When you hold interventions for a loved one who is addicted to alcohol and drugs, you are of the belief that they will be convinced to go to rehab to the get the necessary help they need. However, even the most carefully planned interventions sometimes fail.
In a lot of cases, no matter the lengths you go to for your loved one it is still possible they will refuse to get help. Addiction can have such a strong grip on a person that no amount of words will convince them to accept treatment.
You Set Up an intervention and It Failed
For all your good intentions and purposes, the interventions will still prove futile as the person you are trying to help will refuse help to aid their recovery. Addiction and recovery from a bad habit is a hell of a journey. When all your efforts to help a loved one fail you should not lose all hope.
Like any good thing worth pursuing, persistence and grit on your part are an important part of the decision you have taken to help that friend or family member. No matter how carefully planned, there are several ways to move on from a failed intervention.
Reasons for Interventions?
The purpose of interventions is to help an addicted loved one begin on their journey of healing by:
1. Envisioning a life of recovery for themselves.
2. Recognizing and accepting they are struggling with a life-altering disorder.
3. Accepting immediate treatment.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports when patients are enrolled in drug rehab, they stop not only using the drugs and alcohol but they also limit their criminal and violent tendencies, improving their lives at home, their work, and relationships.
The journey of addiction recovery like every journey begins differently. Your addicted loved one may agree to treatment and it may take more effort on your part to ensure they stick to it till the end for their own benefit. There is, therefore, a greater good in continuing to love and encourage the addicted family member or friend to get the treatment they need.
Time for Tough Love
Judgemental Outlook from Participants:
It's very difficult to hold onto your feelings when talking about your addicted loved one when you've been hurt and affected by your loved one's substance abuse and addiction. When your interventions are lead with emotion and the wrong body language, it appears judgmental to the victim and they may not even start treatment and even if they do, they are most likely not to see the treatment through.
Violence and Aggression:
We commonly know these traits of addicts as they are depressed and need their constant supply of whatever drug it is that makes them happy. We can liken this to taking away a child's favorite bar of candy. The kid will throw a tantrum and whine. In this case, it is violent and could lead to a lot of destruction and further deteriorate your relationship with the victim. Addicts usually exhibit this behavior because of the feeling of being threatened and judged and this to them is a way of being defensive.
Getting the Support You Need to Try Again
Now to the crux of the matter, what can be done when they refuse to be helped? Refusal to accept the interventions and the help of drug rehab is not necessarily the end of your ability to help them enter treatment.
There are several steps you can take to help your addicted family member or friend. They include:
1. Continued Inter Family Support System:
When family comes together as a unit to plan an intervention, they are often drawn together hoping the addict will agree to treatment. When this fails, they all return back to their normal lives with the shared sense of purpose to help the addict. It's important to establish regular meeting times, even if they are infrequent, to continue to support the cause of helping your addicted loved one get treatment.
2. No Compromise or Bargain:
Victims of alcohol and drug addiction are of the false belief that they are in control of their actions and can stop whenever they want. They have their judgement clouded by the mantra "a little bit of whatever it is holding them back won't hurt too much". In reality, they are not in control and need serious help to stop, and that is where you come in. Do not accept or conform to promises of victims that they will quit on their own. You are a better judge of the situation they have found themselves in. We should not present addicts with many choices to choose from. Don't accept lies such as "this is the last time I'm taking this or that", from addicts.
3. Promise Consequences and Stick to Them:
The main goal of an intervention is to get the addicted loved one to accept treatment. Withholding some benefits or removing any enabling behaviors or structures for their habits can help change their minds about not accepting treatment. This is a way of giving them the power of choice to desist from it rather than begging and presenting them with a lot of options. For example, a high school kid involved in drug abuse could be deprived from the regular stipend or support he spends on drugs. Any luxury that helps provide an enabling ecosystem that helps their addiction to thrive should be gradually taken away. This must be done flexibly as any wrong or harsh move could derail any hopes of ever helping the victim get treatment.
4. Educated Second Intervention:
A failed intervention is a learning opportunity; now that you have seen the power of addiction you will be better prepared to face the disease the second time. The more prepared you are for contingencies the more likely it is that you can navigate through the second intervention successfully. When you follow through with the promise of consequences for their actions, it gets clearer to your addicted loved one choosing to continue in their habit is not the safest and most effective thing to do.
