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Why Does Utah Have a Heroin Problem?

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Why Does Utah Have a Heroin Problem?

Why Does Utah Have a Heroin Problem?

~Guest post by C. Zavala

Sixty percent of Utahns are members of The Church of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, which discourages its members from using alcohol or drugs at all. Many Mormons even eschew caffeine, due to their religion’s insistence on avoiding harmful substances. With those kinds of statistics, you might think that addiction in general – and heroin addiction specifically,  wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar in Utah.

You’d be wrong. Utah has been hit hard by the prescription opiate epidemic that has ravaged the nation for over a decade. Lawmakers have taken steps to curb the abuse of prescription opiates in Utah, where 23 people still die from prescription opiate overdoses each month. But many Utahns, already mired in opiate addiction, aren’t responding to prescription opiate abuse crackdowns by giving up drugs; instead, they’re turning to heroin, which is now cheaper and easier to get.

The Lure of Prescription Drugs

Utah ranks eighth in the country for deaths from prescription drug overdose, and 71 percent of those fatalities are linked to prescription opiate abuse. But why would residents of Utah –  who are statistically some of the healthiest people in the country,  allow themselves to succumb to drug addiction and death, even against the tenets of their
most popular religion?

According to CNN’s Lisa Ling, prescription opiate abuse and addiction are rampant in Utah because people there, like people throughout the country, assume that the pills are safe because they’re prescribed by doctors. While Mormon teachings do discourage members of the church from using substances like caffeine, alcohol, and illegal drugs, those restrictions do not extend to prescription drugs. Many of the Utahns now struggling with opiate addiction got their first taste of the drugs when they were prescribed opiate painkillers to cope with an injury or a chronic pain condition. While some people can use these drugs for pain with no adverse consequences, others become addicted.

But it’s not just pain patients who are getting hooked on opiates in Utah. Many young people have also fallen into heroin addiction after experimenting with prescription opiates obtained from classmates or from their own parents’ medicine cabinets. Like their elders, teens and young adults assume these drugs must be safer than illegal street drugs because they’re prescribed by physicians. Pills are easy for young people to conceal at school and home, and they don’t need to be injected.

In an effort to curb the problem, lawmakers and prescription opiate manufacturers have taken steps to make these drugs harder to obtain and harder to use. But that’s not stopping determined addicts. When pill manufacturers made OxyContin harder to abuse, addicts turned to abusing Roxycodone, a different opiate painkiller. When lawmakers took steps to get prescription opiates off the streets, desperate addicts turned to shooting heroin instead. Experts believe that, had prescription opiates not been available initially, many of these people would have never dreamed of
trying heroin, because of the stigma attached to its abuse.

Help for Utah’s Opiate AddictsHelp for Utah’s Opiate Addicts

In 2012, 95 people died of heroin overdoses in Utah, and 268 people died from prescription opiate overdoses. Hundreds more are struggling to
overcome addiction and move on with their lives. Between 2011 and
2012, public substance abuse treatment admissions in Utah skyrocketed
by 700 percent. Some residents are moving out-of-state for treatment
at a methadone clinic for heroin addicts, to get a fresh start away from the
people, places, and things that remind them of opiate abuse. Utah is
also seeing an influx of opiate addicts who come here from
surrounding states to seek treatment, for the same reason. Many of
these people have been able to turn their lives around.

At the same time, the loved ones of those who succumbed to the opiate addiction epidemic are agitating for further change. Sandra Kesser of Salt Lake City, who lost her son Josh to opiate addiction, is treasurer of Advocates for the Reform of Prescription Opioids and Fed Up!, a coalition that is working to bring about a moratorium on FDA approval of new prescription opiate drugs, and for a change in
FDA leadership. Members of both organizations place the blame for the nation’s opiate addiction epidemic squarely on the shoulders of the FDA.

Despite being home to some of the country’s healthiest residents, Utah is among the states suffering the most from the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic that continues to rage on unchecked throughout the country. If you or
someone you love is struggling with opiate addiction, get help now, before it’s too late.

RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery." by Joe Herzanek
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audible Audio (6 hrs. 54 min.) Download


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Utah Heroin, Utah Opiate, Opiate Addicts, Utah Heroin, Utah Opiate, Opiate Addicts
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YES!!! I am an Addicts Mom.

