The Link between Heroin and Rx Drug Abuse

Ten bucks.

That’s all it costs for the intense high you first experience with herion. That’s less than a six pack of beer. It’s cheaper than meth or weed, and just as easy to obtain. Oxycotin or Percocet cost $60 a pill. But heroin is only $10 a bag.

richaddict

Heroin is hitting suburbs and small towns hard as prescription drug addiction feeds the rise in heroin use.

Much has been made of the recent rise in heroin deaths. It’s been all over the news. Our community, like most others in the US, is in the midst of another heroin “epidemic”. And everything we think we know about heroin addiction is being challenged. The stereo-typical image of heroin users as skinny, pale, strung-out drop-outs living in dirty high-rise apartments in the big city no longer applies.

This time it’s mostly middle class socialites.

This time the epidemic focuses in the suburbs and small towns, with high school track stars and soccer moms. Often it starts with prescription meds from an injury. Or maybe just some fun at a party. Its ok, because pills are safe, right? They come from a pharmacy.

But then addiction sets in and it gets very expensive, very quickly. What to do, what to do? Heroin, says your dealer. It’s cheap, and it’s the same thing, really. It’s just another form of morphine, just like the Oxy you’ve been popping. Plus, you get a better high. Quicker, more intense. And it’s only ten bucks. Ten bucks. That’s how the soon-to-be valedictorian and the lawyer with a wife and three kids end up with track marks on their arms.

That’s how addiction can destroy a life. Ten bucks at a time.

If you have a loved one struggling with a heroin addiction, call Recovery Resources today.  217-224-6300.

A recent  report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that people aged 12 to 49 who had used prescription pain relievers nonmedically were 19 times more likely to have initiated heroin use. To read more about the link between prescription drug abuse and heroin, click here.

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One that Got Away: Escaping the trap of addiction

Drug addiction is a big part of Ashley’s life.

Ashley's proved that it is possible to escape generational patterns of drug abuse.

Ashley’s proved that it is possible to escape generational patterns of drug abuse.

Her parents are currently in recovery, but from the ages of 15—17, they were in high risk addiction.  Her uncle died of a drug overdose.  So did her cousin, and an aunt.  Her first boyfriend was arrested for drunk driving before he was 17.  A college classmate would be dead from alcohol poisoning if she hadn’t called 911.  And Ashley’s not even 21 years old yet. 

Her story is not a happy one.

“At sixteen, I watched my dad beat my mom in front of my little sister,” explains Ashley. “No one should ever have to deal with that.” She also dealt with physical and verbal abuse from her dad, and took on the parental role for her sister.  “Every day I would have to leave in the middle of my first hour class to call my sister to make sure she got up and got on the bus, because my parents weren’t there,” stated Ashley. “They just weren’t ever there.” 

Finally the day came when problems escalated.  The violence, the addiction, the neglect, it all came to a head and Ashley finally called the police for help.  In response, her father threatened to kick her out of the house and take her car.  Despite all this, Ashley stayed at home with her sister and witnessed her parents journey to recovery. “While it was a rough time,” says Ashley, “I got to witness them change their lives through Christ.”

Today Ashley is a student at Quincy University, her sister is finishing high school, and her parents are in recovery.

Ashley is so thankful for their recovery that she cries whenever she talks about it.  

And the pain of their addiction has motivated her to help others.  Ashley shares her story as often as she can, and studies Psychology with the hope that someday she can do even more to help others escape the trap of addiction.

 

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Hard Conversations

Family members of individuals struggling with addiction often wonder if they can do anything to help.

NOT like this.

NOT like this.

The answer is emphatically yes! 

Family and friends often play a pivotal roll in motivating their loved ones to seek help for their addiction.  In fact, recent research shows that as few as 3% of those who get help for their addiction are self-motivated to seek help.  The vast majority of people who seek help do so because of outside factors, like the influence of a family member or loved one.  Here are some simple but important guidelines on how to help your loved one take that first step toward recovery.

Like THIS.

Like THIS.

Wait until he/she is sober.  No matter  what just happened, confronting someone when they are drunk or high is a bad idea.  Better to wait until everyone is sober, calm and in a relatively good mood.

