You may think you can’t do much about it. BUT you can by helping to end the stigma targeted at people who are addicted to pain killers or heroin. Our low regard for them is one of the biggest reasons people don’t get help. If they don’t get help we can’t end the crisis. Do your part. Let’s stop judging. Support people with addictions. Encourage them to get help.
Please take a few moments and view seven 30-second messages about facts that many people are unaware of when it comes to the opioid crisis.
#1 Not a personal or moral failure but a chronic brain disease
Many people believe that addiction to opioids like pain killers, heroin, and other substances are the result of personal failure, a Lack of will power or character. Scientific evidence says not so true. Research shows that this addiction is caused by a brain disorder. A person with a disease is the same as someone suffering from an addiction to opioids. If you know someone addicted to opioids, encourage them to seek treatment and management of their disease.
#2 Addiction is not the person’s fault
Someone who is addicted to opioids like pain killers and heroin isn’t responsible for having their addiction. Addiction is a chronic brain disease. People don’t choose other chronic diseases, like cancer or diabetes, and addicts don’t choose addiction. Science clearly proves that. But, someone who is addicted to drugs does have the responsibility for getting help and learning how to manage their addiction. If you or a loved one is addicted to pain killers or heroin, it can be managed. Treatment is available.
#3 The neighbor next door
Anyone can become addicted to opioids. It could be your next door neighbor, you, a relative or a friend. Addiction doesn’t depend upon your income, job, age, race, or education. It’s a disease of the brain. So let’s stop viewing people who are addicted to pain killers or heroin as weak or awful people. They have a chronic disease and they want to recover just like anyone else with a chronic disease. Recovery is possible! Be kind to the neighbor next door.
#4 What a shame
“She’s addicted to pain killers. He’s addicted to Heroin.” What a shame! We have all heard it or even said it but actually some of the shame is on us! How we think about people with addiction and how we label them affects them. Our opinion can be so harmful that many drug users who want help don’t get it because they fear what people think of them. They need to seek treatment. So let’s do our part and stop shaming. Encourage instead. Treatment works.
#5 Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain
You know about Cancer…Diabetes…..Asthma….Hypertension…..They are all chronic diseases. And now you know of another one…. addictions to opioids like pain killers, heroin, and other substances. Scientific research has clearly shown that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain. Treat people who suffer with an addiction to opioids like you would someone with a chronic disease. People with chronic diseases need treatment, including those with an addiction, and opioid addiction can be treated successfully. If a friend or family member is addicted, don’t reject them, show your support, and help them get help. Call Twin County Recovery Services at 943-2036 or 828-9300 or talk with your primary care doctor.
#6 Tired of hearing about the opioid crisis? You can help
Tired of hearing about the opioid crisis? You may think you can’t do much about it. BUT you can by helping to end the stigma targeted at people who are addicted to pain killers or heroin. Our low regard for them is one of the biggest reasons people don’t get help. If they don’t get help we can’t end the crisis. Do your part. Let’s stop judging. Support people with addictions. Encourage them to get help.
Perhaps you are in recovery for addiction to pain killers or heroin, and you’ve relapsed. Don’t be discouraged, most chronic diseases involve changing old habits, and relapse often goes with the territory. Treatment has not failed, it just needs to be restarted, adjusted or maybe a different approach. If you’ve relapsed, don’t give up. Relapse does not mean you will never reach long-term recovery. If you know someone who is relapsing, don’t judge them, guide them.