The premise is simple: Bring agency leaders to the table and create systems to communicate what they’re seeing. Where are more people overdosing? How can we respond?
The results are particularly important now, says Volkow, when the latest CDC figures indicate deaths tied to meth use increased 35% in one year.
Addiction traps sufferers in perpetual darkness. The road to recovery can be long and lonely and the struggle to find light at the end of the tunnel daunting. Combine these feelings of hopelessness with the social isolation and the uncertainty of a global pandemic, and you have a perfect storm of despair.
Language matters. We know that how we talk about substance use in our everyday lives has an impact on how likely a person is to seek and successfully complete treatment. We can save lives just by changing our language. Seriously.
As Heather Russell prepared for the coronavirus winter, instead of focusing on drinking, she focused on resilience — and on building new habits.
She made sure to get good sleep. She started exercising — she even ran her first 5K race. And she threw herself into her work at an outpatient family clinic, where she assists patients who come in with concerns they have COVID-19.
Opioid use, and deaths from overdoses, has jumped across North America during the Covid-19 pandemic. The construction industry, already facing a shortage of manual labor, has been hit particularly hard. Bricklayers, carpenters and laborers carry heavy loads and perform the same tasks day in and day out, leading to injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, strained shoulders and bad backs. Seeking relief, workers can get hooked on strong prescription drugs such as fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine, and street drugs like heroin.
Addiction is often referred to as a disease of isolation, and overcoming that challenge has only become more difficult during a pandemic that has forced people indoors — in some cases to live lonely lives, with drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the stress.
Several studies have shown that binge drinking has increased during the pandemic, and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited a “concerning acceleration” of opioid-related overdoses last year.
At the same time, many treatment centers have closed down or limited in-person visits.
“Dry January” is a period when participants don’t consume any substances for a month in order to reflect on the role alcohol has in a person’s life. In 2021 it may be even more important for some to take a break. because according to the RAND Corporation, alcohol consumption has steadily increased during the pandemic.
Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress leaders are planning to look at how they can bolster the community-wide response to substance use disorder over the next year amid a worsening drug overdose crisis that has claimed 101 lives in Bartholomew County since 2017, including at least 30 last year.
The stories are featured in the latest version of a three-year educational and marketing effort in Indiana called “Know the Facts,” which aims to build interest through simple, understated messages on billboards, buses, broadcast commercials and social media. The no-frills message: Substance abuse affects every corner of the state, and many of those struggling with addiction are facing a wide range of stigmas that might prevent them from seeking treatment.