Drugs

Embracing Pride and the LGBT+ Community in Recovery

Tessa Torgeson shares her personal experience as a member of the LGBT+ community who is also in recovery from addiction. “For myself, the intersections of addiction and LGBT identity are so complex… We weren't given the social or political power to have public space. So, bars and underground clubs were our space... so addiction can sometimes become a learned behavior. For me, it was alcohol. I used it to suppress my identity.”

A Quiet Drug Problem Among the Elderly

“For years, geriatricians and researchers have sounded the alarm about the use of benzodiazepines among older adults… Now the opioid epidemic has generated fresh warnings, because pain relievers like Vicodin (hydrocodone with Tylenol) and OxyContin (oxycodone) are also frequently prescribed for older people. When patients take both, they’re at risk for overdosing… But fatal overdoses — which are a comparatively tiny number given the size of the older population — represent just one of many longtime concerns about these medications.”

Mental Health in Later Life: A Guidebook

The Mental Health Association of Maryland is fighting distorted perceptions around mental health and aging with this educational guidebook. It covers a wide array of topics for older adults and caregivers alike, offering great information about brain health and some of the challenges that may come later in life.

Click the title to access the full PDF version or head to www.mdaging.org for more information on aging, behavioral health, or how to start a "Guidebook Study Group" to help bring this important information to your community. Click Read More to access some of our favorite Guidebook quotes, formatted perfectly for sharing on social media and beyond.

Kevin Hines: I Jumped Off the Golden Gate Bridge

Kevin Hines: I Jumped Off the Golden Gate Bridge

Kevin Hines is using his personal story to fight distorted perceptions around suicide and spread awareness of prevention. Check out his film, Suicide: The Ripple Effect at suicidetherippleeffect.com or share your story about how suicide has affected your life on their Facebook page, Facebook.com/suicidetherippleeffect. If you're contemplating suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Dually Addicted: Eating Disorders often Co-exist with Substance Abuse

“Unlike alcohol and drugs, where many people strive for total abstinence, individuals “addicted” to food cannot completely abstain from eating. They need to use food (their “drug of choice”) without over- or under-eating. But recovery is possible.”

My Friendship With A Heroin User Showed Me Just How Judgmental I Was

Read along as Katie Horneshaw confronts an Australian media outlet’s portrayal of heroin addiction and challenges some of the distorted perceptions around addiction. This article may be rooted in Australia, but it’s message of empathy is inspiring no matter where in the world you’re located.

An Abbotsford student’s view of addictions and losing stigma

After working with a local network of current and former drug users, 18 year old Max Kerr realized that he had many distorted perceptions towards homelessness and addiction. “When I came to my first meeting I kind of just kept to myself, and I was really nervous. I didn’t entirely want to shake people’s hands because all the perceptions I had were: homeless people are grimy, they’re dirty. And anyone I told about this, they said ‘Well, be careful that they don’t try to manipulate you into giving them money or drugs or something,’” he said. “As soon as I met them, I knew that my perception of them was wrong. I think a lot of people probably know that, too, but they don’t listen to that thought,” he said. Are you seeing clearly? Refocus and look again. Click the title for the entire story from The Abbotsford News.

Pa. woman hands out free naloxone to at-risk homeless

”The stigma of drug use here is so strong, mothers ask Campanella if she can spare a dose of Narcan in case they need it to save their children. They'd rather not be seen in line at the pharmacy, they tell her.”

What distorted perceptions exist around addiction, treatment, and the overdose reversal drug Narcan? This article from EMS1 serves as a great introduction to the internal and external stigmas that can deter individuals, families, and entire communities from embracing treatment and recovery from addiction. Click the title for the full article from EMS1.com.

“Priya Mammen, an emergency room doctor at Methodist, said she often has a hard time convincing her patients to seek help outside the community. ‘Sometimes they don't even want to go up to our Center City campus,’ she said. ‘Prevention Point is a phenomenal resource that I would love to link any number of people to. But they're like, 'That's Kensington. I don't go there. I'm not that person.' The stigma goes in all directions.’”

Why Changing the Stigma Around Addiction Could Help the Homeless

This article from TakePart at Participant Media is challenging the distorted perceptions around addiction and homelessness by exploring the reasons why homeless people begin using drugs and alcohol and the barriers that keep them from treatment and long-term recovery. “Substance abuse is the leading cause of death in the homeless community, and almost half of people living on the streets suffer from chronic substance addiction… There’s really not a whole lot of anything that’s successful for the homeless to get their addictions taken care of. Even when there is a program they can get to, to get clean and sober, as soon as they’re done they’re right back on the street where the drugs and dealers are.” They also highlight the 2016 LIVES Challenge, a video-based anti-stigma project hosted by Recovery Brands. Click the title for the full article from TakePart.