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Author: Shernide Delva
Today, August 31, marks International Overdose Awareness Day. On this day, the goal is to raise global awareness of overdoses and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. This day is intended to acknowledge the grief felt by friends and family who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a drug overdose.
The Shocking Reality
The tragedy of a drug overdose is preventable. Today is a day to spread awareness to others about the disease of addiction. Drug addiction is a global phenomenon; however, the United States, in particular, is facing a major drug epidemic. More deaths were reported from drug overdoses in 2014 than any other year on record. Deaths from overdoses are up among all genders, races, and nearly all ages. This is a disease that does not discriminate.
Out of these shocking numbers, three out of five drug overdose deaths involve opioids. Overdoses from opioids such as prescription opioids and heroin have nearly quadrupled since 1999. Overdoses from opioids killed over 28,000 people in 2014. Half of these deaths were related to prescription opioids.
Between 2013 and 2014, the number of drug overdoses increased a total of 6.5 percent. The year 2014 had a total of 47,055 drug overdoses in the United States. These numbers continue to climb as the prescription painkiller epidemic continues to be a major issue.
To spread the message of awareness, International Overdose Day focuses on commemorating those who have been affected by drug addiction. While today is intended to encourage the message of prevention, it also aims to encourage a message of hope.
Principles of Harm Reduction
The Harm Reduction Coalition affirms that “we will not end the overdose crisis until we place people who use drugs, along with their families and friends, at the center of our policies and strategies. “
The coalition aims to accomplish this task by ensuring that those who use drugs and their loved ones have access to information intended to treat and support them without the fear of stigma or arrest.
Furthermore, naloxone remains one of the most powerful tools in preventing opioid overdose deaths. Naloxone is a medication that works to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. Recently, there has been a push to increase the access the public has to naloxone. In many places, naloxone can now be purchased via pharmacies like CVS, and even in school nurses offices.
Still, according to the Harm Reduction Coalition, the United States is in a state of emergency.
“ We can no longer accept incremental progress; we must demand urgent action to save lives.”
Five Areas Needing Improvement
The Harm Reduction Coalition calls for immediate action in these five areas to increase access to naloxone:
- Funding: Congress should fully fund the President’s request for $12 million in Fiscal Year 2016 to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide grants to states to support broader naloxone access.
- Cost: The rising cost of naloxone by manufacturers in recent years is a deep concern. This increase threatens to limit the distribution of naloxone, especially by community-based programs that reach those most vulnerable to opioid overdoses. When prices increase, it directly increases the likelihood of more overdose deaths. Therefore, the coalition calls upon naloxone manufacturers and developers to price their products responsibly to ensure the best possible distribution.
- Access:Despite improvements in the access to naloxone, access remains limited and inadequate. Prescribers and health care professions play a vital role in ending the overdose crisis. Therefore, there should be an effort by all parties to develop guidance, education and training, resources, and support tools aimed at increasing awareness and access to the drug.
- Availability:Many states are working to make naloxone available through pharmacies through arrangements and agreements. These efforts should increase and broaden to ensure the widest availability of naloxone. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration should develop, facilitate and expedite the regulatory pathways needed to ensure naloxone can be sold over the counter. Over-the-counter naloxone should be available to the market by 2018.
- Awareness: Despite the rising number of overdose deaths in the past decade, there still is not a national awareness campaign to educate the public and those most at risk about the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose. Countless anecdotal reports suggest that the lack of awareness is a critical factor in many preventable overdose deaths. Therefore the HHS and CDC must develop broad national awareness campaigns; that spreads information on how and where to obtain naloxone.
Ways to Raise Awareness
In addition to the guidelines suggested by the HHC, the International Overdose Awareness Day website aims to raise awareness through innovative technologies like there overdose aware app. The app raises awareness amongst those who are experiencing drug use and their families. The app shares information on what an overdose is, and the main overdose symptoms.
The website also has an area where those who have been directly affected by drug addiction overdoses can write a tribute to their story and grieve anyone they have lost. These tributes are where many share the impact drug use and overdoses have had on their family and friends.
How are you spreading awareness of International Overdose Awareness Day? If you are struggling with drug addiction, do not wait for it to progress into an overdose. We can help you get back on track. Please call toll free.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
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Author: Shernide Delva
When tragedy strikes, most people will run away from it. Only a select few are trained to run towards danger. They are first responders: Firemen, police officers, EMT, and combat veterans deal with death and violence on a daily basis. Seeing horrific images and pain is all parts of a day’s work. They are the first to respond. They are our first and only hope.
