This morning I was helping my ten-year-old daughter with her social studies homework. I fought the urge to turn to Google for a hint to the answer, but lost. Feeling slightly ashamed, I recalled my own fifth grade projects and library trips, which did not include such instant access to information. I couldn’t help but think of the immeasurable impact the information age has had on our lives.
Twenty years ago, if someone needed help with a substance misuse or mental health issue I remember the amount of research and phone calls setting up treatment or support required. In fact, if you didn’t know someone in the field or have a therapist, it was nearly impossible to network. And maybe, just maybe, if you found you way to a 12- step meeting you might find some resources.
This astounds me today as I edit video clips that will be posted to our youtube channel, potentially reaching thousands of people. I watch parents of addicts tell their story in hopes of reaching those out there who need to see it. We comb through vital links that could be of great service to many such as http://www.njconnectforrecovery.org/ , a 24-hour help line created by the Mental Health Association-NJ for those that suffer from opiate addiction (both heroin and prescription opiates).
Speaking of prescription drugs, this epidemic did not exist 20 years ago either. It is a startling fact that 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers in the United States every day. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, New Jersey lawmakers are trying to enlist practitioners, the ones who give the prescription to the patient in the first place. Senate Bill S-2366 requires practitioners to have a conversation with patients to make them aware of the risks of addiction that are associated with opiate painkillers. This bill passed the Senate in December of 2014 and is waiting to be introduced into the Assembly. For updates on this bill visit http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=S2366
To take action on addiction- and recovery-related issues and help to advocate on bills like this so they become law, you can be a Think Advocacy member by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org