August’s Overdose Awareness Day leads right into September’s Addiction Awareness Month, so right now is the perfect time to educate yourself about addiction, overdose, and treatment options.
Since 2001, August 31st has been recognized worldwide as International Overdose Awareness day. The Opioid Epidemic is a global crisis affecting people from all walks of life. Young, old, rich, poor, male or female, addiction doesn’t discriminate. According to a 2014 study published by theUnited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drug overdoses claim the lives of 183,000 people annually, and that number is on the rise. In small towns and big cities all over America, the disease of addiction has swept local communities, putting lawmakers, medical professionals, police forces, and families on the front lines of the battle.
Unfortunately, there is no single magic bullet to stop the addiction and overdose epidemic. Programs like Just Say No and DARE create awareness, but they don’t treat addiction’s root causes. Punitive measures like jail, prison, parole, and probation do little to deter addiction, and lengthy jail sentences only serve to prolong and worsen addiction’s grip on the addict. Many parents are afraid to have open and honest conversations with their children, and school programs are often come up short due to lack of funding and proper training. Our only hope is to get educated about what addiction is and how to treat it properly, and spread that knowledge to the people around us.
Addiction is not the result of moral failings, poor parenting, or a weakness of character. Addiction is a disease. The center of addiction lies in the brain, while lengthy habits cause debilitating physical, spiritual, and emotional symptoms. To treat addiction’s multi-pronged causes and symptoms, medical professionals and addiction specialists recommend a multi-pronged approach.
The best chance for long-term recovery starts with a personalized treatment plan from an Addiction Specialist. These specialists can help addicts find the right combination of treatment options to create lasting, meaningful recovery. These treatment options include mental health treatment, inpatient programs like 30-day and long-term rehabs, ongoing treatments like outpatient programs, 12-step groups, and the help of a Sober Companion, Recovery Coach or Addiction Medicine Specialist that can provide ongoing care and case management.
It’s never too early or too late to begin the journey of recovery. If you or someone you love is suffering from the disease of addiction, there is hope. There are millions of recovering addicts and alcoholics all over the world who enjoy lasting, meaningful recovery from addiction, one day at a time. For more information about how to begin the journey of recovery with the help of a Sober Companion, Recovery Coach, or professional case manager, contact Life Assurance Recovery.
Looking for ways you can help in your community? Here are some ideas for making a difference in the battle against addiction:
Learn how to identify and treat an overdose with first aid methods like CPR
Get Narcan certified and keep Narcan in your home or vehicle
Attend local sober events in your area
Talk to your peers and encourage them to get educated about the disease of addiction, its symptoms, and treatments
Contact politicians and urge them to fund state and federal addiction recovery programs
Contact local law enforcement and city councils and urge the police in your area to carry Narcan
Get involved and volunteer with local hospitals, rehabs, detoxes, and 12-step groups
Attend an Al-Anon meeting or other family-based support group