So it should come to no surprise that first responders often suffer from PTSD, addiction, depression and mental illness. Imagine doing everything you could to save someone’s life and they did not make it. Imagine gunshots, blood everywhere. You only have seconds to react and save a life. Sometimes you may have to save yourself. After a longs day work, your job is complete for the day. You go home. Then what?
Despite the traumatic work that first responders deal with on a regular basis, they often are the last ones to talk about the psychological impact of their occupations. Experiencing terrible accidents day after day can lead first responders to addiction. They seek solace by using substances and abuse alcohol and drugs. If untreated, some can go further down a path of destruction. Most are too afraid to ask for help so they keep their problems locked up inside. Many feel there is no hope for them. They fear showing weakness so they mask it with strength while self-medicating.
After witnessing terrible incidents day by day, first responders may seek solace through abusing substances even if they had no addictions prior. If they do have issues with drugs and alcohol, many times their profession makes their condition worse.
Many articles are recommending that first responders receive specialized treatment options tailored to their needs. There are treatment centers that offer specialized programs for first responders that combine peer support with clinical evidence-based treatment.
Some departments offer mandatory debriefings but many do not provide any support at all for those suffering. It is recommended that first responders seek a solid support group even if they are not consumed by addiction. Most first responders do not feel comfortable with outsiders because they feel admitting to help will result in losing their profession.
Clare Seletsy is the clinical coordinator for the First Responders Addiction Treatment Program at Livengrin Foundation. Her treatment center approaches first responders in a specialized way. She believes that there are many reasons that deter first responders from receiving treatment:
“In addition to the stress and trauma on the job, lack of trust in mental health professionals, their training to never surrender, hyper-masculinity and the drinking/enabling culture, there is also the heightened potential for physical injury on the job. “
Prescription drug abuse is major problem among first responders. Because first responders often get injured from their duties, doctors are easy to prescribe pain killers. They often acquire easier access to drugs due to the regard they receive in their position. Even when first responders are prescribed drugs to take as needed, they are very prone to start abusing that medication.
Alcohol abuse is also extremely common in the field. Alcohol is used by first responders to deal with the emotional trauma experience when handling tragic situations on a daily basis. The fear of losing their jobs prevents most from seeking help from their addiction.
When looking for an effective treatment program for addiction, first responders should ensure there are:
- Thorough physical and psychological evaluations
- Medically supervised inpatient detox
- Specialized rehab options for first responders broken into select programs depending on their profession
- Aftercare and professional and disciplinary assistance
- PTSD therapy
- Anger management
The tough guy persona that first responder’s feel they must adhere to is deterring many from seeking treatment. Here are some shocking stats:
- Firefighters: Up to 29% if firefighters engage in alcohol abuse.
- Police: 25% believe drinking to be part of the norm yet 25% have been affected negatively by the drinking of other coworkers.
- EMTs: EMTs have the highest rate of alcohol and drug abuse. It’s been revealed that 40% engage in high risk alcohol abuse and close to 20% experience PTSD.
As you can see, alcohol and drug abuse is a serious issue affecting the first responder’s profession. There are many ways you can help.
Palm Partners has decided to sponsor The Harringan Foundation in its efforts to help first responders with addiction and mental health issues. The First Annual Run to the Rescue 5K and Walk will occur on February 6, 2016. Proceeds from the race will benefit the treatment of first responders suffering from addiction and/or trauma disorders. If you would like to participate or find out how you can donate to the cause, check out the race’s official Facebook page.
No first responder should have to stop doing their job because of the disease of addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
One of the most incredible experiences I have been blessed to have in recovery is to work in the treatment industry. Working in the field of addiction treatment offers so many different variations of opportunity for all types of talents, from work with admission of new clients, to behavioral health professionals, and even the most effective therapists are often in recovery. Even a humble journalist who writes amazing and inspirational blogs while helping to spread the word of recovery and treatment can be someone who maintains sobriety. So many people want to know, how can I get a job in the treatment industry?
Identify the Position
One thing that is important to get started is to figure out which type of work you would like to do in the field of drug and alcohol treatment. Some people are more suited and more interested in positions that don’t deal too intimately with clients, and are more focused on the development of treatment and the technical side of helping develop and refine treatment strategies or administrative methods.