5. Seek Help from Us, A Better Today, Recovery Services (ABTRS)
Professionals at providing patient-focused care that is compressive and effective. Your preferred Professional Interventionist – At ABTRS we can help provide the necessary assistance needed to help your loved one facing an addiction problem stay focused on the road of recovery.
We pride ourselves in helping save lives and promote healthy families. Having helped over 4000 courageous people who have reached out to us about their addiction. As our core belief of providing patient-focused care that is comprehensive and effective, we can help you in the following ways:
1. Treatment plans tailored to each individual and their needs as we know everyone's journey addiction recovery is different.
2. Provide resources and rehab to help your addicted loved ones,
3. Address any potential obstacles as they arise before, during, and after the intervention.
The specialists here at ABTRS know that addiction is a family problem and not just an individual condition. We are here to offer suggestion and answer questions about getting through this difficult time.
If you or someone you love has drug or alcohol problem, call us for answers today.
The release of otherwise confidential information has surfaced from the DEA. This long standing agency promoting and enforcing a drug free society has compiled pain pill statistics from 2006 to 2012. With this information now in the hands of the Washington Post, the nation is more aware than ever of the opioid epidemic.
What is the DEA?
The DEA is the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is considered a federal law enforcement agency that works under the Department of Justice. It has the primary task of combating the trafficking of drugs to and from the United States, as well as distribution. Their goals are to enhance overall public safety, health, and increase national security. They uphold several core values, which include dedication to the constitution and maintaining the highest level of integrity.
Founded in 1973, the DEA has been responsible for enforcing the regulations and laws surrounding controlled substances. They are also responsible for bringing these individuals or organizations breaking these laws or regulations before a court of law. The men and women who are part of the DEA put their lives on the line to try and provide a drug free society. The DEA provides different organizations, such as schools and hospitals, with necessary information and educational tools. However, most of the analytical data obtained by the DEA should remain confidential.
DEA’s Pain Pill Database Made Public
Exclusively released by The Washington Post, the path of every pain pill sold in the United States between 2006 and 2012 was made public. This data shows trends and patterns that were only otherwise speculated about. The Washington Post took the liberty of sifting through this information, compiling important statistics. The results were shocking. More than 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were distributed across the country.
The Post was allowed access to this otherwise confidential information due to a court order. The Washington Post and HD Media out of West Virginia fought for the right to have access to the database. While The Post has not published the exact database, they have allowed access to some of the information interactively and it can be filtered. This means that it is easy for readers to see where hydrocodone and oxycodone went (which states and counties). But, it does not stop there. The companies and distributors are also named.
The Opioid Epidemic Spirals out of Control
During the six year period, from 2006 to 2012, a surge occurred. The influx of pills began to spread and grew by 51 percent. The top pill distributors during this time were McKesson Corp, Walgreens, Cardinal Health, AmericsourceBergen, CVS, and Walmart. These six companies were responsible for nearly 75 percent of pill distribution.
When comparing the surge of pills per person per year and opioid deaths, the results are positively correlated. This means that in states and counties with a higher pill to person ratio, the opioid death rate is also higher. This increase happens sporadically and quickly. The information can be found in the form of an interactive map. The Post released this comparison to shed light on how the opioid crisis is affecting all different communities across the nation.
These journalists, editors, reporters, and healthcare workers are using the information obtained by The Post for good. They are using the data to analyze how pain pills have been affecting their communities, comparing different maps to gather more information. They are using this as an educational tool, and as a call to action that more measures need to be in place to stop the epidemic.
Shedding Light on Addiction
The Washington Post has publicly shared a database of pain pill progression, as well as deaths from opioids, over a six year span. While this may seem like a short amount of time, the epidemic is apparent and shocking. When looking at the numbers for individual counties and even states, the proof of a crisis is written in black and white. This information is harboring a nationwide problem that needs to be addressed. The call to action demands more treatment and rehabilitation for drug addiction.
Addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease that can affect anyone. Pain pills, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone are very addictive. While everyone’s mind and body will react differently to drugs, substance abuse most often leads to addiction. Abuse of a substance is using a substance not for its intended purpose. When hydrocodone or oxycodone enters the body, it causes your brain’s reward system to act abnormally. Your levels of dopamine will skyrocket, leaving your brain experiencing a euphoric feeling. This feeling will eventually fade, as it is only temporary. Then, your brain will seek out that same feeling. This means that you will seek out more and more of that drug.
Addiction can cause temporary and sometimes permanent changes to the brain and body. In order to recover from addiction, treatment is necessary. Attempting to recover alone and at home from addiction can lead to serious consequences and is very dangerous. Relapse, overdose, and even death can occur. Enrolling in a professional treatment program will ensure your safety, as well as lead you down a healthier path.
