Getting help in the form of professional treatment is the next step for someone who thinks they have a substance use problem. But that next step can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with the different types of addiction treatment that are available. What’s the difference between residential, outpatient, and other kinds of professional help for addiction? Which one might be right for you or your loved one?
This is the debut episode of the Stepworks Connect Podcast!
For your audible enjoyment, we’re launching this series to explore and debate topics in addiction, treatment, and recovery. The podcast will include diverse guests, from recovery experts and behavioral health professionals to ordinary people who have had personal encounters with addiction and recovery. Our purpose is to engage you in useful conversations about the risks of substance use and ways forward in recovery. Listen in and share the podcast with others! If you have any comments or suggestions, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Dr. Tom Ingram”
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It’s very common to be confused about how to help an addicted loved one. Addictions can go ignored by family members or friends who don’t want to push their addicted loved one away. Others have extreme reactions to finding out their loved ones are using drugs and just cut the addicted loved ones out of their lives altogether. Neither of these responses are likely to be ideal for helping a loved one onto the path to recovery. Most people would probably like to find a happy medium between saying nothing and completely alienating an addicted loved one. How can you help motivate a loved one to seek treatment for a substance use problem?
Finding out that a loved one might be struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction sometimes creates a difficult situation. Family members or close friends of an addicted loved one can be concerned about their welfare but also unsure what to do about it. Doubts about intervening might cause family members or friends to put off any conversations about drug use, and as time goes on, their addicted loved one continues to use, falling deeper into addiction.
It’s an understandable reluctance. I know I should say something, but what if they don’t take it well? How can I help if they shut me out of their life? Is it really any of my business? It isn’t uncommon to have thoughts like that, but we should look at a few reasons why it’s important to push through the doubts and talk to your addicted loved one about their problem. These three reasons to talk to your addicted loved one show that the benefits of helping your loved one far outweigh the costs of letting an addiction continue without speaking up.
In 2017 it’s nearly impossible to be ignorant of the levels of drug addiction ravaging communities in the United States. Stories of heroin overdose epidemics or community harm reduction efforts have become a daily feature of news and social media. Just this week The Guardian reported on a study of the heroin epidemic that found that heroin use in the U.S. is about five times greater today than it was a decade ago. Some demographics studied saw an even greater jump in heroin use. What’s being done to stem the rise in addiction?
U.S. House mulls deal to repeal addiction coverage guarantee
Republican congressional leaders proposed a change to their health care replacement bill that would remove the requirement for insurance companies to provide coverage for mental health and substance use treatment. The lawmakers are considering scrapping the “ten essential health benefits” in effort to garner more votes for the American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The change would affect individual market plans, but the AHCA in its current form had already done away with the essential health benefits protection for Medicaid plans. The law would also gradually roll back the Medicaid expansion through which many have been able to access addiction treatment services. One recent report by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky found that Kentuckians newly covered by the Medicaid expansion saw a 740 percent increase in substance use treatment services.
A vote on the health care bill is expected to take place today, with the outcome uncertain. Lawmakers have faced criticism for how the bill would roll back addiction coverage and access to addiction services during the ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose.
Spring breakers at risk of encountering $5 overdose pill
Officials in Pinellas County, Florida, have issued a warning about pills that look like Xanax but contain the highly potent fentanyl. Users could be completely unaware that the pills contain the potentially fatal substance, and officials have linked the pills to nine deaths in recent weeks. They say the pills are so potent that a single pill could induce a fatal overdose. The officials noted that the situation is especially dangerous given how cheaply the pills can be obtained. One pill is said to cost just five dollars. Those going on spring break in the region should be wary of taking any pills recreationally, as well as knowing the risks of mixing opioids with other substances.
Kentucky doubles down on drug harm reduction services
While increasing access to addiction treatment is essential to countering the opioid epidemic, harm reduction services are also a vitally important aspect to fixing the country’s serious drug problems. New services in two Kentucky regions aim to enhance Kentucky’s harm reduction abilities. In Northern Kentucky, community leaders are looking at a convenient medication disposal service as a way of intervening before some addictions get started. Because many have become addicted first by using medications that were legally prescribed, easy disposal of excess medications could stop them getting into the wrong hands and leading to new addictions. The disposal pouches destroy the drugs placed inside them and can be thrown away by the consumer. Officials hope that distributing the pouches for free across Northern Kentucky will lead to a reduction in addiction sufferers.
In Madison County, Kentucky, the health department announced plans to introduce a mobile needle exchange program. The service will build on Kentucky’s growing resource of needle exchanges, with at least 15 other such programs operating in the state. These programs are effective at harm reduction, reducing the number of needles that could be infected with a diseases like the hepatitis virus or bacteria that lead to dangerous infections. In addition, the clean needles that will be distributed will be one-time use only, discouraging the dangerous practices of sharing or reusing needles. Needle exchange programs are often beneficial not only for harm reduction, but also for creating points of contact for drug users to receive encouragement to seek treatment.
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Header image by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Out of all the ways that addictive drugs are used, using needles to inject drugs into the bloodstream can carry the greatest risks to one’s health. While it’s pretty widely known that injecting drugs is associated with hard drug use and high risk for overdose, many people aren’t aware of the range of harmful consequences that can come from just one use of a needle.
Stepworks Recovery Centers sets out to create a place where we would feel confident sending our own loved ones for addiction care.
Did you know that addiction is a chronic, lifelong disease that can have irreparable consequences if not treated properly? Our team at Stepworks is dedicated to helping people prevent the devastating outcomes of drug and alcohol abuse through education, therapy, and recovery practices that can serve you long after completing treatment. The paramount focus of our treatment is to help your loved one rediscover life without substance use and begin the journey to a fulfilling life in recovery.
If your family member or loved one is struggling with a substance use problem, take some time to browse our website and learn how Stepworks can help. Need help figuring out how to start a conversation about substance use and treatment with your loved one? Check out our post, “12 Tips for Helping Kids Understand Addiction,” for some ideas (most of these tips can be used to talk with adults as well as kids).
Stepworks is just one step in the process of recovering from an addiction. Help your loved one find their footing by sharing Stepworks’ compassionate model of treatment.
If you or someone you know is in need of addiction treatment, please fill out the form below or call us at (800) 545-9031.
No one wants to be addicted to drugs or alcohol, and it can be difficult to accept that you might have an addiction. You’ve probably heard that only 10–11 percent of people who need substance use treatment are getting it. There are different reasons for that treatment gap, not all of them personal. But there are many people who don’t get the help they need because they either don’t know if they have an addiction, or they don’t know what to do about it.
For those who haven’t had any experience in the addiction treatment community, the range of providers and services can be daunting. It’s easy to put off getting help if the next step isn’t clear to you. What should you do if you think you might have a substance use problem?
If you’re aware of the opioid addiction epidemic, you’ve probably heard the word “naloxone.” This medication, which reverses an overdose from opioid drugs, has been central to efforts to combat rising rates of overdose deaths. Many efforts to address the crisis have focused on getting forms of this overdose aid into the hands of anyone who might be involved in an overdose situation. But one medical device company is taking heat for a dramatic hike in the price of a popular naloxone injector device.