Substance abusers who can’t get their hands on opioids are reaching for a drug many people would not expect - diarrhea medicines. Imodium and other anti-diarrhea drugs, which they call the poor man’s methadone, are being abused by those looking for their next high, as well as those in recovery who are looking to soften the withdrawal systems. The active ingredient, loperamide, can be toxic and even deadly when consumed in excess amounts, and especially dangerous if mixed with other drugs.
Blog: News & Views from the Field
April 20th has long been a day dedicated to marijuana enthusiasts who come together to indulge in the substance. Given the popularity of the day, the celebrations that take place around the city, and the recent legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, we wanted to remind those on their road to recovery, or successfully living in sobriety, that they should steer clear of any such activity to successfully maintain their recovery.
People in the throes of an addiction are continually seeking their next high, and when the opportunity presents itself, they try something stronger – something that will elevate their high and take them to the next level. And the street market has now supplied them with something new – Carfentanil.
Alongside many other areas of our lives that have been complexly affected by social media, addiction recovery has been wading through its muddy waters in recent years. Social media has become a huge part of our day-to-day lives: it is where we hear our news, find our information, remain connected to friends and family and seek out new communities of like-minded people.
It may be valid to say that we always have a choice. We have a choice in what time we wake up in the morning, what we have for breakfast, or whether to take the bus or train to work. Life is full of choices. But when it comes to drugs and substance use, sometimes this freedom of choice escapes us. The drugs take over and impair judgement and rational thought.
Addiction affects everybody. Never is that more apparent than when we hear about the downfall of a talented, well-liked public figure – like your favorite MLB player, for instance. The sports world can be challenging in many ways, and the culture of drugs and alcohol often becomes a slippery slope for many promising players.
We've talked about the impact of addiction in terms of lifestyle changes, mental health concerns and family strain. What’s left? When people think of addiction leaving lives in shambles, we think of the families, the physical and mental health of the addict, the environment associated with addiction. In last week’s episode of Airing Addiction, Donna Pellegrino and her guest Rich Carr of Carr Financial Group and host of WTAG’s “Financial Freedom” talked about the financial strain of addiction.
In Massachusetts, and across the country, there has been an ongoing shift towards the integration of addiction and mental health services. Integrated treatment is when mental health services and addiction treatment are provided at the same time in one setting. Spectrum Health Systems has always believed that substance abuse is a complex disease and therefore requires a holistic approach that addresses all identified needs.
Addiction, or a substance use disorder, is a long term chronic illness of the brain that is much like having asthma or diabetes. It is characterized by a compulsive use of a substance accompanied by negative consequences, and it can affect anyone: rich or poor, male or female, employed or unemployed, young or old, and any race or ethnicity.