Friday, October 26, 2018

Opioid Addiction: SUPPORT Act and Take Back Day

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate reached bipartisan alignment on the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act in the twelfth hour of September. Now roughly a month later, the White House has given its stamp of approval on the legislation which aims to combat the opioid addiction epidemic in America, NBC News reports. When covering this topic last month, we highlighted some of the legislation's shortcomings, particularly funding shortfalls. Still, the sheer fact that lawmakers were able to put strong partisan differences aside and address opioid use is an enormous feat by any standard.

Of the 72,000 overdose deaths last year, opioids are thought to be responsible for more than 48,000 Americans deaths in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC. The need for action is in a word, dire! As previously mentioned, the bill is a package of various measure taking aim at several of the salient facets of the epidemic; including directing more money to federal agencies and states to expand access to addiction treatment, preventing overprescribing, and providing more instruction on intercepting fentanyl shipments to law enforcement.

The SUPPORT Act does away with a Medicaid provision that barred people with substance use disorders from accessing mental health facilities with more than 16 beds for treatment, according to the article. Public health experts are supportive of the bill concerning increasing access to treatment; however, Keith Humphrey, a Stanford professor assisting both House and Senate in writing the legislation warns that the SUPPORT Act does not go far enough to reverse course.

“It's not the time to be leisurely, and saying that we’ll get there eventually is not sufficient as an answer,” Humphrey said [of decreasing overdose deaths]. “If it takes another year, that’s another 60 or 70,000 people in their graves. That's not good enough.”


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Hopefully, and despite what the act lacks, more lives will be saved, and more Americans will be able to access treatment. Regarding saving lives, many adults can play an essential role in preventing prescription drug abuse and overdose by taking part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Tomorrow’s event, spearheaded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA, opens prescription drug collection sites across the country. The agency is asking individuals who have unused or unwanted medication – especially people with leftover narcotics – to safely dispose of their drugs at sanctioned collection sites. To grasp the importance of this event, please consider that 80 percent of heroin users first misused prescription painkillers. Many of such people acquired drugs like OxyContin from friends and family members. Please watch the video below:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.


Addiction Treatment

If prescription opioid use is negatively impacting your life, or you feel unable to stop using on your own, please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat. We can assist you in overcoming the cycle of addiction and develop a treatment plan that can help you discover lasting recovery. We invite you to take the first step with HVRC!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mental Illness Awareness Week: Let's Cure Stigma!

mental illness
There’s a virus spreading across America. It harms the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence. It prevents them from seeking help. And in some cases, it takes lives. What virus are we talking about? It’s stigma. Stigma against people with mental health conditions. But there’s good news. Stigma is 100% curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure. Join NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Together we can #CureStigma.

The above writing is the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Cure Stigma campaign manifesto; the content of which couldn’t be any closer to the truth. The impact of stigma is pernicious; NAMI rightly implies that it promotes shame, fear, and silence. The result: fewer people seeking treatment for mental health conditions that are treatable.

Even though society has come a long way concerning acknowledging mental illness for what it is, a group of health conditions that deserve to be viewed the same way one would look at, say, diabetes; the fact is that we still have much further to go toward effecting change. Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH, show that only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. If you consider for a moment that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (43.8 million, or 18.5%) experiences mental illness in a given year, then you will see that the number of untreated mental health disorders is staggering.

Encouraging Americans to cast aside stereotypes and show compassion to men and women battling mental illness is difficult to accomplish. Many people's beliefs and – in many cases – misconceptions about diseases of the mind are firmly rooted. The best method of changing people's opinion is through education. During Mental Illness Awareness Week or MIAW, we can all use the internet as a weapon against stigma by educating people; when individuals have the facts, they are more likely to be compassionate, empathetic, and understanding.

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2018

NAMI offers many resources to help spread the word about the prevalence of mental health conditions in America. The organization created graphics that you can share on your social media accounts to get your social network thinking about the terrible cost that comes with stigmatization. Put simply, when men and women go without treatment, they are at significant risk of harm.

Individuals who feel they must keep their illness closely guarded often turn to mind-altering substances to “ease” their symptoms. Self-medication worsens one’s symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, et al.; self-medicating puts people at risk of dependence and developing a use disorder and co-occurring mental illness. For such people, successful treatment outcomes hinge on addressing both the conditions simultaneously.

It’s possible that some Americans are unaware that they are infected by stigma; they may not know that the things they say and the way the act toward those living with mental illness is keeping them from seeking help. NAMI created a short quiz that can help identify the presence of stigma; please follow the link to learn more.

The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.


Co-occurring Disorder Treatment Is Effective

Take the first step toward recovery with HVRC and Sage Retreat. We understand how difficult it is to acknowledge that you need help. Because chemical dependency and co-occurring mental illnesses are progressive and destructive diseases that require treatment, immediate action and courage is a must; our team of addiction professionals can intervene, confront and empower you toward discovering your true potential. Please contact us at your earliest convenience.