When to Seek Help
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, the time to seek help is now. Addiction can cause potentially life-threatening effects if left untreated. There is always hope for recovery and it is never too late to get on a positive path. If you are suffering from addiction, you deserve the help you need in order to get back to a happier and healthier you.
A Better Today Recovery Services takes addiction treatment to the next level, by providing specialized treatment options. Their dedicated team of passionate professionals strive to provide the most positive experience for every patient. They believe that every patient is unique and deserving of an individualized experience. Call today to learn more about their different treatment options and how they can help you change your life for the better.
One of the biggest problems facing individuals who’ve developed an addiction is the expense associated with treatment. Like other medical services, detox and rehabilitation can cost thousands of dollars. Most health insurance provides addiction coverage, but you’ll likely have to pay a portion of the bill out-of-pocket. That’s why it pays to know how much coverage you can expect.
If you’ve developed an addiction, professional substance abuse treatment is the best way to recover and avoid a relapse. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, successful treatment options include medication, behavioral counseling, and applications to aid in the withdrawal process. These all require the assistance of a medical professional in a rehab facility.
Entering a treatment center isn’t an easy thing to do. If you’re in this position, you’re probably under a lot of stress and worried about the potential bills you’ll have to pay. However, if you have insurance, some of your treatment should be covered. You just need to figure out how much. Keep reading to learn some crucial steps in determining your addiction coverage.
Understand How Addiction Coverage Works
It helps to understand how alcohol or drug addiction works within the insurance industry. This will help give you an idea of what to expect once you enter a facility and receive treatment. For the most part, addiction coverage is very similar to coverage for other health issues. However, there are some minor differences and things you should know.
All insurance plans within the Health Insurance Marketplace must cover substance abuse services according to HealthCare.gov. If private insurance plans want to be sold in the marketplace, they must cover addiction treatment as well. However, they don’t have to if they aren’t included in the marketplace.
Furthermore, insurance policies that provide addiction coverage do so without applying conditions. For example, they provide coverage for addiction treatment regardless of what drug you’re addicted to and how you became addicted. This means that your provider won’t look at the details of your addiction to determine the amount of coverage you receive. This is determined by your plan.
It’s also important to understand that the majority of states require group health insurers to provide addiction coverage just like they would other illnesses.
Determine What Level of Treatment You Need
The type of addiction coverage you receive from your insurance provider has everything to do with your plan and the type of treatment you require. It’s important you participate in a treatment plan that’s best for your level of addiction.
You also need to consider that your insurance policy may not cover every type of medication needed during your recovery. These medications are typically given to clients who need help detoxing and dealing with severe withdrawal symptoms.
Before you enter a treatment facility, you need to have a meeting with a substance abuse specialist to determine which recovery approach is right for you. Possible treatment plans could include:
- Inpatient treatment programs
- Outpatient treatment programs
- Inpatient detox
- Substance abuse counseling
If you’re suffering from addiction to opioids or heroin, you may need to take part in a maintenance program. These help individuals who need additional assistance to function without the drug. They typically utilize prescription medications such as Suboxone to help patients overcome their dependence.
Consider your options carefully and come up with a treatment plan.
Consult With Your Insurance Provider
Once you’ve determined what type of rehabilitation you require, you can speak with your insurance provider to determine your level of coverage. You could also check the details of your policy yourself, however, this can be confusing. For a more concrete idea of your addiction coverage, it’s better to call your provider directly.
Remember, your particular plan determines the level of coverage you have. Your provider can tell you how they’ll cover different types of treatment. They can also help you determine what medications they’ll cover if you need prescription assistance during the detox stage of your recovery. Make sure you write all this information down to reference in the future.
You also need to ask about inpatient coverage and ongoing treatment. An inpatient program can last anywhere from 30, 60 to 90 days. You need to know how much of this will be covered. If you’ve opted for outpatient treatment, ask your provider how they handle this. You’ll also need to inquire about ongoing treatment coverage for after you’ve finished your program.
Covering all your bases is important during this step. Make sure you understand your deductible along with all policy conditions so you don’t end up with unexpected bills after your treatment has ended.
Seek Assistance From a Treatment Center
You may get all the answers you need regarding addiction coverage from your insurance provider. If you don’t, most rehab facilities have staff on hand who specialize in these matters. They can sit down with you before your treatment begins and go over your policy and what you can expect.
