Thoughts from John Perry, Co-Founder, Clean & Sober Recovery Services, Inc.
Communities across the nation are reeling from prescription pain medication abuse, heroin overdoses, and chronic alcohol abuse that is spiraling out of control. And it’s not getting better: A recent study showed that older American adults are drinking more alcohol than ever.
We’re all impacted by alcohol or drug misuse or abuse, even if it’s not happening under our own roof. Think about your friend’s child who died from an overdose…. your loved one who is injured by a drunk driver…the neighborhood burglaries fueled by addiction to costly prescription medications. What about our overcrowded prisons and millions of Veterans addicted to pain-numbing medications? Each of these impact us, and – even more acutely – the parent, child, sibling or friend of each and every statistic.
And each of us can, in our own little way, help turn the tide of alcohol misuse and abuse in our community. Here are some simple things that you can do:
- Many people lack even a basic understanding of why some people drink too much or use drugs. They don’t understand the problem, and they don’t understand solutions. You can help educate them by sharing Recovery 101, a FREE basic primer about addiction, treatment and recovery.
- Give kids a place and a way to shine so they can develop their passions in a healthy way. Iceland did just that – and cut youth drinking dramatically.
- Help friends, neighbors and colleagues understand that substance use disorder as a public health issue. Share evidence-based information, either informally or at an organized community event. Find information and downloadable resources here.
- Create an environment of trust where people can share their concerns about problem drinking or drug use without being judged, blamed or shamed. You can make it easier to talk and help reduce the stigma of substance use disorder by using accurate, non-judgmental language.
- Early childhood trauma is a risk factor for the development of substance abuse and other chronic diseases later in life. Use and support your community resources that prevent child abuse and neglect. Help people in your community build positive parenting skills.
- Provide hope, support and recovery role models for people who are struggling. Lend a hand, be a good neighbor, be kind.
- Finally, for those who need professional assistance to leave drugs and alcohol behind, Clean & Sober Recovery Services is here for you. Call us to learn how we can help your friends, family and colleagues reclaim healthy and productive lives.