End the Stigma Associated with Addiction
An integral component of combating the opioid drug epidemic is ending the stigma. Far too many people are embarrassed or afraid to seek help because of the stigma still attached to drug abuse. Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Like any chronic disease, it needs to be treated professionally. You can help end the stigma associated with substance abuse by reaching out to friends touched by this crisis. Honor a loved one or friend who lost their battle with drug addiction by writing a memorial tribute or creating a memorial fundraiser. And when you feel ready, share your story – providing a human face to the opioid epidemic can spread the message far more than statistics alone.
New findings from American researchers point to a notable drop in oxycodone-related opioid overdoses in states that set up monitoring programs designed to detect the inappropriate diversion and consumption of prescription opioid medications.
Parenting is full of challenges that test the patience and wisdom of anyone raising children. Teaching about drugs and alcohol is one of those situations in which even the most confident parents may feel out of their depth.
One of the most widely repeated pieces of advice on dealing with addiction in a loved one is that “tough love” is the best approach. He or she has to hit “rock bottom,” you’re told, and when that happens, there will be a tremendous transformation. The son or daughter who once wanted nothing but to abuse substances will suddenly realize the error of his or her ways and commit to getting clean. This is the advice Diannee Carden Glenn was given by her son’s therapist, but in an article for The Fix, she points out that the reality of this advice is far from pleasant.
By Edie Weinstein, MSW
If you or someone you know is considering treatment for addiction, it may be because you or the person is faced with the undeniable evidence that, as a result of substance abuse or another behavioral addiction, your life or theirs has become unmanageable in one or more ways.
Primary care practitioners seldom encounter medical conditions they can’t identify. Backed by precise diagnostic tools such as X-ray machines, MRI scanners, computerized tomography and DNA testing, 21st century doctors, nurses and physician’s assistants are able to uncover a broad range of diseases, injuries, syndromes and conditions.
But despite modern medicine’s many advances, detecting substance abuse problems has continued to challenge primary care providers. Doctors might have suspicions, but suspicions are not the same as proof. This can be a big problem for medical professionals dedicated to giving their patients the best service possible, since substance abuse is a life-threatening condition that directly or indirectly claims the lives of more than 100,000 Americans every year.
While addicts can cause their family and friends a lot of grief, frustration, and aggravation, relatives and other loved ones are not the only people who are affected by the actions of those who suffer from a substance abuse problem. Employers and co-workers will also have to deal with the consequences of sharing a workplace with someone whose performance on the job will inevitably be impacted by their use of drugs and/or alcohol.