Even if you understand your policy coverage, it’s a good idea to consult with the treatment center anyway. They deal with these types of issues on a regular basis and may be able to provide additional insight into your coverage. You may also get some information on how you can save money on your bill.
If your insurance only covers a small portion of your care, a representative of the treatment center can go over payment options so you know what to expect. Keep in mind that your recovery is the most important thing right now. Worrying about financial issues will only make the process more difficult.
Start Your Road to Recovery Today
Deciding to seek substance abuse treatment is a huge step. Although it may be daunting to think about medical bills at this crucial time, it’s important you understand what kind of help you can expect from your insurance provider. Use the steps discussed above to help you determine your addiction coverage.
We provide a wide range of substance abuse treatment services. Let us help you take the first step toward recovery.
Often, addiction is looked upon as a personal disease: it only affects the person taking the drugs and consuming the alcohol. Families strive to find their loved ones help through different avenues such as rehab or special meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous. While it is important to find your loved one the help they may desperately need, what about the personal health of family members involved in this difficult situation?
Through decades of research and observation, addiction is quickly becoming coined as a family disease. It no longer only affects the central person. It affects everyone in their path. Like an octopus, it has tentacles that wrap around families tightly. They grab hold of every aspect of daily life and eventually penetrate the hearts and minds of families.
Why Get Help When You Are Not the Addict?
Too often families fail to see how the recovery journey of their loved one starts with them. It is hard to remember to take care of one’s self in these times. To answer the question of why let’s look at a few reasons taking care of personal needs is important.
For starters, the personal health of a person can take a turn quickly. The top reason for this is stress. Stress stemming from a loved one’s addiction can lead to serious health problems. A person can experience high blood pressure, heart attacks, panic attacks, and even stroke all from too much stress. The more stress the body is under the more likely a person is to have a compromised immune system leading to sickness they just can’t kick.
A human body can only take just so much cortisol running through their system. Once too much is apparent, mental health issues can arise. Anxiety and depression are in the top spots for popping up in the lives of families dealing with addiction. Along with these monstrous diseases comes sleep problems, digestive issues, and uncontrollable emotions.
The bottom line is that helping yourself can truly help your loved one. Having a clear mind can give a person insight into the situation and better decisions can be made. Taking care to nourish the body will produce the strength needed to face each day. For those struggling with addiction, having family members and friends show support in the rehabilitation process is crucial. It could mean a higher percentage rate of completion and successful sober living.
How Does a Loved One Get Help?
Understanding the need to take care of one’s self is the first step in getting help. Sometimes this understanding comes like a light bulb moment when your loved one realizes their need for help or a personal realization of just how bad the situation has gotten becomes clear. Similar to the way an addict may need to hit rock bottom before realizing they have a problem; family members must do the same. No one wants to believe someone they love has become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
To take the steps needed for help, loved ones can utilize many available tools:
- Support Groups – Loved ones coming together to share their personal stories, words of encouragement, and tears is a fundamental piece in recovery for families. These groups consist of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, and friends. Each member is there for the sole purpose of lifting each other up and helping addicts become sober. An example of this is the Nar-Anon family and friends group. These groups are open to all who are or have experienced loving someone with an addiction.
- Schools – This may not be a place one has thought of, but for children and teens who have a loved one with addiction, this could be a place of refuge. Guidance counselors could be a source of encouragement for teens and children as well as a guiding light to the right resources. Society cannot dismiss the need for children and teens to receive treatment. They are still developing emotional sensors and controls. With guidance and support, they will be more apt to talk about what they are feeling and process their situation better.
- Rehabilitation Centers – Once a loved one has begun receiving treatment from a rehabilitation center, family members can receive treatment there as well. Rehab centers know how important it is to treat the whole family as well as the person. For example, A Better Today Recovery Services offers a family weekend workshop. This workshop is filled with literature and presentations to educate families with an addicted loved one. Best of all, families will spend a weekend with their loved one and other families going through the same struggles.
Rehabilitation centers also offer family members the experience of being involved. Participation in the intake process, as well as family and friend support groups, is encouraged. They also offer family counseling programs. These programs can help rebuild broken bridges and create a healthy line of communication for everyone involved.
For the Future
The future of a recovering addict and their families is not all flowers and honey. For the addict, sober living can be intimidating and full of unknowns. Families and friends can still worry about their loved one. Will they start using again? Will they be able to hold down a job? Will they be able to resist temptation? All the what-if questions can have families planning for a disaster before it has even occurred.