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Yes!!! I am an addict’s mom.

Yes! I am an Addict's Mom.
~written by one of the Moms online who has such wisdom to share with us all. If you are that woman and would like to “make yourself known” please contact us at ChangingLivesFoundation@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless!

I am an addict’s mom
I stand before you able to state without hesitation that Yes, I am an addicts mom. I have learned to look past those judgmental stares, sensing what you are thinking, that I must be “one of those Moms.” That somewhere, somehow, I made some horrific choices that sent my child into the depths of hell. I am here to tell you that the choices my child made are his own and his alone. This nightmare is far from what I wanted for my child. Just like everyone with children, there were big dreams and hopes for my child.

Yes, I am an addict’s mom,
I have held it in for too long, hiding my pain, hiding the truths, trying to hide the the hell that is addiction from a society that is very quick to judge before they understand the disease. Hiding from a Society that will, look past that dirty strung-out child sitting out in the cold, shaking their heads, mumbling words of disgust under their breath. A society that would sooner sweep them “under the rug” and pretend that it’s not an epidemic, that can and will eventually affect every family in one way or another.

YES!!! I am an addict’s mom
Do not pass judgement on me and do not label me a “bad mom.” Before you pass judgement on me Know the hell I am living, know the pain I endure. Nothing you say, or the beliefs you may feel about my addict or of the mom that raised him, can hurt me more then the pain I have already put myself through. I have spent many sleepless nights
wondering where I went wrong, what could I have done differently. I am here to say, I did nothing wrong and I
couldn’t have done anything better. I gave as much as I could. This war we fight reaches out to every depth of society, It can be felt among the poor and the rich, the nameless and the famous, this country and that country. Addiction pays no mind to color, race, creed or financial status. Rich or poor, it holds no prejudice toward who it affects.

Society needs to open its eyes. Know that every day, OUR children are dying. Every day more and more children are being lost.

Yes I am an addict’s mom,
I have come to terms with the choices my child has made, can you?

I cry, I grieve, I yell, I hate, I love, I care, but most of all I HOPE.

AND I WILL FOREVER LOVE

Some of us already walk the line.
_________________________________

Share

The Addict's Mom
Changing Lives is proud to partner with The Addict’s Mom
to bring our readers even more support, hope and friendship.

MORE from The Addict’s Mom:
-The Addict’s Mom. She just couldn’t do it anymore.
-Overcoming difficulties living with an addict
-Expectations for our loved one’s recovery vs. reality
-Visit The Addict’s Mom Website

RELATED ARTICLES:
> Read about Al-Anon: The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Addiction: “I had NO idea what was happening to my daughter in-law”

RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory

> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery." by Joe Herzanek
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
>
Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audible Audio (6 hrs. 54 min.) Download


FREE NEWSLETTER:

RETURN:
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addicts mom, addicts mom, addicts mom
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Monthly Review: Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents & more

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Monthly Review: May – June 2014
Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents, Drug Abuse in Older People, Set free from Addiction? and more.

Addicts don't want to die
 

We’ve gathered some recent posts for you to enjoy (Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents, Drug Abuse in Older People and a popular “Ask Joe: Can someone be totally set free from alcohol or drug addiction?). Thanks for being part of our Changing Lives Foundation Community.

Addicts Don’t Want to Die

~ Written by an “anonymous addict’s mom,” posted to the “I Hate Heroin” Facebook Community Page the day following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman (reprinted with permission). This post was extremely popular—with one reader commenting that it was the best post she had ever read! In case you missed it, here is the link below.

It’s easier to think that drug addiction happens to other people, to them, over there. Reality tells us that it happens far more often than we want to believe. It’s a false sense of security.  READ MORE
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Grandparents as Parents,
Fifth Child:
The Turbulent Path That Led to Parenting Our Child’s Child

Fifth Child: grandparents as parents

~By Lynne R. Gassel

Parents don’t plan on their children becoming meth addicts. They don’t plan on burying their children and parents don’t plan on raising their children’s children. Lynne and her husband Stu have experienced the intense heartache and ultimately, the satisfaction of such life experiences.  READ MORE
~Reviewed by Judy Herzanek, Changing Lives Foundation

Lynne Gassel

“God made a good decision.” The true story of a mother’s love for her family,
her sacrifice and selfless journey into parenting—again.


