Opiate alternatives important in addiction battle

Posted on: July 5, 2018
Tags: Rx drugs, Recovery, Counseling, Addiction, Opiates, Heroin, Coping, Treatment, Drugs,

Addiction to opiates has been a big problem nationally and locally. It's cost businesses in productivity - as much as $5 billion, according to one study from The Ohio State University's C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy, It's also been draining on treatment resources. The same study estimates that the state has the capacity to treat just 20 - 40 percent of the population that's abusing opiates.

Many of those addictions - not all, but many - are the result of a prescribed opiate. People looking for a way to control or manage chronic pain, or pain from a surgical procedure, became dependent on a prescribed medication for whatever reason. It may have started innocently enough - that's truly possible. But it escalated into a full dependent relationship with the drug.

That's the reason we're bringing out our latest education campaign, called "My Alternatives". Launching in mid July, the campaign is a partnership of MHRS and the Warren and Clinton County Health Districts. Our aim together is to share information about some potential alternatives to opiate prescriptions and encourage residents with chronic or acute pain management needs to talk with their doctor about what might be right for them.

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to alternatives. Some folks might find yoga a perfect fit for its ability to calm and provide a means of stretching to ease muscle discomfort. Others could find physical therapy a good option, offering guided exercise to ease their pain. And still another alternative might be exercise, either at home or at a gym.

No matter the alternative, it might be just as good as a prescription - perhaps even better long-term. It's important, though, to remember that it should be a decision made in conjunction with your doctor. Only you know what's best for you, and your doctor can be a great source of information about the right alternative to opiates that can be of the most help.

We encourage you to have that conversation when it comes to pain. Our goal: minimize the chance of addiction while helping you make educated choices. It's truly in your hands!

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Text or Call, Someone's Ready to Listen

It was a rough week last week. We lost two great talents - one from the fashion world, the other from the culinary arts.

Yet, the deaths by suicide of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have - if anything good is to come of them - have opened eyes and hearts to the secret pain that some of us are living with on a daily basis. Masks get put into place and all looks fine to most others on the outside, but the pain is lurking just under the surface.

For all of us, it means a couple of things. One, anyone who is feeling that the world would be better without them - and that can be a lot of people - please, reach out and tell someone what you are feeling. If you don't have a trusted friend (or adult if you're a student), call or text the local hotline. For those living in Warren or Clinton Counties, that number is 877-695-6333. Or you can text "4hope" to 741741. 

There's also the national suicide prevention hotline - 800-273-8255.

For all of us, it also means we need to be more cognisent of any sign of potential suicide. Know what those warning signs are - verbal threats of "being better off" without them, expressions of hopelessness, risk-taking behaviors and others. Be ready to listen, and reach out - even if you have the slightest inkling that something is wrong.

Once the imminent danger has passed, help your friend or family member find help. Take a look at our Partners page for local agencies and phone numbers.

Everyone matters. Your life matters. You have purpose. Let's do all we can to help one another.

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'13 Reasons Why': Parents and Kids Need to Talk About the Series

Season 2 of the widely discussed Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" is out, and - like the first season - is generating a lot of discussion.

This time around, it seems to be starting out with a more positive tone. You might remember that last year, many parents and school leaders raised red flags about the first season. They were concerned that there was little discussion about the topic of self-harm or suicide prior to the series airing, along with concerns that some scenes could trigger old traumas among teens who had survived attempts to take their lives.

Prior to season 2 starting, more attention has been paid to providing avenues for help. The cast has recorded a special introduction that highlights information on where to get help. There is also a companion website, 13reasonswhy.info, that provides resources for teens thinking about self- harm or suicide. It also has a viewing guide to help start some tough conversations.

Lots of positive steps have come about this time around. But organizations like the National Association of School Psychologists and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center still encourage parents and kids who are watching the series to talk before, during and after viewing episodes. There are lots of resources available to help, such as:

There are any number of resources to use. The point is, start the conversation with your kids. Suicide and self-harm are weighty topics, for sure. But ensuring that kids know they can find help and trust in you as parents is crucial to ensuring that teens see their worth - and that they have a promising future ahead of them.

And if and when help is needed, we and our community agency partners are here for you.

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