Informing the populace on news surrounding treatments and other substance abuse services.

Harry Styles Used to Think Therapy “Meant That You Were Broken”

But now, he says that it’s allowed him to “open up rooms in himself” he didn’t know were there.

Thanks to therapy, Harry Styles says he’s finally been able to unpack a lot of the things that happened to him during his days in One Direction and is slowly learning how to free himself from his need to please.

In his cover story for Better Homes & Garden, the pop star revealed that he first began therapy about five years ago, but he was initially reluctant to go as he thought it “meant that you were broken.” He said, “I wanted to be the one who could say I didn’t need it.” But since then he’s seen how therapy has allowed him to “open up rooms in himself.” He explained, “I think that accepting living, being happy, hurting in the extremes, that is the most alive you can be. Losing it crying, losing it laughing—there’s no way, I don’t think, to feel more alive than that.”

(Via: Vanity Fair)

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These People Started Using Drugs as Children but Turned Their Lives Around. Here’s How.

Honesty Liller started using drugs when she was 12.

“I just wanted to fit in with my friends,” she said. It was the start of a rocky journey that Liller, now 40, said took her to many dark places and made her a very different person.

“With a name like Honesty I would lie, lie, lie,” she added. But when she was 26 years old, a phone call with her father made her realize the “living hell” she had put her family through. That’s when she decided to reach out for help.

Liller’s story is one in a widespread opioid crisis that has gripped the US since the late 1990s. Since 1999 the number of drug overdose deaths has quadrupled, with nearly 500,000 people dying from an overdose involving an opioid between 1999 and 2019, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An estimated 1.6 million people in the US ages 12 and older have an opioid use disorder, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey on drug use and health from 2019, the most recent year for which data is available.

(Via: CNN)

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How COVID-19 Unleashed a New Way to Fight Opioid Addiction

Kevin Pearson used to face a hard choice any time he tried to get clean from heroin and found himself approaching a painful withdrawal: He could try to get on Suboxone or methadone, two of the medications that keep opioid users from craving drugs or withdrawing under what’s called medically assisted treatment (MAT); or he could go back to using illicit drugs. The choice might seem easy to someone who didn’t know better. Why wouldn’t Pearson—or any of the 2.1 million Americans suffering from opioid addiction—just choose the safe, effective option of MAT?

According to the 38-year-old, it’s not that easy. Despite the well-established efficacy of MAT, it’s not always easily accessible. Pearson pointed specifically to “how much of a pain in the ass it is just to get a doctor’s appointment.” It’s usually a two-week wait, he told The Daily Beast, and users can find themselves detoxing in the waiting room. Their insurance might not cover MAT, the nearest prescriber may operate too far from where they live to make daily or weekly trips feasible, and their pharmacist could refuse to fill a prescription for Suboxone. Friends, family members, and 12-step programs could also be against MAT and discourage someone from seeking it out. Choosing methadone or Suboxone over street drugs isn’t exactly an easy choice for someone who has a finite amount of time until they get hit with debilitating body aches, diarrhea, exhaustion, and vomiting.

Or at least, it wasn’t until Suboxone became available through telehealth and the COVID-19 pandemic led to a boom for the companies that offer it.

(Via: Daily Beast)

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How One Woman Created a Network to Support the Families of Those Struggling with Addiction

Joanne Peterson has attended the State of the Union and addressed governors across the country on the opioid epidemic. Senators and attorneys general call her in hopes of better understanding how they can support their communities as they deal with an epidemic of overdoses.

It’s incredibly gratifying work, but when I recently visited Peterson in Taunton, Massachusetts, she told me she would forgo all the recognition for not having had to go through the pain addiction left on her family. “I’d trade it all to just not have … gone through this.”

Peterson’s mission is to help the families of people suffering from addiction. While so much attention is understandably focused on the individual with the substance use disorder, Peterson realized that suffering knows no bounds, because she was such a family member. She says her brother self-medicated with cocaine to deal with his depression and her niece died from a fentanyl overdose. Every time, Peterson felt the personal pain of seeing someone she loved suffer, and the silence that too often followed due to persistent stigma.

