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Misunderstandings about Addiction

Again this morning, the news repeatedly featured a couple from Florida that overdosed in a vehicle with their young daughters in the back seat.  It is always my concern that these pictures are intended to shock addicts into simply stop using. Instead these images create anger and more misunderstandings about addiction.

I realize that it only takes seconds to snap a photo, but children needed to be reassured and comforted and emergency services needed to be called as quickly as possible. Opioid addicts have an altered brain chemistry.  The addiction is so powerful, that they cannot make the connection between the cause and effect of their drug use.  These displays deepen the isolation and shame that families experience with an addicted family member.  Although I started this post by saying what is wrong and not working, I am fully prepared to share that recovery is possible and we see it each and every day at the Women’s Recovery Center.

Addiction extends beyond the addict.  Long term and successful addiction treatment requires individualized care planning, a support team that may involve parents, a judge, probation officer or social worker.  We see every day the recovery and healing, but it takes a village to create life-long and life-saving change.  Thank you to the ADAMHS Board, City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Council for announcing a pledge to spend $1.5 million for addiction treatment in Cuyahoga County.  This combined investment is critical to increase the system’s capacity and to expand access to treatment services.  Click here to learn how the Women’s Recovery Center is Liberating Lives.