Don’t accuse, illuminate.  Making accusations only puts people on the defensive.  Instead, approach the conversation from your own experience. “Your drinking makes me feel . . . “ or  “When you are high, our kids say that you . . .” Strive to communicate to your loved one how their addictive behavior is hurting the people they love.  But make sure you do so with compassion, not anger.

Patience and Persistence are key.  Sometimes a loved on who is struggling needs to let your words soak in.  Don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond right away.  Be patient and keep trying.

See it through.  When they are ready, help them make the call for help. 217-224-6300. Drive them to their first appointment, work out the details with them.  Do whatever it takes to let them know they are not alone.

Helping a loved one struggling with addiction is never easy.  But really, truly loving someone never is.  I hope this helps you start that hard conversation.

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Your Actions Matter Public Awareness Campaign

Operation Snowball Student Leaders are part of a movement of youth statewide working with participating stores to spread the word across Illinois that “YOUR ACTIONS MATTER!”  The youth-designed campaign materials carry a positive message, and serve as a reminder that the vast majority of adults in Illinois do NOT give alcohol to minors nor do the majority of teens drink alcohol.

These positive messaging materials remind adults that giving alcohol to minors – and underage drinking – is NOT the norm.

Underage drinking prevention is everyone’s responsibility.  Adults, youth, law enforcement, and retail stores all need to be part of the solution. Recovery Resources Prevention Specialist, Pam Foster, recognized Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits for its desire to manage the sale of alcohol responsibly and wanted to showcase the business as a partner in this effort.

Mayor Kyle Moore started the event by declaring that April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  Joining him were  Chief Rob Copley, Sheriff Brent Fischer, Illinois State Trooper Mike Kindhart, Rick Goughnour Interim Executive Director Recovery Resources, Paulette Sackett from Recovery Resources,  Amanda Crumrine from the Adams County Health Department, Operation Snowball members and employees from Hy-Vee.

“A strong community message is sent when businesses like Hy-Vee, Ayerco, Casey’s General Store and County Market takes responsibility for speaking out against underage drinking,” said Pam Foster coordinator of the event.

“Allowing minors to consume alcohol in your home, or any place under your control, carries the same penalties under the law as furnishing, even if you don’t supply the alcohol” she reminded parents.

We are working together to create a safer, healthier lifestyle by combating the problem of underage drinking.  Alcohol has been identified as the number one drug of choice among Illinois youth, and according to local youth, one of the easiest substances to obtain. The YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! campaign hopes to cause adults to think twice before making it any easier for youth to access alcohol.

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Prevention Education FY14 Slideshow

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Help Wanted: Do good and earn a little cash working part time!

Help WantedHELP WANTED: Full or pt. time Substance Abuse Residential Technicians. Diploma or GED required. 21 years/older. Evening, night and weekend shifts. Apply in person: Recovery Resources, 428 So. 36th St., Quincy. EOE.

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Drug Court Counseling Update

drug ctRock bottom is our typical starting point in the Drug Court Counseling Program.

 The majority of clients who enter our Adams County Drug Court (ACDC) counseling program have never experienced an extended period of sobriety as adults.  Many come from families where addiction, abuse, and crime are generational patterns learned from family members.  They are often unemployed, have other mental and physical illnesses, and some are also homeless and without support of any kind.  They are broken individuals with little hope beyond their next fix, who cannot see a way past their addiction.

Over the course of 18-19 months, with the aid of an intense, highly structured probation which includes weekly, biweekly or monthly court appearances and weekly urinalysis, ACDC clients detoxify and achieve sobriety. They begin to understand how and why the drug has affected them physically, mentally and emotionally. They also gain an awareness—many for the first time—of how their addiction has impacted those they love.

During this time, Drug Court clients experience some challenging physical, mental and emotional difficulties.

For example, meth has a long-term physical and cognitive impact on the body, and many users experience withdrawal and craving symptoms for years after getting clean.   During detoxification and withdrawal, it is also common for clients to experience depression, feelings of paranoia, and extreme difficulty with concentration, memory, and learning.   These symptoms are all directly related to how meth affects the human body, and can last for years after the client stops using the drug.

