With the recent death of musical legend Prince, we are reminded again the rampant misuse of opioids within the United States. The statistics are staggering, In January 2016 the CDC released findings showing that since 2000 the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers as well as heroin has increased 200%. This epidemic touches everyone, men and women, from various socioeconomic groups who live all over the country from the southern states to the northeast. HBO recently released a documentary Heroin: Cape Cod, USA which uncovers the large drug trade and use plaguing the idyllic New England vacation spot.
What is even worse, is there is not a lot of available help for those suffering with this addiction. There is still a large stigma surrounding drug use. My people do not see drug addiction a mental illness. Another study, published on Morning Consult, shows that “Nearly three-quarters of Americans say lack of access to care for people with mental health issues is a major problem, while more than half say the same about the lack of access to care for people struggling with substance abuse”
So, what can you do if you or someone you know is suffering from this addiction before it is too late?
The biggest step in beginning the recovery is knowing you are not in it alone and to seek help of a licensed professional to guide you through the process. Find a counselor, doctor, or medical professional you feel you can trust. If you are worried about cost or insurance know that there are many different options for payments and even free programs out there that can help.
Talk about it. As mentioned above, there is such a stigma surrounding addiction. People who are suffering keep it a secret and often families who are affected by the disease remain silent as well. You will find the more open you are about the struggles you are facing others will be more willing to come forward with their own stories. Addiction is not shameful and the more you remind ourself of that, the less alone you will feel. Groups such as AA, NA, and Al-Anon can prove to be an invaluable resource to those grappling addiction. There are also other groups such as Smart Recovery that provide online support.
If you or someone you know is suffering is from addiction, please contact Mindbuilders to start your journey to recovery.
About Deborah:Deborah Bruno is President and Founder of Mindbuilders, Inc a company that specializes in building healthy minds in both individuals and organizations. As a coach and licensed psychotherapist Deborah has assisted thousands of people improve their effectiveness both personally and professionally. Deborah is a native New Yorker who has lived in Miami since 1999.