Addiction is a Community Matter

by Phara Morame, is a behavioral health provider for children and families at Healthcare Network

National Recovery month in September promotes and supports new evidence based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible.

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by seeking and using a substance compulsively, or having difficulty controlling use, despite harmful consequences. Most people choose to use drugs voluntarily at first, but continued drug use can cause brain changes that make it difficult to maintain self-control.

Like heart disease, addiction is an illness and can be fatal if untreated. Both heart disease and addiction interfere with an organ’s natural, healthy functioning, have substantial negative repercussions, and are frequently preventable and treatable.

Approximately 20% of American adults are diagnosed with a mental health disorder each year. Unfortunately, more than half of people with mental health disorders do not obtain the proper care. A person with a mental health condition is more prone to turn to drugs and alcohol if they are not receiving adequate care. The human body is inter- and intra-connected, thus a problem in one area could unintentionally influence other areas.

Also, only one in five adults with a substance use disorder receive treatment on a yearly basis. High treatment costs and a lack of access to effective treatments, such as education-assisted treatment (MAT), are obstacles.

Drug addiction is a complicated disease, and quitting usually requires more than good intentions or a strong will. Fortunately, therapies like MAT can aid in recovery and enable people to lead fulfilling lives.

Healthcare Network is dedicated to improving substance-abuse treatment and offers MAT availability, with drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid dependence. These treatments have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in combination with counseling and psychosocial support.

We all suffer when an individual or family is impacted by drugs. You may feel helpless, afraid, bewildered, and desperate if a loved one is battling addiction or a serious mental health condition. What you can do:

  • Express concern, communicate your support and love and offer to guide to resources or treatment. However, honor an individual’s autonomy and ultimate decision-making over their life.
  • Exercise patience and set reasonable expectations. Relapse can happen since it is a normal component of rehabilitation, but it does not mean that treatment was ineffective.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of overdose. Get access to naloxone and learn how to administer this life-saving medication in the event of an opioid overdose.
  • Refrain from displaying pity or rage. You are simply kept in an eternal cycle by this.
  • Avoid preaching and lecturing. Most of the time, they cannot hear what you are saying. Concentrate on your own life. You could be better equipped to help your loved one when they are ready to accept the help if you take care of yourself. Seeking personal counseling may be beneficial.

Those who struggle with addiction are real people with feelings and aspirations. They are someone’s children, siblings, relatives, friends, or significant others. Many individuals can believe that drug users lack moral fiber and fortitude and that their inability to cease using drugs on their own is a sign of weakness.

If your life is affected by addiction or excessive substance use, please contact a professional. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

About the Author

Phara L. Morame, LCSW, MCAP, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work and is a Certified Master’s Level Addiction Professional. She is part of Healthcare Network’s integrated behavioral and mental health team and is fluent in Haitian Creole, French and English. For information on mental, behavioral and substance abuse services, visit or call 239.658.3000.

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