Page 14 - Scene Magazine 41-09 September 2016
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Overdose rates were highest among people age 25 to 54 years. Overdose rates were higher among non-Hispanic whites and American Indian or Alas- kan Natives, compared to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics. Men were more likely to die from overdose; however the gap between men and women is closing.
In 2014, almost two million Ameri- cans abused or were dependent on pre- scription opioids. As many as one in four people who receive prescription opioids long term for noncancerous pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction.
According to a 2011 National Insti- tute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report, 4.2 million Americans twelve or older (or 1.6 percent of the U.S. population) had used heroin at least once in their lives. An estimated 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.
The amount of heroin available con- tinued to increase in 2012. Some met- ropolitan areas have seen an increase in heroin overdose deaths. Throughout the country law enforcement and treat- ment officials are reporting that many prescription opioid users have turned to heroin because it is cheaper and/or more easily obtained alternative to prescrip- tion drugs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that genetics have a strong in- fluence on whether a person develops a drug addiction, potentially increas- ing someone’s risk by an estimated 40 to 60 percent. So if your parents were addicted to a drug, you are more like- ly to become an addict yourself. Re- searchers feel that environmental and social factors also play a part in addic- tion. Siblings may have the same brain abnormality correlated with addiction, however one becomes an addict and the other does not.
So the question becomes more com- plex by the fact that drug use alters the brain, which raises the question as to what came first the, “chicken or egg?” Is a person’s brain different because they took the drugs, or did they take the drugs because their brain was different?
Scientists at the University of Cam- bridge in a 2007 edition article of the Age in England reported that some people were predisposed to drug addiction be- cause they seemed to lack the receptors for dopamine. The study concluded that the decrease in dopamine receptors ren- dered a person vulnerable to addiction and was not a consequence of chronic drug exposure.
Many people that are addicted also
suffer from mental health disorders, pri- marily mood disorders, and will many times abuse drugs to self-medicate their psychic pain. There are many environ- mental factors that can strongly influ- ence the use of drugs.
Addiction is a chronic, recurring dis- ease like many others and instead of the shame and stigma linked to the addic- tion, an addict should receive the same empathy and consideration given to peo- ple who suffer from other chronic diseas- es, especially when their disease returns. It is important to give them the hope of acceptance to those suffering with addic- tion and to those who love them.
Like with diabetes, addiction is an equal opportunity disease, afflicting in- dividuals with no regard to age, race or economic status. It’s just that the less economically well off are often seen on the street, or homeless, and scrape by to get the money needed to feed their ad- diction. They are more visible and fall into society’s convenient stereotypes.
In the United States we lose a person every 12 minutes to prescription drug overdoses. This epidemic affected my family personally when on June 6, 2013 my son Nick lost his life to an accidental overdose from prescription medication. Nick went to sleep and never woke up. It was determined that Nick died from a combination of prescription drugs, opi- ates and benzodiazepines.
Through the loss of my son Nick I was introduced to an organization called Families against Narcotics, (FAN). The first chapter originated in Frazer, Michi- gan in 2007. FAN’s Mission, “With FAN no family suffers alone.”
In short, at FAN we are all volunteers and our main four goals are:
1. Change the face and stigma associat-
ed with opiate addiction.
2. Provide a forum (for families: condu-
cive to education/peer recovery).
3. Preventative (Presentations at
schools, parent and civic groups,
4. Enhance community options (treat-
ment, rehab, recovery, coach, etc.).
A new chapter specific to Calhoun
County started in June of 2016. FAN Calhoun County meets the second Tues- day of each month at Barista Blues Café located at 91 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI. Meetings are from 7-9pm. All are welcome to attend the meetings they are open to the community.
Join us and make a difference in the lives of people and families right here in the community, possibly your own.
Supporting Healthy Families
Services Include:
Well Child Care, Adult Preventa- tive, Diagnosis andTreatment of Physical and Mental Conditions, Blood and Urine Samples.
Call 269-731-5762
Services Include:
Skilled Nursing, Physical and OccupationalTherapy as ordered by your physician.
Home Health Support
is a Medicare Certified Agency
Call 269-731-5775 ext.137
600 South Lincoln (3 blocks south of W. Michigan Ave.), Augusta, MI 49012
Augusta Family Health Clinic and Home Health Support are Divisions of the Foundation for Behavioral Resources

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