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Hear the voices of recovery

It is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, celebrating the 30th year of acknowledging that substance use disorder exists. This is 30 years of celebrating the recovery of millions of Americans who regained their well being and have gone on to achieve dreams and goals. Treatment works. And it is working for those who have gathered their courage and taken the steps to get the help they need to recover their lives.

Addiction to opioids, illicit drugs and alcohol are still designated a public health emergency. In the Presidential Proclamation declaring September 2019 National Recovery Month, the Trump Administration strives “to stop opioid abuse and reduce drug supply and demand through education, awareness, and prevention of over-prescription and cutting off the flow of drugs across our borders.”

Last week during the presentation of Operation Street Smart in Columbiana, retired law enforcement officer Sgt. Michael Powell stated that the drug flow into the United States is not only from Mexico. Illicit drugs also come from Canada.

The presidential proclamation further advises that the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, which became law last year, “expands access to evidence-based treatment, protects communities from illicit drugs, invests more in sustained recovery, brings those in treatment and recovery back into the workforce and raises public awareness of the dangers of illicitly imported synthetic opioids.”

National Recovery Month is sponsored by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) whose goal is “to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate the people who recover.” The 2019 them is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.

Everyone has struggles in life at one time or another. But everyone does not have the best life skills toolbox to cope. Adult children of toxic parents struggle everyday to understand why they are to blame for everything that has gone wrong in their family, and why some of them choose to self-medicate so they don’t have to deal with the emotional and psychological pain. Some people are injured and suffer pain that requires something powerful to help alleviate the pain. And they become addicted to prescription pain medications.

Sgt. Powell advised that when pain medications were taken from those people, what happened? They turned to heroin. “We made drug addicts of them.”

There are many explanations about why people become addicted to substances.

So many people have over-simplified the Naloxone issue. How easy it is to say, “I can’t afford my medications but we can pay for Naloxone for someone who is going to do it again and again.”

First of all, if you are unable to afford your medications, contact the pharmaceutical company that provides that medication. They may have a program in place that will provide your medications for you at little or no cost.

Secondly, understanding how and why addiction occurs can change how you think and feel about the issue. Here are a couple of resources that might help explain the how and why:

www.helpguide.org/harvard/how-addiction-hijacks-the-brain.htm.

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/addiction.htm.

Everyone has an investment in community. Compassion and kindness have a place in this discussion. Not enabling behaviors, but compassion and kindness.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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