Heartland Human Services

The Elephant in the Medicine Cabinet

By Vincent Warren, CADC, Substance Abuse Counselor

At the risk of repeating myself, this blog entry will be centered around the continuing plague of opiate addiction and the fall-out from it.  The news story below references just one example and a pretty thorough mention of research backing the recent history of how the heroin epidemic continues to boggle the legal and medical experts.  The intervention of Narcan (naloxone) is being compared to when condoms started being pushed in schools and clinics to combat unintended pregnancy and STD’s.  However the detractors keep their voice audible.  It only works if you use it. It won’t stop hepatitis and/or HIV. It just gives the addict less of a reason to stop using, etc.While those statements may be accurate, they aren’t valid.  Narcan saves lives. Period.  I haven’t read one story where it was available, administered, and the person still died from the overdose.  If there is one, it is a unicorn hiding really well or sheltered via the media control of information.  Back to the subject at hand, I won’t belabor with various statistics or further buzzy quotes on the issue.  If you simply search the word “heroin,” the news stories astound the mind.  Next, search the words “narcan” or “naloxone” and hope surges back into the heart.  As for the title of this blog-post, if most families open their medicine cabinet (or wherever your medications are stored), chances are the precursor to heroin addiction is staring at you in the face.  With 3 out of 4 heroin addicts starting with therapeutic and/or recreational opiate pill use, it’s frightening to imagine what’s to come if we don’t talk more about it, support those who struggle, and hold them accountable to commit to a lifestyle of sobriety.  If you or someone you know may have a concern with pain medication or another form of opioid abuse, please reach out for professional help.
Here is an Internet article you may find interesting:

If you or a loved one are experiencing  any symptoms of depression, contact Heartland Human Services at 217-347-7179