Road to recovery not easy task, but possible

Substance abuse is part of our culture now and, sadly, the addiction to drugs is on the rise in Jackson County.

Our county coroner reports that at least 11 people died of drug overdoses in 2011 either by accident or suicide. This number does not include the countless others who spent time at Schneck Medical Center’s ICU recovering from overdoses.

Addiction is a national problem too, and more than 21 million Americans today are using some form of illicit drugs during any given month. Although not all become dependent, anyone using drugs faces risks.

Addiction affects an individual physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

New studies prove how powerful drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin and alcohol cause dramatic deterioration in the brain and bodily functioning. Substance abuse can have a dramatic effect on the brain development of children and adolescents and is often a factor of date rape.

A difficult factor of addiction is that a person whose brain is on drugs does not have an accurate perception of himself and is often irrational and in denial about their problem. This makes relating to an addict or alcoholic frustrating and painful for family and friends trying to help them.

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