You might be surprised at the people you know right now, in your own neighborhood, who are addicted on opiates.
They may be in recovery, thinking about seeking treatment, or actively engaged in drug seeking behavior… but they are there, living in your corner of the world.
The vast majority of them are nice people. Good people: People who never planned on becoming addicted. People just like you.
Who are they?
She’s the young whiz kid accountant you met last week when you sat down to discuss your tax refund. Always bright and social, she began taking pain pills after that awful car accident her first year of college. She takes pills the way you toss back cashews. She’ll always walk with that limp, by the way.
He’s the swim instructor that taught your son the backstroke. He’s a nice fella. You liked him immediately. He graduated with honors and volunteers down at the YMCA. The same day your kid learned how to back flip off the diving board, he bought enough heroin to last him two days.
He’s that guy you met at your sister’s 32nd birthday bash. You remember; the one your sister said makes the best beef brisket she’s ever tasted? He’s been addicted to hydrocodone ever since he had major oral surgery 4 years ago. He’s gotten good at doctor shopping. Great cook. Nice guy.
She’s the nurse who took care of you when you visited the emergency room last year. Her secrets started when she felt she had to hide domestic violence. She takes pain pills for physical and emotional pain. Never once did she think she’d become addicted.
And that bar-b-cue you had in your back yard when you invited all your neighbors last summer? What were there, 20 or more people? Guess what. The statistics suggest that at least two of your guests are abusing or addicted opioid drugs.
According to The United States Surgeon General 2016 report, 1 in 7 people in the United States will develop a substance disorder. Only 1 in 10 of those addicts will receive treatment. One major reason is the stigma surrounding addiction. As a society, we continue to view addiction as a character flaw or a moral failing.
The truth is, people come to a place of addiction from all walks of life and for a variety of reasons. Most people don’t arrive at the doorstep of a Methadone center like ours because they’re bad or immoral. But no matter how it is that they arrived at this place, they all have one thing in common: they didn’t set out to become addicted AND life for all of us would be better if they got treatment.
We know this: A great support system is a must for anyone who wants to stop abusing drugs. Encouragement goes a long way for those in recovery.
YOU can make a difference by supporting what ever means your friend or loved one chooses to get well. It may be 12-Steps, an in-patient rehab center, Medication-Assisted Treatment like Crossroads Treatment Centers, or something else. But whatever it is, we encourage YOU to be the positive voice they need.