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A Mom’s Mission to Help Families With Addiction

Lisa Gray’s 24-year-old son, Jordan, died from an overdose in 2018. She found her son in a van outside her home. At that moment, she promised her son she would continue to fight for help for people battling addiction because it’s a disease that’s claiming so many young lives. As a mom, she feels her purpose now is to educate families.

Fighting the Stigma

She wants families to know that addiction is a disease, and there is treatment available. Sometimes it can be hard to find the resources you need because in many areas they are scarce.

Her organization, A Promise to Jordan, is dedicated to her son. The website links families to important resources to get the help they need. Education, she says, is an important piece of the struggle. People in Connecticut can learn more about the …

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Maine Prisons Expand Medication-Assisted Treatment

In 2019, Maine’s prison system started a pilot program to help prisoners dealing with opioid use disorder. The prisoners received medication that helped them reduce their cravings. Alongside 12-step programs, this helped them stay sober both in and out of prison.

Maine’s Addiction Epidemic

In January 2021, more people died from opioid overdoses than any given month in 2020, starting the state with a stark reminder that the pandemic is causing other public health crises to explode. Maine has lost thousands of lives to drug addiction in the past ten years.

While previously, it appeared the addiction epidemic was on a downswing, the pandemic has caused a new rash of overdoses. In October of 2020, Maine’s Attorney General released figures showing that overdose deaths were climbing during the pandemic. Many overdoses can now be attributed to fentanyl, and most were …

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Appalachian Highlands Program Helps Moms, Families Recover

For moms with addiction, taking care of themselves isn’t their only responsibility. It’s hard for a mother who is pregnant, nursing, or simply caring for children to take the time to get the help they need to thrive themselves. Family life can be chaotic and busy, but addiction doesn’t care – it’s still dangerous. A new program run by Ballad Health, serving the Appalachian Highlands, has created a model to help mothers and children and mothers-to-be recover without splitting the family up. Women in the Appalachian Highlands will now have access to addiction treatment and health that was once much harder to get.

Appalachian Highlands Program For Families

The program Ballad Health provides focuses mostly on mothers and mothers-to-be with children. Some of these women are mothers-to-be, while others juggle work and parenting tasks in addition to trying to manage …

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93-Year-Old Volunteers For Harm Reduction

Betty Dieckmann, a 93-year-old woman in North Carolina, spends her days donating her time to harm reduction. Named as “Person of the Week” by a local news station, she spends much of her time at the Western North Carolina AIDS Project office in Franklin.

Volunteering to Boost Harm Reduction

When “Ms. Betty” arrives for her volunteer shifts, she sits down and spends hours stuffing pouches with cotton balls that act as filters for people who inject drugs. Harm-reduction supplies such as clean needles, cotton balls, and alcohol have become an essential part of addressing the opioid epidemic.

The harm reduction kits are available even amid a pandemic. Besides providing clean needles, users are also given a dose of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug.  The kits also aim to help lower the risks of HIV or hepatitis C, ultimately …

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Pennsylvania Center Helps Addicted Moms With Babies

In Pennsylvania, public health officials have been working to stabilize the opioid crisis. Like many places, addicted persons fell through the cracks a bit when the COVID-19 epidemic hit. In Pittsburgh, doctors and nurses have seen the silent addiction epidemic’s untold stories growing alongside the COVID-1p pandemic. Now, a hospital has a new center in their hospital for addicted moms and their babies to bond.

The Pregnancy Recovery Center

Since 2014, doctors, nurses, and social workers have been on the job at the University of UPMC-Mcgee Women’s Hospital helping addicted moms (both sober and trying to be) find the resources and support they need to be the best moms and self they can be.

While few people are aware of the service, clients say it is a lifeline. In other hospitals, there are many stigmas attached to addiction, and it …

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Popular Anti-Anxiety Meds Are Highly Addictive

Millions of teenagers and adults take anti-anxiety medications like Klonopin, Ativan, Librium, or Xanax to help them with anxiety. Psychiatrists have prescribed them to people for years to help them with crippling anxiety or panic attacks. However, the FDA has only now admitted that there is a dark side to benzodiazepines. Anti-anxiety medications, it turns out, can be highly addictive.

Benzos: Popular Anti-Anxiety Meds

Benzodiazepines are drugs that have been used for decades. Medications like Xanax are used for anxiety, sleep troubles, and various types of anxiety disorders. There are also medical uses for some benzos, such as muscle relaxation for TMJ people and help with seizure disorders.

Black Box Warnings for Benzos

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has created a black box warning that must outline the risks of benzodiazepines on every bottle. The …

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Pandemic Drives Third Wave of Addiction Crisis

The pandemic has ushered in a new era of the opioid crisis, where people are relapsing or escalating their drug use. Addiction is costing more lives. Overdoses in some places have nearly doubled since last year, and there is no sense of the health crisis easing.

The Wall Street Journal published data suggesting that opioid deaths will greatly outnumber last year, which was also a record. In 2019, the United States recorded 72,000 deaths.

Opioid Use Disorder: Relapsing and Lacking Support

Many anecdotes of drug overdoses are about people who had been clean and sober for years. Feeling trapped and isolated, recovering addicts sometimes relapsed. However, they have no tolerance to drugs and maybe no reliable supplier. Addiction forces them to illicit drug deals with strangers. Many of the pills sold online and on the street also contain fentanyl, a …

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Sesame Street Offers Addiction Content

 

Sesame Street launched a new web series last week to help families, service providers and teachers help kids grapple with the issues of substance abuse and addiction.  The initiative, created by Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC), will help children “overcome the trauma of parental addiction.”

The content is aimed at therapists, first responders, community leaders, and others who work with children and families. Addiction is a common family problem that the series wants to destigmatize and teach people to

Sesame Street Offers Content For Kids on Addiction, Too

Not only is there content for family, but there are also special videos for kids. The activity sheets are great for families to do together with their young children. Other educational materials are age-appropriate are available in both English and Spanish.

Jerry Moe, the national director of the Hazelden Betty …

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SD Family Raises Money For Addiction Coaching

 

Addiction is a disease that affects the whole family. After a pair of teens lost their father to alcoholism, they wanted to do something to honor his memory. Harrison, Kaitlin, and Lauren lost their 48-year-old father on his birthday, July 9, 2019. And now they are on a quest to pay for addiction coaching for other families struggling with addiction

Understanding Alcoholism

For the three teens, it took different experiences to understand their father was addicted to alcohol. For now 19-year-old Lauren, it was hard for her to understand that it was a disease until an intervention staged by her family when she was just fifteen.

“I think I thought when I was younger that he was choosing to drink over the family,” she told the Argus Leader. “Once he went through treatment for the first time, I …

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Fentanyl Testing Kits Reduce Harm in MA

Fentanyl testing kits are being distributed through police departments across Massachusetts to help opioid users make better decisions about their drug use and avoid an overdose.

People who have an opioid use disorder often say they started by using prescription pain medication such as Oxycontin. People who begin with pills end up needing more and more of the same drug to get high. Eventually, the prescription pad dries up, and a doctor managing pain medication may flag a person for suspected opioid misuse. This often makes people turn to the street for their prescription pills, without ever realizing the drug they take also has a deadly dose of fentanyl in it, which can lead to overdose deaths. Many people who once used pills switch to heroin as well.

Harm Reduction Through Fentanyl Testing

In Boston and other cities, a newly

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