____________________________________________________________________________

Drug Abuse in Older People

Drug Abuse in Older People

Drug Abuse in Older People


Recognizing the signs of alcoholism or other addictions in ourselves, or others, is always difficult, but there is one segment of the population in which the signs may be particularly easy to overlook.
Older people are increasingly likely to be affected by addiction, but their needs are often missed because of the assumption that addiction is something that only affects younger people. READ MORE



_________________________________________________________________________________

Can someone be totally set free from alcohol
or drug addiction?

Can Someone Be Totally Set Free From Addiction?

First let’s define the problem. Alcohol or drug dependency shows up as a loss of control over the ability to use socially. It’s been called a chronic relapsing disease that gets progressively worse over time if not arrested. It is fatal.  READ MORE

__________________________________________________
Our latest addiction resource:

Help for Families Battling ANY ADDICTION.

Why Don't They Just Quit METH? 2 DVD Set

Why Don’t They Just Quit METH? Families need help too.
(Roundtable Discussion 2-Disc Set includes bonus feature)

Answers for families facing addiction for the first time!
Yes, meth addicts DO recover and families can and do get better.

This DVD is for families dealing with ANY drug or alcohol addiction (not just meth).
TO PURCHASE OR LEARN MORE

ALSO AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

With appreciation to our Changing Lives Supporters who made this filming possible,
and to the following for your excellent contribution:
> Tonya Wheeler (Executive Dir: Advocates for Recovery)
> Trish Frye (Program Dir: Rise Recovery)
> Michael Connely: (Dir: Odyssey Training Center)
> Dr. Nicolas Taylor: (Taylor Behavioral Health)
> Warren and Colleen
> Brandon Stiller, Ann Theis, Josh Stanton: (Open Media Foundation)
> Karen Steenekamp: (Open Design, LLC)
____________________________________________________________________________________________

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> FREE NEWSLETTER:
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> JOIN OUR PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP (now over 2,000 members):
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Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents, Drug Abuse in Older People

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Addicts Don’t Want to Die

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Addicts don't want to die

 

I don’t know about you, but lately I feel simply overwhelmed with information—specifically information and misinformation, opinions and conflicting opinions regarding drug addiction.

Everyone seems to have their personal  judgements and answers to the problem.

Following a number of recent deaths of high-profile celebrities due to overdose, there has been a deluge of blog posts, newscasts and articles. Many of these have been judgmental, hurtful and hateful. They have also generated some very well-written, passionate comments from family members who have “been there” and speak from the heart. We reprint one of our favorites (with permission), so eloquently written by an anonymous addict’s mom on the “I Hate Heroin” Facebook Community page.

This post reinforces the universal truth that we strongly support in our book “Why Don’t They Just Quit?” —that addiction is a disease which affects the mind, body and soul. Successful recovery needs to address all three. There is no quick or easy solution. But recovery IS possible and families DO get better. Never give up hope!
~Judy Herzanek/Changing Lives Foundation
__________________________________________________

Addicts Don’t Want To Die

~ Written by an “anonymous addict’s mom,” posted to the “I Hate Heroin” Facebook Community Page the day following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman (reprinted with permission).

It’s easier to think that drug addiction happens to other people, to them, over there. Reality tells us that it happens far more often than we want to believe. It’s a false sense of security.

Chances are that someone you know is addicted to drugs right now, you just may not realize it.

Or you do know, but you hide their addiction because of the social stigma.

Or you don’t hide it, but you shame them instead.

Or you don’t shame them, but you slowly phase them out of your life because you don’t want to be around them anymore or because you just can’t do it anymore.

Or you keep them around, but talk about them behind their backs, discuss how sad it is that they refuse to get help, vow to be better than they are.

Or they do try to get help and sometimes they get better for a while.

Or they relapse and die just like he did yesterday.

The trouble with drug addiction is that it really isn’t about the drugs, no matter how much most people seem to believe that. Drug addiction is a means to an end. It begins usually as a way to try something new, to try to get high, to try and transport yourself somewhere else, to try and just feel better for a minute.

Most drug use is self medication for the things that people either can’t or won’t cope with in real life. The root of most of all that? Mental health conditions, the huge piece of this issue that we find ourselves ignoring all too often every time drugs are involved.

