Tragically, it seems like addiction is making many more headlines today than it used to. Painkiller (or opioid) abuse has devastated families across the country and, according to The Los Angeles Times, it has become much worse in the past 10 years. While we certainly agree with alerting audiences to the dangers of the crisis, we also believe all of the news stories don’t have to be negative. It is important to understand that there is hope and, through recovery, it is very much possible to conquer this dependency.
First, however, it is important to get a handle of the facts surrounding this epidemic. The L.A. Times is reporting that opioid overdose emergency room visits have nearly doubled since 2005. The growth rate has shot up drastically for women, in particular, with a hospital admission rate increase of 75%.
This graphic from The Times is incredibly telling, showing a sharp increase from 2007-2014.
There are also some important facts about the age groups this crisis is impacting. People who fall between 25-44 and 45-64 accounted for the most opioid-related ER visits, per The Times’ study. This clearly shows that opioid addictions affect older Americans just as frequently as 20-somethings. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a financially established senior or a young person right out of college, painkiller abuse knows no bounds.
Why do we bring this up? Because it clearly illustrates that if you are struggling, you are not alone. There is absolutely no shame here. If you are in your 50’s or 60’s and think this isn’t happening to your peers, you are wrong. Opioids are incredibly addictive and can wreak havoc on anyone without the proper assistance.
Now for the good news. Opioid addiction is treatable and beatable. We are the first to admit that it is not an easy path and can include an intense withdrawal period (something that we’ve outlined on our site). The detox component requires intimate personal care, which our facility is well equipped for. We also believe it deserves privacy and comfort, within a calm, healing environment.
Our philosophy involves bringing the client 180 degrees away from the angst of using. Holistic healing is one of the essential steps we incorporate into our opioid addiction treatment. After persevering through the detox period, we have found that serene, calming environments have had the greatest effect. This type of dependency goes far beyond the physical urges, it is something that affects the mind and spirit as well.
A term we like to use at Iris is “taking a breather,” as in removing yourself from the stresses that led to this issue. Bringing in elements like meditation, art therapy and spirituality can center one’s focus and set them on a successful recovery journey.
Hope and faith are so important to this process and it is disheartening to see them barely touched upon in the nation’s news stories. A happy ending is very much possible for people battling this dependency and we encourage anyone who is suffering (or has a loved one who is suffering) to reach out.