TCC Recovery

The Opiate Epidemic Data You Haven’t Seen Before (Presented by Andy Albrecht)

“The Opiate Epidemic” is a phrase Scioto County has grown comfortable with. You hear it on the news, on social media, and perhaps you’re reading this because you’re diligent on staying up to date on this complex issue. With so many people in our community eager to find a solution, our staff makes a constant effort to share the data we’ve curated during our treatment efforts.

On March 1st 2019, Andy Albrecht, CEO of The Counseling Center, met with community leaders at a large church building in Circleville to present the data on opiate abuse and discuss what recovery looks like for our local community.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services puts out a diagram every year, showing client admissions into treatment centers for opiate abuse and dependence.  Opiate trends shown in these images can include a wide range of opiates including Codeine, Fentanyl, Heroin, Methadone, Morphine, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Acetaminophen, and Naloxone. These are opiates that make up drugs of choice such as a Lorcet, Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, and of course, Heroin.

As Andy toggles the remote to bring up the first slide, a map of Ohio appears, separated by county. Surveying county treatment centers, the majority of these county’s show a small percentage of client admission for Opiate abuse in 2001, anywhere from 0% to 6.7% . There where a few areas of concern, Scioto County included (8.5% in 2001), but opiate abuse was still the minority cause of client admissions.

As Andy began advancing through his slide deck, showing the state of Ohio as years progressed, a look of concern washed over the audience.

2001…2003…2005…2007…and finally, the 2009 infographic showing Scioto County peaking at 79.6% of treatment admissions being opiate related, with the lowest percentage state wide being 28.2%.

Client Admissions for Opiate Abuse and Dependence
(high concentrations of opiate admissions represented in red)

ClientAdmissions_OpiateAbuse-01

Immediately questions began circulating the room. How could things have escalated so quickly? In less than a decade, opiate addiction was dominating local treatment centers. Andy followed up with the national stats on “Overdose Death Rates Involving Opioids, by Type”, which displays sharp increases in hundreds of thousands of additional deaths, from 1999 to 2017.

OpiateOD_Deaths

Awestruck by the shear quantity of the abuse, the data was proof of Scioto County’s key role in the opiate epidemic. An Epidemic sparked by the misleading marketing campaigns surrounding OxyContin (with its parent company actively claiming these pills were virtually non-addictive), pills mills’s and years of over-prescribing powerful prescriptions, delivered to an area with high rates of industrial injuries and poverty.

The common question at this point is: How can I help?

After sharing a wealth of information with his audience, and with hundreds of thousands for deaths by opiate abuse top of mind, this quaint community in Circleville wanted to know what they could do about it. To that, Andy’s message was simple.

Everyone has been affected by opiates, 
so recovery must be a community effort.

Whether it’s a close friend or family member, we must not only take steps within our treatment centers to remedy the problem, but also in our personal lives. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that substances don’t discriminate. Anyone is vulnerable. It was with that in mind that Andy shared the 12 steps of recovery with his audience. Whether you’re in recovery or you’ve never used, the 12 steps are an action plan to building an honest & collaborative community.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 

Copyright 1952, 1953, 1981 by Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing (now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.) All rights reserved.

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