It’s no secret that my mission in life is to help people win the battle against addiction. It’s a daily struggle and one that is almost impossible to overcome alone.
Your addiction doesn’t just affect you. It affects your family, your friends, and those in your community. Now, I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty. I’m saying that because these are the people who care about you. These are the people that are on your side.
I wrote The Opioid Epidemic: What You Don’t Know Will Kill Your Family and Your Life to help build awareness. To help both addicts and their loved ones view addiction as the disease it truly is rather than as some kind of personal defect.
In fact, I was honored to be interviewed by Jessica Brodkin Webb of The Californian about my hopes for the book. The truth is, instead of the opioid epidemic getting better, it is getting worse. This increase in dependency must be attributed to the COVID 19 pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reported that drug overdose deaths increased by 30% in 2020.
Let’s look at how this has affected our own local area of San Diego. As I mentioned in the article, fentanyl-related deaths increased from 151 to 457 last year. That is a 202% increase in grieving loved ones.
What is the Solution?
I believe the solution is education. Talk to your kids before they have a chance to get addicted. Make the importance of open communication clear. Be supportive. If you suspect that your child, significant other, or anyone you are close to has an addiction problem, treat it the same way you would as if they had a medical problem.
Read up on addiction. The Opioid Epidemic provides valuable information, such as recognizing signs of addiction and an overview of the popular drugs that are being used today. Most importantly, however, my book provides guidance on how to help a loved one recover.
It is a process that should involve medical professionals, mental health professionals, and absolutely no judgment. You’ve heard me talk before about how one of the toughest challenges facing addicts is stigma. That has to change, and that change can begin with you.
No one starts using drugs or alcohol with the intention of becoming addicted. Our broken system has made it a probability instead of a possibility. Drugs are far more potent now than a few years ago. Counterfeit drugs are common. Interactions between drugs and alcohol haven’t been properly studied.
Don’t shield the people you care about from the facts. Learn the truth. Share the truth. It might just save a life.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, try my book. Just reading the free sample on Amazon can provide you with some valuable information. As I said in my interview with The Californian, I truly hope that this can be a roadmap for those struggling to understand addiction.
Read the entire article on The East County Californian here.
© 2021 Scott H. Silverman, “Your Crisis Coach”
About Scott H. Silverman: Scott has been fighting against addiction for over 20 years, one person, speech, and book at a time. Contact Scott by calling (619) 993-2738 or visit Your Crisis Coach to learn more about Scott’s work and public appearances. You can buy a copy of his latest book “The Opioid Epidemic” here. Scott is the Founder and CEO of Confidential Recovery, an outpatient addiction treatment program in San Diego.