop rapidly or it can take many months. How quickly an addiction forms depends on a variety of factors. These factors include genetics, medical history, and environment. Generally speaking, an addiction usually forms after the substance has entered the body more than once. This leads to addiction being very unpredictable, which can cause numerous health concerns, as well as life-threatening conditions.
Addiction Can Affect Anyone
Millions of lives are impacted by addiction across the nation. Addiction does not discriminate and it can happen to anyone. As previously discussed, the likelihood that someone will become addicted depends on a variety of different factors.
It is important if you suspect you or someone you love is suffering to look for signs. Signs that someone is struggling with this disease are not always easy to recognize. Someone may not be displaying easy to distinguish signs or they may be good at covering it up. For example, those who are suffering may still have stable relationships and are maintaining a job.
There are signs you can look for that may indicate someone is suffering from addiction. If you notice these signs, it is important to speak to your loved on in order for them to receive the proper help. Someone struggling with addiction may not be in contact with you as much. This could mean that they do not pick up the phone or stop by as often. When you do see them, you have noticed that their personal hygiene appears to be lacking. They have mentioned that they are experiencing difficulties in their relationships and are not meeting their responsibilities. You may notice their outwardly physical health deteriorating, as well as behavioral shifts.
The Stigma Surrounding Addiction
There is a damaging stigma that surrounds addiction. This stigma may prevent those who are suffering from getting the help they need and deserve. This stigma may cause people to feel ashamed of their illness or see seeking out treatment as a sign of weakness. This can lead to addiction being left untreated, which can result in life-threatening effects.
Stigmas are untrue generalizations based on misinformation or miseducation. The stigma surrounding addiction is that those who are suffering are of moral failing, are criminals, and should feel ashamed of what they are going through. The fact is, those who support this stigma are misinformed of what addiction actually is. Nobody chooses to become addicted. These changes in the brain can cause a person to get into dangerous situations. While a person should always be held accountable for their actions, shaming those who are suffering will not fix the problem.
In order to fight the stigma, it is important to become educated on addiction. Talk to those who are suffering from a place of understanding. Leave judgment out of the conversation. It is important that those who are suffering from this disease seek treatment. If you suspect your loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out and show your support. Your loved one will need a strong support system to help guide them down the road to recovery.
Treatment Is Necessary
Left untreated, addiction can cause dangerous and life threatening effects. If you or someone you love is struggling, it is important to seek help immediately. Addiction is a disease and just like any other disease, it requires treatment. In order for someone to recover from heart disease, they require treatment. The same is true for addiction. Recovery is a lifelong process and enrolling in a treatment program is a monumental milestone. It is never too late to seek the help you deserve.
At A Better Today Recovery Services, a wide range of drug and alcohol problems are addressed. Their treatment centers are home to passionate professionals who believe it is never too late to turn your life around. They believe treatment should be holistic. This means they treat the body, mind, and soul. Their innovative treatment plans are individualized to meet the unique needs of every person who walks through their doors. Upon arrival, you will experience their healthcare evaluations which will set you up on the road to success. While each path is unique, the goal is always the same. Let A Better Today Recovery Services help you lead a happier and healthier life by calling today.