Recovery Month: Fight Opioid Addiction through education & awareness

A large group of prescription medication bottles sit on a table in front of a distraught man who is leaning on his hand as he sits at his dining room table. The image is photographed with a very shallow depth of field with the focus being on the pill bottles in the foreground.

Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) asks the nation to observe National Recovery Month increase awareness and understanding of mental illness and addictions, as well as celebrate people in recovery from these conditions.

As a part of Recovery Month, we want to talk about the best ways to deal with opioid addiction, assessing your risk factor, talking to your doctor, and seeking treatment. Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine. 130 people die every day from the abuse of opioids, help us prevent more people from becoming a part of this statistic.

How Do I Know If I’m At Risk?

Most research we have on drug addiction indicates that genetics contribute about half of your risk of drug addiction. Though it might be difficult to know you’re an exact genetic risk, you can know to be on your guard if a member of your family has struggled with drug addiction. The other half of your risk factor has to do with your environment. Whether you have tried or been exposed to addictive substances can dramatically change your risk factor. The important thing is to recognize the factors and keep an eye out for signs

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Opioids

As a result of an unfortunate accident or medical condition, your doctor might consider prescribing your opioids. Ask if there are any non-opioid alternatives that you can be prescribed instead, especially if you have a high-risk factor. If there are no better solutions, talk to your doctor about shortening the time period so that you don’t develop a dependence. Moving from a 7 day prescription of opioids down to just 3 could make the difference.

How To Seek Treatment

If you have an opioid addiction or know someone who does, you can call the National Opioid Crisis Helpline at 1-800-662-4357. There is a wide range of medical and behavioral treatment options that have proven useful for recovery. Don’t go at it alone, help is available to successfully overcome opioid addiction.