Other people want to work a little more hands on with individuals. I know initially I wanted to work directly with clients as a behavioral health technician in order to make more frequent personal communication with clients and try and be of service to people who have not yet been given a chance to see what recovery is like, because people did it for me and it inspired me to stay sober.
Whatever it is you want to do, make sure to identify your goal in a position and make sure that it is what you want before pursuing it.
Cultivate Your Contribution
In recovery we are taught that our new purpose is to be of maximum use to others. So to better be of service someone looking for a job in addiction treatment should be sure to cultivate their contribution by learning as much as possible about what they can bring to the table for the position they are looking for.
Speaking with professionals and trying to learn more about the position and the training is a great way to get ahead of the game. Once you are aware of the type of contribution you’re expected to make in the job you are looking for, be sure to do your homework. If it is a position that requires schooling, see if there are entry level positions available while you take the necessary classes.
Staying clean and sober is a requirement for people in recovery to get work in the field, because you have to have some time to develop your own program before you can have any productive input on someone else’s who has just arrived to recovery.
Accountability is so important in recovery, and you absolutely have to be an accountable individual in order to work in the drug and alcohol addiction treatment industry, because continued sobriety must be nurtured and promoted, because the best way to work with other addicts or alcoholics is to lead by example and empower them with successes and being dependable.
Also showing your ability to stay active and in touch with the right group of sober and positive people will help you out a lot when looking for work in treatment. When you are active in the recovery community and stay in contact with therapists or administrators you can consistently show you are reliable and ambitious about becoming part of the recovery work-force.
Also being active and accountable in whatever positions you hold while working towards this goal is very important. Any respectable job will want to see that you are able to stay on task, put forth a solid effort and be passionate about what you do. Also, seeking a position at the treatment center you attended may put you at an advantage depending on the company because you are familiar with the philosophy of that entity enough to understand and uphold their system.
Practice Your Principles
Make sure to keep growing and striving for the goal, and to practice your principles of sobriety openly and honestly. If you want to get work in the treatment industry and you’re in recovery it is vital that you stay on top of your own recovery, and again lead by example.
When practicing your principles whether you are training, interviewing or applying for work in treatment is important in order to communicate and express your talents and abilities in the position you’re seeking out. In recovery it is important not to set expectations, but be prepared to set the bar for yourself high so that you can provide a quality version of yourself to apply toward whatever you would do for a treatment facility.
While staying in contact and staying accountable to those who work at the treatment facility, let them see how you carry yourself as a sober individual, and emphasize your passion for these principles that have given you this new life of sobriety. One way or the other your actions will always speak volumes, so do not hesitate to volunteer your time to the treatment program, and apply yourself to every opportunity to show you have and learn and will teach from a personal experience.
Working in drug and alcohol addiction treatment is an amazing experience, and I was blessed enough to get a job doing what I love at a treatment center that had a huge part of saving my life. None of that would have been possible without other people in recovery who were working at Palm Partners when I was a client, and what they did to change my recovery is something I could only hope to contribute to someone else, because the disease of addiction is powerful and fatal, but thankfully we are all in this together. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Addiction Therapist Boynton Beach: Why is There a Need?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 2009, of the 23.5 million who suffer with addiction, only 2.6 million receive treatment in specialized facilities. Addiction therapists are a necessary part of the workforce as there is an increasing need for their expertise; they serve as an integral part of the substance abuse treatment industry.
Addiction Therapist Boynton Beach: What Does That Mean?
Quite simply put, addiction therapists specialize in the treatment and recovery of people with substance abuse and addiction issues.
An addiction therapist, also called an addiction counselor or substance abuse counselor, is a professional in the mental health field who specializes in treating people who struggle with addictions and addiction-related issues. These professionals are often in recovery themselves but this is not a requirement for the job. Addiction therapists work in private practice, substance abuse treatment facilities such as rehab, in group practices, and in hospital settings.
Addiction Therapist Boynton Beach: What is Required to be Certified?
In order to become an addiction counselor, you must complete a training program which includes learning about chemical dependence, psychology, legal issues, and the various different treatment modalities used in treating people who struggle with addictions.
Some addiction therapists hold an MSW, Master of Social Work, while others are either LSWs (Licensed Social Worker) or LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Any of these certifies you to become an addiction therapist and the main difference among them is length of time in an institution of higher learning.
Addiction Therapist Boynton Beach: What Do They Do?