Out of her own experience, Peterson founded Learn to Cope in 2004. At first, it was simply a safe place bound together by a few strangers with a shared common pain, invisible to the rest of society. Now, it is a national organization with 11,000 members and growing, providing support to the families of those with loved ones addicted to drugs and alcohol.

(Via: CNN)

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‘Saved Our Son’s Life’ — Injectable Pellet, Fentanyl Vaccine Among Cutting-Edge Addiction Treatments

With recent news of record-breaking drug overdose deaths across the country and in our own backyards, News 5 Investigators went searching for the cutting edge strategies in this battle against drugs.

Joe and Angie Denes are from Marengo, Ohio, a tiny town in Morrow County surrounded by country life. They thought their teenage son Jordan was just recovering from a farming accident and surgery, but then doctors prescribed Oxycontin with 60-100 pills each and refills.

“I looked at (the doctor) and said, ‘Isn’t this some heavy stuff?’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry about that, they the least of your worries. We’ll address that… we’ll deal with that later, down the road,’” said Joe.

That road was a long, twisting nightmare of addiction for Jordan and the family that tried to avoid it from happening in the first place by warning their kids about drugs.

(Via: News 5 Cleveland)

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Instagram Offers ‘Drug Pipeline’ to Kids, Tech Advocacy Group Claims

Instagram says it prohibits drug sales, but accounts advertising the sale of Xanax, ecstasy, opioids and other drugs are still widespread and easy to find on the platform, including for young users, according to a report released by tech advocacy group the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) on Tuesday.

The revelations came ahead of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Wednesday with Instagram head Adam Mosseri, who is set to testify to lawmakers about the platform’s impact on children and teens. It also follows months of reporting on a trove of internal documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen, some of which showed that Instagram can damage young users’ mental health and body image, and can exacerbate dangerous behaviors such as eating disorders.

As part of the report, TTP carried out an experiment in which it set up seven Instagram accounts appearing to belong to teenage users, ages 13 to 17. It found these accounts were easily able to navigate to pages openly advertising the sale of illicit or pharmaceutical drugs.

“Not only did Instagram allow the hypothetical teens to easily search for age-restricted and illegal drugs, but the platform’s algorithms helped the underage accounts connect directly with drug dealers selling everything from opioids to party drugs,” the report states. “The findings highlight another aspect of Instagram’s failures when it comes to children.”

(Via: CNN)

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7 Tips for Overcoming Opioid Use Disorder

More than 2.5 million people in the United States are struggling with opioid use disorder. Opioids are pain-relieving narcotics that include prescription medicines such as oxycodone and hydrocodone and “street drugs” such as heroin. If you develop opioid use disorder, that means you have a problematic pattern of opioid use that leads to serious impairment or distress. You may be physically or psychologically dependent on opioids, or you may be addicted to opioids, seeking a high and become emotionally attached to the drug. Using opioids inappropriately is dangerous because it can lead to overdose and death. It can be challenging, but getting sober is possible with the right tools.

Every prescription medication comes with benefits and risks to weigh with your doctor. Opioids are effective at relieving pain from major surgery, traumatic injury, and some chronic conditions. A significant downside is the possibility of dependence and addiction, both of which are included under the umbrella of opioid use disorder. Behaviors that signal you may be dependent include continuing opioid use even after your pain has ceased or experiencing physical or emotional symptoms when you stop taking the drug. Signs of addiction include seeking a high, taking more of your medication than prescribed, borrowing someone else’s medication, and using illegal drugs.

If you think you might have opioid use disorder, it’s important to seek a professional assessment. It can be performed by a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or nurse, and usually involves three parts. First, you can expect to have an open conversation about how long you’ve been taking opioids, what other medications you take, and your health issues. A physical exam is typically performed, and a urine analysis test is ordered to check the level of opioids in your system.

The primary approach to treating opioid use disorder is to combine medication with behavioral counseling. You may hear this approach referred to as medication assisted treatment, or MAT. Buprenorphine and methadone are two medicines that can be used early in the treatment process to help curb cravings for opioids and decrease withdrawal symptoms. The World Health Organization considers them “essential medicines.” Once your body is opioid-free, naltrexone may be recommended to help prevent relapses by making it impossible to feel high.

(Via: CNN)

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