Topics People Don’t Talk About but Should: Addictions
The opioid crisis in our nation has made drug use and addiction a common topic in society, but it is still a subject that many people don’t want to discuss in detail. Unfortunately, addiction has not only become an important issue in our country but has affected our state and the Triad as well. While addiction can be a hard subject to talk about, learning how to discuss it is the first step to overcoming it for those who suffer from addiction.
Addiction can present in many different ways, sometimes obvious and sometimes not, depending on what a person is dependent on. Think of addiction as a disease that affects the brain and is often characterized by compulsive use of something despite harmful consequences. Some of the most well-known forms of addiction revolve around gambling, drugs or alcohol. Unlike a habit, addiction is something that affects your everyday life.
The stigma around addiction makes those who suffer from it less likely to discuss it with loved ones or to seek help. Instead, they isolate themselves from those who may want to help them and fall further into the disease. By discussing addiction and substance abuse more openly, we can remove the stigma and encourage those who need help to find it. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are successful because they help individuals find community, support and the tools to heal in a structured environment. Cone Health Behavioral Health offers specialized support groups for adults and adolescents dealing with substance abuse. Members learn about chemical dependency and mental illness, develop relapse-prevention skills, and set personalized goals with a treatment team.
Jenny Edminson, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and counselor at Cone Health’s Behavioral Health Partial Hospitalization Program.