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Friday, March 29, 2019

An Open Letter About Addiction

The Addiction Policy Forum is an organization working to eliminate addiction as a major health problem in the following areas:
  • Raising Awareness
  • Prevention
  • Helping Patients and Families in Crisis
  • Promoting Treatment
  • Promoting Education and Advocacy
One of the organization’s more recent initiatives is #192aDay. The campaign takes its name from the ever-growing number of lives lost each day due to a drug overdose.

When the campaign started in 2016, the initiative was called #129aDay; based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures for 2014.

In 2017, the daily overdose death toll in America rose to a staggering 192 people, hence the update to #192aDay. The campaign, among other things, brings together individuals left behind when a loved one dies from an overdose. Sharing stories of loss can help others find treatment and recovery before tragedy strikes.

Overdose Goes Beyond Opioids


The daily number of overdoses is made up of several different drugs and types of drugs. Opioids may have the market share, but they are not alone. Prescription sedatives like benzodiazepines, alcohol, and methamphetamines show up in toxicology reports regularly.

America is the middle of an addiction crisis that goes far beyond the opioid epidemic. People who struggle with alcohol and substance use disorders do not fit a single stereotype. Addiction transcends socio-economic boundaries. It also affects people of all races, genders, age groups, and spiritual affiliations. Addicts can be parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

#192aDay’s website is home to a remarkable number of powerful and poignant stories. What’s more, a group of brave individuals wrote an open letter recently. The letter’s title is: “9 Things We Wish We'd Known: A Letter From Families Who Have Lost a Loved One to Addiction.”

The letter opens with the statistic that every day in America 192 people die from drug overdose — that’s like a plane crashing each day, day after day. The authors add:  

We write this letter as families who have lost our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers. We are from different communities, cultures, and religions but we have linked together, arm in arm in our shared heartbreak, to help other families impacted by the disease of addiction and to protect other families from this tragedy. 

This letter to you is about the things we wish we had known — the things we’ve learned since we suffered our losses and wish we had done differently.
  1. Don’t Ignore the Signs
  2. Don’t Wait for Rock Bottom
  3. Recovery Takes Time
  4. Find Quality Treatment
  5. Use all the tools in the toolbox
  6. Non-fatal overdoses are a key warning sign
  7. Pay attention to early substance use
  8. Understand the link between suicide and addiction
  9. Find Support
We invite you to read the letter in full, here.

“It’s time we recognize addiction for the disease that it is and move beyond the stigma that enshrouds substance use disorders,” writes Jessica Hulsey Nickel, founder of the Addiction Policy Forum. “192aDay helps shine a bright light on the beautiful lives lost to addiction and gives voice to the families that have been affected.”

 

Southern California Faith-based Addiction Treatment


When a person seeks treatment for a substance use disorder, they learn tools for working a program of long-term recovery. Still, detox and rehab are only the beginning of a lifelong process; continued progress depends on working with a support network day in and day out.

The parents’ letter provides several helpful points for any person who loves someone struggling with addiction. If you have a loved one who is living with untreated substance use disorder, please reach out to Celebrate Hope for support.

Our Christian treatment center provides compassionate, faith-based addiction programs for men and women. We utilize traditional treatment modalities along with Biblical principles to help people adopt a plan of recovery. Our dedicated team of addiction professionals is available at any time to answer your questions about our programs. Start celebrating Hope by contacting us today. (800) 708-3173

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