Our Community Addresses Heroin Epidemic
December 8, 2014
The heroin epidemic is not something that can be solved by one entity alone and it will take time to address all the many variables involved. We must come together as a community to address this serious public health concern. Addiction is a brain-based disease that requires professional treatment. Similar to other diseases, access to healthcare is a challenge for many individuals. There are several communities that have a shortage of healthcare providers. This is especially true in regard to medical detoxification. Partnerships between treatment programs, mental health centers, hospitals, the criminal justice system and both the public and private sectors must come together to make addiction and other behavioral health services more accessible.
What can we as a community do to address this crisis?
• Early intervention of substance abuse and addiction is key. A person can seek help before a crisis occurs or the criminal justice system is involved.
• Reduce the stigma. Addiction is, and should be, treated like any other chronic health condition.
• Ask for help. Contact a trusted professional, your local community health center or local treatment provider as a point of entry. Resources may be available.
• Let your voice be heard. Advocate for accessible health care by contacting your local and state representatives.