Watching my son Hayden struggle eight years with Substance Use Disorder/Addiction and then losing him to Heroin overdose led me to think of how to educate others about the disease.
I wrote 'I am Addiction Disease' in a first person monologue to express how substance use disorder (disease of addiction) can begin at a young age and to help educate others on drug use and drug abuse which can become an illness. I then believed the monologue needed images to further the message and to help others understand how kids/teens can begin to struggle with the disease of addiction. So, I created the video below.
I always felt like Hayden was someone else when he was using or being consumed by a sick presence. Family must become educated on drugs and have a family plan as prevention. As a society, we must let go of shame and stigma to change and save lives. I miss my son every day and hope the information I share can help your family be better prepared.
Overdose is a tragic reality for many who relapse after being in recovery. Maybe you have spent years watching the one you love to move in and out of treatment centers and finally felt as if they could stay sober this time. When someone’s past has been filled with drug use, they build up a tolerance in their system. The amount needed to get high is much greater overtime.
When relapse occurs after months or years of sobriety, the addict’s memory and habit of the amount they used before they got clean is the same amount of the drug they return to. The overload in their system which has been clean from the drug is overtaken by the powerful deadly dose. The brain is greatly impacted by the overdose and is unable to fire correct signals to help the body remember to breath which can tragically take the life of the one we love.
Overdose by those in recovery is accidental and usually not by choice. If you live with someone who is in recovery, keep Naloxone in your home which reverses overdose and is saving lives.
Is someone in your life displaying odd behavior? Are you finding items in your home which appear as if someone tried to hide them and they are out of place? Do you feel a little crazy trying to understand if substance abuse could be the reason and would like some help? You are not alone and will find some answers in this article. Here are the top 10 signs that will signal substance abuse and possible Substance Use Disorder. A helpful tip for you to remember: If you find an item in your home and not sure what it might be for, search the name of the item you have found along with "drug use" on the internet. Many times you can find explanations and even images how items relate to drug use. These website sites are full of information and have 24 hour numbers you can call for help or questions. SMAHSA and Drug Abuse.
Usually more than one sign from the above list is present to signal substance abuse or Substance Use Disorder/disease of addiction. Maybe your are shaking your head yes to finding or seeing these signs displayed by someone in your life or someone you live with. Please do not wait, turn away or be silent. Open healthy discussion, be willing to listen, calmly ask questions and have a third party present to hear and offer solutions. See the suggestions below to help offer solutions for the person of concern and for yourself while understanding and dealing with this troubling situation. This possible reality of Substance Use Disorder is life threatening and your loved one could find themselves with legal troubles and spending time behind bars.