On August 31st, we recognized International Overdose Awareness Day. The Times of San Diego published an opinion article by Scott in which he called upon San Diego citizens to help save lives. If you don’t think you have that power, you’re wrong.
Often, community is the key to a person’s success or failure when it comes to recovery. As Psychology Today points out, we follow the crowd. We trust products based on popularity; we look to others when determining right from wrong (a.k.a. “social proof”); our views gain strength when we are around others who have the same ideas.
The fact that so many people view addiction as a “moral failing” is the reason that stigma remains so prevalent. It’s the reason that those suffering from substance use disorder are afraid to ask for help. The best way to save lives is to change your way of thinking.
Reducing stigma is one of the goals of International Overdose Awareness Day.
If enough people stop judging addicts and start helping them, the tide will turn. More addicts will seek help, and more addicts will get help.
Scott believes that every day should be dedicated to stopping stigma, educating our youth, and ending the opioid epidemic.
On August 31st of this year, President Biden declared the theme for National Recovery Month: Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.
It’s no secret that his son, Hunter Biden, struggled with alcohol, cigarette, and cocaine addiction. Hunter described addiction as “a never-ending tunnel.”
No matter which side of the fence you’re on politically, the Bidens know what the long road of recovery entails. That’s just a fact. Joe stood by Hunter despite the criticism and stigma that his very public relapses brought about. He is the loved one of an addict, and we must admire his unwavering support.
The Bidens understand that the recovery process lasts longer than a day. It lasts longer than a month. Having a national leader personally invested in reducing the stigma surrounding SUD is a huge step in the right direction. Putting money towards mental health and substance abuse services is a step in the right direction. Drawing attention to SUD with International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month is moving in the right direction.
However, we have to put effort into ending the opioid epidemic every day. We have to support those who have been personally affected by addiction and loss every day.
If you aren’t sure where to start, there are some excellent resources available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website to learn more about addiction. Visit FindTreatment.gov to find a treatment center near you. Or, if you’re local to San Diego, there are options closer to home.
If you are facing a situation with a loved one, spouse, or even a child that has started to spiral, please call me at 619-993-2738.
Scott is the Founder and CEO of Confidential Recovery, an outpatient addiction treatment program in San Diego.
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.
(c) 2021 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.