In the field of addiction we have an obligation to encourage people with alcohol and substance use disorders to seek help. It is not an easy task, to be sure. However, it is of the utmost importance and absolutely necessary for society. At no other time in our history has the need for people to seek help been so great. Because, unlike the drug epidemics of this nation’s past, the American opioid addiction epidemic is taking lives at a staggering rate. And the length of time in active addiction from opioid use initiation to overdose death can be quite short.
With certain drugs and alcohol, the physical and mental deterioration that can cause premature death is often a slow process. Sometimes taking decades. Not so with prescription opioids, heroin and the like. Loss of life is a terrible tragedy in any situation. But there is always more than the addict himself to consider. Seeing as addiction can affect anyone, people from all walks of life, rich or poor, single or married. Many of the people abusing opioids today are loving mothers and fathers. Despite having small children, many opioid addicts never make the choice to seek help. Even when they want to break the cycle of addiction, without assistance the likelihood is slim to none.
Opioid Addiction Epidemic Children
Children are among the many reasons to expand access and encourage more people to seek addiction treatment. That’s not to say that children should be held over the heads of people with substance use disorders. Ultimatums rarely ever work when it comes to addiction. Sure you can get someone in the doors of treatment by operating with absolutes, but getting recovery to stick and to become lasting requires a different approach. Compassion and empathy from society, results in people wanting to make the necessary changes in their life. Unhindered by stigma, and with ample access to addiction treatment services, the addict and alcoholic are more likely to reach for recovery. The costs of holding onto the stigma of addiction are too great to not take a course of action.
Thousands of babies have been born with the potentially fatal neonatal abstinence syndrome. When a baby is born addicted opioids, they experience acute withdrawal symptoms that require serious medical attention. Experts are still unsure about the long term effects of being born dependent on opioids. Only time will tell, but nothing beneficial to be sure.
In recent years, children have found their parents expired due to overdose. Some small children have even administered life-saving doses of naloxone, a drug that can reverse the deadly symptoms of an opioid overdose. While their parents may have survived, there’s no way of knowing how experiencing such trauma will impact the child later in life. A significant number of children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives. If family is not available, foster care is often called for by the state. Across the country, child welfare services have been mired in new cases due to the opioid addiction epidemic. The scope and scale of this scourge seems to have no boundaries or limits.
Addiction Treatment Is Vital
Relaying such information is not intended to scare individuals into seeking help. Rather, the hope is that greater efforts are made to increase access to addiction treatment services. That more people will begin to see that substance use disorders are, in fact, a form of mental illness. And while there is no cure for the disease, like diabetes, it can be treated and managed with spiritual maintenance as opposed to insulin.
If you are battling an opioid use disorder, we are here to help. At Immersion Recovery Center, we can assist you in breaking the cycle of addiction and show you how living a life in recovery is possible. Please contact us, today.