In some ways, people with substance abuse disorders fly under the radar of mainstream society. Even when they are still "functioning," they lead secret lives that expose them to lots of risk. This creates challenges for the users themselves and their loved ones.
One big risk someone with addiction has to deal with is the quality and quantity of their drug of choice.
When someone buys ibuprofen at the pharmacy, they know if they're getting 100mg or 200mg pills. There are instructions that tell them how much to take, and for what symptoms. When someone is struggling with a dependence on illegal drugs, that's not the way it goes.
Right now, people with heroin addiction are at very high risk. Some batches of the drug contain fentanyl, a much stronger drug that can lead to overdoses. Users believe they're getting the same drug as usual, and use it at the same does. But the difference in potency can kill them.
Most people begin using opioids to treat legitimate health problems. Like many aging dancers, the entertainer Prince suffered from joint pain. But this powerful drug helped to end his life.
It's important to be honest about such fatalities. Not to shame the people who've passed, and not to scare the people who are still here. It's important to know that it doesn't have to be that way. New harm-reduction strategies like test strips are a good first step.
But addicts should know that there is a way to stop using, recover and lead a happy, sober life.
At The Haven, recovery is priority number one. Our medically supervised addiction treatment programs work. We offer people the option of recovery, and use a variety of strategies to help make that happen. Contact us today if you or your loved one needs help turning a corner. It's possible to change your life for the better.