At the July town hall meeting here in Martinsburg, WV citizens were able to listen to our local officials and those from various other organizations talk about the heroin epidemic here. We had
speakers from the Mayors Office, our Recovery Coordinator, our law enforcement, representatives from a legislative branch and from First Choice Health Systems explaining the program, Help4WV and what it was about.
Vendors from many organizations were present so that citizens could get more information on the services offered here for mental health, substance abuse as well as drug and other addictions and ask questions.
Since then I wonder was it really enough?
I ask that because we still have a high number of overdoses here. People are still dying from overdose here in Martinsburg and Berkeley County.
Here in Berkeley County I can imagine it will exceed well past the village because at present those local with heroin addiction are sent to far away places sometimes outside the state of West Virginia for treatment. We don't have the first step of healing which is treatment and rehabilitation right here in the panhandle.
Now, this is just my opinion. In the sense of the word Addiction as explained by Wikipedia is...
Addiction is when the body or mind badly wants or needs something in order to work right. When you have addiction to something it is called being addicted or being an addict. People can be addicted to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, and many other things.
When somebody is addicted to something, they can become sick if they do not get the thing they are addicted to. But taking more of the thing they are addicted to can also hurt their health. Some people who are addicts need to go to a doctor or hospital to cure the addiction, so they no longer crave (want or need) the drug.
Addiction takes place when the addictive element enters the body. The blood stream moves the element around the body so that it gets to the brain, and makes the person feel that they are enjoying it; then they want more of that substance. This takes place remarkably fast for some addictions such as hashish and cocaine; but all of them control the consumer. Once under this control, the consumer does not have a completely free will, and listens to the addiction's bidding.
People can also be addicted to other things which are not drugs. You may hear people talk about being "addicted to the Internet" or "addicted to chocolate" or gambling. This means that they get into a habit of enjoying that thing, so if they have to go without it for a while, they miss it a lot.
Addiction is similar to a major disease like chronic heart disease or perhaps diabetes, but addictions are not taken as seriously as these major diseases. Most people believe addiction to be a lifestyle choice, which in fact it is but it is also part of a persons genetics. While some people can do things and control themselves others cannot due to their genetic makeup. There are ways of helping the addict but this takes the admission of a problem and then proper testing to reveal what kind of treatment is needed.
We cannot treat all addictions the same. For instance drug addiction.
Drug addiction, also called substance dependence or dependence syndrome, is a condition where a person feels a strong need to take a drug. Addiction also involves other behaviors. These include finding it difficult to control the need to use the drug and feeling the use of the drug to be more important than more normal things such as family or work. When the person does not use the drug for an amount of time, they may suffer from withdrawal.
When a person is addicted, they are usually addicted to a class (a specific kind) of drug. For example: Heroin is a drug that is in the Opiate class. Which means that a person addicted to Heroin may also be seen to have an addiction to other opiates such as Morphine.
A person who may easily become addicted to drugs is said to have an addictive personality. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines drug addiction as a mental disorder. Drug addiction is often linked with other mental disorders.
What I am saying here is that heroin addiction in no way can be compared to say a gambling addiction, a porn or sex addiction or an alcohol addiction. The manner in which individuals are treated for each addiction is different.
For instance would someone with a gambling addiction go through the withdrawal like that of someone in withdrawal from a heroin addiction?
The answer is, NOPE.
The sickness and body pain of withdrawal from heroin and the detox symptoms or other substances can in no way be compared to other addictions. Someone with a gambling addiction or porn addiction will not overdose and die while waiting on a bed to open up in a treatment center somewhere and does not have the possibility of dying during detox.
If we are labeling the recovery resources here in Berkeley County as addiction is addiction and treating all addictions and those affected by it as the same, it will fail.
I'm not saying that to sound mean or to sound Debbie Downer but that it just the reality!
The video above is from Michael Deleon who put together many programs like Our Kids Are Dying and Steered Straight.
Steered Straight. Because you can't scare kids straight today
Addiction Info for this post from Wikipedia
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