Families are the backbone of society and especially their loved ones dealing with addiction. In order to keep the backbone strong, get help. Don’t go on this journey alone. Support groups, rehabilitation centers, and schools can help adults and children maneuver the obstacles and travel the bumpy road of addiction recovery. The old saying is that if you can’t take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of someone else? How true are these words! As a loved one, you need and deserve to get help. If you do, then you are better equipped to help your loved one.
Suicide is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of those who love someone with a substance abuse disorder. The thought that your loved one could harm themselves to the point of death is excruciating. There is no measure for the impact substance abuse and suicide can have on families and communities.
So, how does substance abuse effect an individual? How does it lead a person to attempt or commit suicide? Research has shown they share a close bond. Learn more about the relationship between substance abuse and suicide in men and women in the following guide.
The Hard Facts
Understanding the following cold, hard facts about addiction is important.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death to Americans
- Drug and alcohol abuse are the 2nd most risk factor
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people ages 10-14
- It's the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 15-34
- A person is 6 times more likely to commit suicide if they have a substance abuse disorder.
- 1 in 3 who die of suicide are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Men have a 40%-60% higher rate of suicide than women
The overall opinion of experts is that suicide is becoming an epidemic in the nation that requires attention.
What Drug is Most Responsible for Suicide?
Any substance can lead to suicidal thoughts if taken improperly or abused. Every drug has side effects and a chance of addiction. The drug that stands out from the rest is opioids. Opioids include prescription drugs, heroin, and crystal meth.
According to addictioncenter.com, in 2015, 33,000 Americans died from suicide due to the abuse of opioids. The number of suicides occurring each year is steadily increasing. The first cause is sudden life changes. When the unexpected happens, people often have a harder time coping. The feelings of grief in any circumstance can lead to a state of depression.
Second on this list is stigma. Society has placed a stigma on those who fight depression. They are called crazy, wackos, or recluses. Because of this, people long for a way out. They may even choose a method of coping that involves drugs. The drugs give them a feeling of heroism. They can conquer the world and all of the negative thoughts leave their minds.
How do Opioids Lead to Suicide?
Opioids are in the category of drugs that make you feel like you could do anything. If this is the case, then how could they lead a person to commit suicide? There are several reasons for this.
- Overdose – An overdose may not be considered suicide, but in some cases it is. Those in active addiction may come to a point where there is no money, no shelter, and no family available to them. At this point, what is there to live for? The very thought of life without that fix is too much to bear.
- Inhibition – For some people, the high is about the feeling of being uninhibited. Nothing hurts, nothing is wrong in their lives, and quite frankly they feel they can do anything when they are high. The way opioids affect the brain make it possible to act in ways you would not otherwise. This can lead to a scenario where a simple dare given in the moment could lead to permanent heartbreak.
- Highly Addictive – Opioids are the most addictive drug on the market. They are commonly used to manage chronic pain. Being pain free is enticing which leads to a fear of being without the drug. The fear of life without the drug and being physically in pain can lead to ending one’s life.
Men vs. Women
According to verywellmind.com, it is commonly known that men and women are wired differently. This means that men and women will react differently to the same circumstance. This could also be the reason that men are 40%-60% more likely to commit suicide than women.
Men are often taught from birth that “boys don’t cry.” Society expects men to be strong and provide for their families. The pressure society puts on men often lead them to depressive states. They feel unworthy of life. To combat these feelings, they often turn to drugs.
Men also have a deeper motivation to get the “job” done. Once they have reached a point where the drugs are no longer working, they will become more determined to end their lives. With the use of an opioid they can have the bravery to pull the trigger or fill the needle one too many times.
Women are usually the better communicators. They are taught to share their feelings. Women are more likely to seek help than men are. It is an accepted thought that women are more vain than men. They don’t want to look bad in life or death. Because of this, women who attempt suicide choose a drug overdose as the preferred method.
Suicide and substance abuse share a fatal bond. It is not just about the high causing a person to act in a way they would not normally act. It is more about how society and the medical community can learn more about this link and provide needed support. Experts and families may never understand fully what makes a person consider suicide, but they can strive to learn more about this epidemic. They can be active in changing society's way of thinking. The stigmas are old and outdated. Isn’t saving the lives of people in the United States and around the world more important than the boys will be boys mentality? If you or a loved one has a substance abuse disorder or thoughts of suicide, contact a treatment facility today!