Nancy Reagan taught us all that drugs are bad. D.A.R.E. programs taught us that users are criminals, they are bad people. No one ever bothered to tell us that the vast majority of them were in need of help from a mental health system that largely doesn’t exist.

And you know what happened?

People believed them. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things I saw flying through my newsfeed yesterday in the wake of his death. Proclamations that he was selfish, that he was a waste, that he should have been happy because he was rich and famous. People who decreed from the mountaintops that if he would have just tried harder, he would have been better. That it’s his fault that he died.

In reality, he struggled with depression most of his life. He got clean. He was recently in rehab.

Addicts don’t want to be addicts.

Addicts don’t want to die.

Addicts don’t want to throw their lives away.

Addicts don’t want their children to grow up without parents.

They just want to feel better. They just want to feel normal. They just want to stop feeling everything else for a little while.

Addicts are people, just like you and me.

Addicts come in all forms, dependent on many different things, drugs just being one version of dependence.

The problem is that our system is limited, laboring under the illusion that drug addiction is a criminal issue, a medical issue on the fringes that can be fixed with proper rehab. That all ignores the fact that drugs aren’t the problem…what led that person to drugs in the first place is the problem. The drugs are just a means to an end.

Rehab doesn’t fix addicts. It treats the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Prison doesn’t fix addicts. It just puts them in a cage for a while.

Even death doesn’t fix addicts. It just leaves the people who love them here, forever wondering how different things might have been.

“Addicts don’t want their children
to grow up without parents.”

The only way to really deal with addiction is one that is multi-faceted, one that makes us uncomfortable. It is messy and complicated and takes a lifetime of effort. It involves relapses and second chances and third chances. It involves support, sometimes sponsors. It involves therapy and counseling until whatever the root cause is has been revealed and addressed. It involves consideration of not just the physical withdrawal, but the emotional withdrawal, the social withdrawal, the psychological withdrawal. It involves a mental health system with adequate resources. It requires support instead of judgement.

And sometimes, even when all those things exist, it fails. It fails because addiction can take people and swallow them whole. It can rob them of everything they value, everyone they love. It can strip them of everything they care about, rob them of reason and logic. It can convince them that they aren’t worthy, that they have failed not just themselves, but everyone else. It tells them that they are broken and irreparable. Then it shoves them back down and does it again.

Our society says it failed because they didn’t try hard enough, because they were selfish, because they were stupid.

How exactly is saying things like this going to help anyone?

The short answer—it isn’t. It just allows us to believe that if we try hard enough, if we care about other people enough, if we are smart enough, we can avoid addiction. Our false sense of security hurts those who need help the most.

Never mind the damage done to the people they leave behind.

To those who claim Philip’s death isn’t tragic, I ask you to think about his children. I’m sure they would disagree with you.

Until you’ve been there, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve watched someone you love try and claw their way out only to be dragged back in again, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve seen someone throw everything away just to feel better for a moment, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve dealt with someone desperately in need of help who turned to self-medicating, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve had to tease out where the line between believing in someone and enabling them is, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve had to make choices no one should ever have to make, you can’t know what it is like.

“Until you’ve been there, you can’t know what it is like.”

Until you’ve done all you can to help someone who doesn’t want it, you can’t know what it is like.

We all have our demons. We all have our issues.

Many of us are closer to being addicts than we would ever admit out loud.

Some of us know how easy it would be to turn.

Some of us are addicts already. Some of us already walk the line.
_________________________________

Help is Available
Those who are suffering from an addiction to heroin or any other drug do have options, as do their family members. Rehab facilities around the country offer outstanding care that can help these individuals to regain control of their lives.

For example, those who need help in the Seattle area have a number of different facilities that offer opiate rehab in Washington state from which to choose and the same can be said for other areas of the country. If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction, click here for a list of locations where help can be found.

RELATED ARTICLES:
>
Read about Al-Anon: The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Addiction: “I had NO idea what was happening to my daughter in-law”

CHANGING LIVES FOUNDATION SUGGESTED RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
>
Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery." by Joe Herzanek
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audible Audio (6 hrs. 54 min.) Download


FREE NEWSLETTER:
RETURN:
___________________________________________don’t want to die, want to die, addicts die
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