An addiction therapist works with the addict or alcoholic a therapeutic setting, such as their office within a treatment facility. Their purpose is to help the client find the root of their addiction and as well as help clients adjust to and progress into a life in sobriety. The addiction counselor develops an individual treatment plan for each client, taking into account the underlying cause or causes of their substance abuse, identifying what course of action to take in treating them, such as type of therapeutic modality or modalities.
In order to assist their clients in working past their addiction, these specialized counselors educate them about the nature of addiction as well as teach them how to develop healthy coping skills in order to be able to live a life without substances. The main goal of an addiction therapist is to guide – with counseling – their clients into recovery from their addiction so that they can have a greater chance of success at recovery.
Treatment for drug abuse and addiction varies from client to client and often includes a combination of therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, among others.
Addiction Therapist Boynton Beach: How Can They Help?
Many people think of hard drugs when they hear the words ‘substance abuse’ and ‘addiction.’ However, addiction can include so-called soft drugs, such as marijuana. Addiction is a chronic medical condition which affects an individual in two main ways: they struggle with obsessive thoughts that lead to compulsive behaviors. This cycle brings about negative consequences, such as loss of relationships, job, money, or legal and health issues.
Addiction therapists in Boynton Beach also work with people who are struggling with addictive behaviors, like gambling, shopping, eating disorders, and sex, to name a few. Some addiction counselors specialize in a particular area of interest, while other addiction therapists in Boynton Beach treat a wide range of addictions. In all cases, addiction therapists meet with clients in both private and group settings to provide talk therapy in which they discuss ongoing issues and develop treatment plans and ways to cope with life on life’s terms.
Addiction therapists in Boynton Beach see the importance of including family members in their treatment plans and so they offer family therapy in which they educate the loved ones of addicts on the nature of the disease of addiction as well as help to facilitate family communication. Lastly, addiction therapist Boynton Beach help to run addiction programs which range from residential or inpatient facilities for treatment to intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and you are seeking an addiction therapist in Boynton Beach, please call toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist who can answer your questions and share with your some resources. Call us any time, day or night. We are always available to help.
The best drug rehabs in South Florida have many keep factors that set them apart from other treatment facilities. It all starts with the necessities of physical detox and recovery, and leads into programs promoting positive growth. The best drug rehabs in South Florida are always dedicated to helping people struggling with substance abuse and their families recover from addiction and any underlying issues or behavioral conditions that may coexist with that addiction.
Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is a crippling illness that affects every individuals life and development differently, and the best drug rehabs in South Florida do what is needed to create a treatment program structured around the individual and that take a personalized approach. The best drug rehabs in South Florida incorporate education, awareness, and real-life application in the process of treating substance abuse and addiction. By establishing a fulfilling and tranquil environment for patients to take ease and comfort while they learn the skills necessary to change the behavioral patterns and understand their illness. The best drug rehabs in South Florida have these 8 things in common.
- Medical Detox Facility– with a highly trained staff of nurses and technicians with experience treating addiction.
- Inpatient Treatment– any treatment program should give the person struggling with addiction a period of residential treatment to stabilize after medical detox while learning new structure of recovery.
- Individual and Group Therapy– the best drug rehabs in South Florida provide both group therapy for peer counseling, but also individual therapy with addiction specialists to address underlying issues.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment– many people with addiction have mood or behavioral disorders, or even multiple addictions.
- Holistic Therapy– the best drug rehabs in South Florida offer programs that don’t just address the physical aspect, they also educate, address social and mental health, and offer a variety of spiritual outlets.
- Relapse Prevention– programs set up to educate the patient about the dangers of old habits and other circumstances and situations that may lead to relapse, and how to avoid these threats or to properly address issues in life with new coping skills.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs– the best drug rehabs in South Florida provide a stage a treatment focused on the transition back into the every-day life and society while still teaching the patient and offering therapy to assist in that process.
- Aftercare Program– After leaving treatment, the best drug rehabs in South Florida help each individual design a continued recovery plan specific to them, with options for continued therapy.
The best drug rehabs in South Florida understand the stresses and health risks of substance abuse and drug addiction, and the desperation and harm it can bring to a person and their loved ones. The goal of any of the best drug rehabs in South Florida is to make the choice to get help as simple as possible, and give the person struggling the hope and confidence needed to get back on track. Changing your life is not always easy, but the best drug rehabs in South Florida do everything to make it easier for you and the ones you love.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135