You’ve heard it here, there, and everywhere. “The Opioid Epidemic” or the “prescription drug problem in America”. What makes it so intense that people are using the word epidemic? Is it really that widespread?
That deadly? Unfortunately, it is. When it comes to drug addiction, opioids (painkillers and heroin) are the fastest-growing sector. Over 2.1 million people have an opioid use disorder of some kind. And that number isn’t decreasing any time soon.
More than 130 people die every day from opioid-related overdoses. But how did it get this bad? Where did it start?
Get the details (and some hope!) below.
When Did the Opioid Epidemic Start?
Technically, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a national public health crisis in October of 2017. That means that it had gotten so bad, that the government of the United States couldn’t count on local government and healthcare to take care of the issue anymore.
The declaration itself says that this “national crisis is a top priority” and committed to investing almost $900 million in funding to help treat and prevent opioid issues.
As part of their national public health crisis announcement, HHS put out a five-step plan for combating the opioid epidemic.
The five steps are:
- Improve access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services
- Target the availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs
- Strengthen public health data reporting and collection
- Support cutting-edge research on addiction and pain
- Advance the practice of pain management
Those steps are all well thought out and essential for coming back from this crisis. Especially the fourth one, as the majority of opioid use addictions come from someone who has been prescribed pain pills for medical use by their doctor.
By making this is a federal issue, the government has provided millions of dollars to go to health centers around the country. That means that they can take more training on opioid epidemic issues and have more people on hand to help with the crisis.
Part of the money and the plan also went to the call for using Naloxone, which is referred to “overdose-reversal drug”.
What exactly is that? There’s a drug called Naloxone, and it can bring people back from the brink of a fatal overdose. But since it’s such a niche drug – it’s only helpful for opioid overdoses, not a lot of doctors, hospitals, and clinics have it.
That’s one part of the “improving access” step – making sure the places that see the most addicts have this drug on hand.
Opioids are depressants, which mean they slow the body process down. When people overdose on opioids, their breathing and heart rate slow down completely, and eventually, their body shuts down.
Naloxone doesn’t reduce the number of opioids in someone’s system, but it can temporarily increase their heart rate and regulate their breathing. That may be enough to bring someone back when they’re almost gone. It can’t treat the lasting damage overdosing has on the physical body, but it saves lives every day!
Strengthening Public Health Data and Getting More Information
At the time when the national health crisis was announced, we didn’t have as much information about the opioid epidemic as we do now.
We now know that 11.4 million people misused prescription opioids, from a study in 2016. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re part of the 2.1 million who have a usage problem (see the difference in the amounts) but it shows how much work the public has to do.
Misuse is common. This means not getting rid of your pain medications (safely) after treating what they were prescribed for. It means taking one that’s leftover when you have a migraine or want to get a really good night’s sleep.
Which leads to public education: safety professionals need to teach people how to safely use and dispose of pain medication, so that there are fewer pills that get into the hands of addicts.
Prevention is key – to stopping about anything people don’t want. Like teen pregnancy or abortions for that matter.
That’s no different when it comes to the opioid crisis. People need to know the proper way to handle pain medication after they’re prescribed and doctors need to be more cognizant of abuse risk factors.
If you have surgery and need pain medication after, you should only take the medication until the pain is low enough that you can manage it with ibuprofen and Tylenol. After that point and when you’re mobile again, you should take your prescription to the local police station, and they’ll dispose of it safely.
That way not only are you not tempted to misuse the medication later, but no one in your household can either.
The other part of prevention is about keeping doctors accountable for what they prescribe. They shouldn’t order bulk amounts of pills for a patient going through a routine surgery. The goal is to also stop getting drug companies from encouraging doctors to prescribe their product – which are pain pills.
If it’s too late for prevention, then it’s time to talk about treatment. How can friends and family help people with addiction or misuse problems get better?
People have to support others and where possible, send them to high-quality treatment centers that treat not only the physical addiction but also the reason they started using drugs in the first place.
Finding a treatment center that addicts can commit to and afford is still part of the problem.
Healing from the Epidemic
If you didn’t know how widespread the opioid epidemic was, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. However, there is hope on the horizon. The government putting out an official alert means that there’s more funding for treatment and prevention available than ever.
You can help end the epidemic by educating yourself and your loved ones on the warning signs of opioid addiction and misuse. If you see something – say something to the person.
And if they won’t listen, hold an intervention or help them find treatment. You’ll be saving their lives, which they’ll realize in the long run.