America’s workforce is being hollowed out by the opioid epidemic. And amidst the skyrocketing rates of addiction, businesses across every industry are reckoning with the best approach to protect, retain and hire employees.Read More
Those of us who work in the field of addiction, or suffer from addiction ourselves, know the stigma that surrounds this illness.
There's another disorder so laden with stigma that treatment is often roadblocked: mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in 5 Americans (43.8 million) experiences mental illness, and nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. As with addiction, the barrier of shame, fear and silence prevent far too many people from seeking help.
And often, addiction and mental illness are connected. This only compounds the stigma that makes treatment for both disorders difficult to access.Read More
(As told to Katie Roberts. Names have been changed to protect patient confidentiality.)
My Journey to Recovery
I started dabbling in drugs when I was 15 or 16. I was drinking a lot and smoking marijuana.
Then I met my boyfriend when I was 18. He was taking pills and influenced me to take them, too. The pills made me sick, but because my boyfriend was taking them, I continued. Pretty soon I got dependent on them.
As the years went on, my addiction got worse and worse. From the ages of 18 through 25, I was taking pills. And then when I was 25, it became much harder to get my hands on them. The next best thing was cheaper and gave me a better high: heroin.
I started snorting heroin in July, 2012, and then injecting it in November of that same year. Things got bad really fast.Read More
Fitchburg, MA - CleanSlate, a national leader in outpatient addiction medicine, is now seeing patients by appointment or walk-in at its new Massachusetts center in Fitchburg. The center, located at 275 Nichols Road, was opened in response to a request by UMass Memorial HealthAlliance, which sought more resources for patients needing medication treatment. Fitchburg marks CleanSlate's 15th center in Massachusetts and its 45th across eight states and Washington, D.C.
"CleanSlate operates like an extended family, and patients tell us how much they love coming to us," says Dr. Flora Sadri, Center Medical Director for Fitchburg.Read More
This Mother's Day, far too many pregnant women will be struggling, not celebrating.
That's because they're battling an addiction to opioids, which is classified as Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). At any moment, this battle could end in tragedy for mother and baby.
Stigma makes it difficult for people with substance use disorder to obtain life-saving treatment. The obstacles multiply when that person is pregnant.Read More
Opioid use in pregnancy has escalated dramatically in the last decade, paralleling the epidemic in the general population. Pregnant women suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) constitute a highly vulnerable patient population. This group experiences a higher risk of unplanned pregnancy, and their infants are at risk for being born with opioid dependence and suffering Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
Pregnant women often face serious barriers to treatment, including legal statutes in some states that support charging women with OUD with criminal child abuse. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia define substance use during pregnancy as child abuse under civil child-welfare statutes. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia require healthcare professionals to report suspected prenatal drug use.Read More
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdoses increased by an average of 30 percent nationwide from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., warns, “We’ve got an emergency on our hands.”
Even as the crisis gets the media attention it deserves, there still is a vexing roadblock keeping many of those addicted to opioids from getting the treatment they need. As a physician leading addiction treatment teams, the roadblock I see most often is stigma.Read More
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the perils of alcohol addiction and the pathways to recovery. As we close out the month, perhaps the occasion has sparked just a little more discussion and determination around seeking treatment.
But one thing is for certain, this month and every month: few people are discussing one of the most effective forms of treating alcoholism.
Outpatient Addiction Medicine Leader Partners with Pittsburgh Care Community to Treat All Facets of Opioid & Alcohol Use DisordersRead More
Recently, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, made an important recommendation that will impact anyone who works in the field of opioid addiction. By extension, anyone who is treated for opioid addiction is also affected by this breakthrough information.Read More