Despite all this, clients must develop plans on how they will avoid encounters with other addicts and dealers, and strategies to deal with them safely if they do encounter them.  During this time, many clients fear for their life as dealers threaten them for debts owed or obligations unmet.  Through all of this, clients are expected to stay clean, obtain a safe place to live, and seek employment or other useful activities to fill their time.  Some are encouraged to obtain a GED or otherwise improve their education. As part of their therapy, they are also encouraged to rebuild family relationships and develop a support network that often includes a church and 12-step support groups.  Throughout all this they must meet all the requirements of their probation and other legal mandates.

The overall recidivism rate for ACDC is 18%. If we compare that number to the recidivism rate for standard incarceration/probation drug offenders of 70%, it is an impressive impact.  This means that, in Adams County, 82% of our graduates do not re-offend for at least two years post-graduation, compared to 30% of those who participate in standard probation.

 A complete change of life is not easily achieved, and the work of that change continues long after clients graduate and leave our care.  Their goal, and ours, is for them to establish a clean and sober life and end their active addiction and criminal behavior, once and for all.  For those that make it to graduation, we are 82% successful in meeting that goal.

 

 

 

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23rd Annual Snowflake Influences Students to Live Drug Free

WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Drugs Are Despicable!!!!

On Friday, February 21st, more than one hundred Adams County seventh graders gathered at Salem Church in Quincy to learn just how despicable alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can be in their lives.  This year’s theme was “Drugs are Despicable”  from the movie Despicable Me 2.  Twenty-six student leaders in grades 9 – 12 host this one-day annual event to teach kids how to resist drugs within the context of goal setting, decision-making skills, positive peer bonding and effective communication skills.

Guest speaker Ashley Reed, a Psychology student from Quincy University, shared her story of how generational drinking and drug use in her family had impacted her life and of the challenges she faced in escaping those dangers.  Students also participated in interactive breakout sessions that taught on ways to say no to alcohol and drugs, how to set goals and work toward them, identifying positive peer groups and avoiding negative peer influences,  and how to influence friends to stay drug free.

The event was sponsored by Recovery Resources, HyVee, County Market, and Rinella Beverage Corp.

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New Efforts Support Addiction Treatment

WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

“We need to stop the tide of the heroin epidemic today,” said state Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst. “Families are watching their children and their parents die slowly day by day.”

Reboletti and other state lawmakers unveiled a wide-ranging legislative package that would address the issue Thursday at the DuPage County Judicial Center in Wheaton.

The proposed legislation — expected to be filed later this month — would require every county’s public health department to track and report the number of drug overdose deaths to the state. It also includes a bill to raise penalties on a drug called krokodil, to be on par with those for heroin.

The legislation would seek to address a broad range of drug-related issues, including the abuse of doctor prescriptions and coroner or medical examiner death reports. It also would extend statutes that allow prosecutors to go after gang leaders and use the money from these cases to fund substance-abuse treatment centers.

Funding substance abuse prevention education and addiction treatment programs has always been more effective than incarceration alone.  Communities that combine education and treatment options with legal sanctions will succeed in reducing substance abuse in their area.

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A New Recovery Group for the LGBTQ Community

We are all unique, and we all matter.  We value you.  You are part of us.

We are all unique, and we all matter. We value you. You are part of us.

Recovery does not happen in a vacuum.  

No matter who you are, a community of supporters–other sober people who will encourage you in your recovery–is an essential ingredient to long-term recovery.  And for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) individuals who often feel isolated and rejected by society, this is especially true.

At Recovery Resources, we believe that everyone deserves a chance at a healthy life.

And we are here to help you achieve recovery and wellness in an open, supportive environment.    Each of us is unique, with a different look, a different sound, and a different way of living.  But we are all together in this community, and we all matter.   Our differences need not separate us, because separation only weakens us all.  And our differences are so very small when compared to that which unites us–our mutual humanity, our love for our families, our need for acceptance, and our search for health, healing, and understanding.

We value you.  You are part of our community.

If you would like more information about our LGBT Recovery Group, stop by our Meet & Greet this Thursday, 2/6/14, at the Broadway HyVee dining area from 12:30 – 1:30 pm.  All are welcome!

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