North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam

Responding to an epidemic

The Adams County Counseling Center held a luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 26, to highlight the growing problem of drug addiction in the southern Ohio region.

Ed Hughes, CEO of Compass Community Health, gave a presentation emphasizing the importance of providing rehabilitation and comprehensive health care to deal with the problem.

Drug addiction is becoming recognized as a treatable brain disease that left untreated eventually impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Understanding addiction as a disease allows the addicted person, and their family to embrace a solution that is based on proven medical science, as well as an understanding that treatment should address the individual’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual challenges.

“We have been responding to an epidemic,” said Hughes. “The number of people in the southern Ohio region who are suffering from drug addiction is staggering”.

In 1997 less than 5 percent of people in the region were addicted to opiates such as Oxycontin and heroin.

In 2000 there was an explosion of “pill mills” (area doctors who freely wrote prescriptions for narcotics). As a result the number of people who became addicted to pain pills went up.

At one time there were eleven known pill mills operating in Scioto County, consequently that county became the hub of distribution. Less than a decade later the problem had reached epidemic proportions. In 2008 alone 9.7 million doses of prescription opiates were prescribed in Scioto County; enough for every man, woman, and child in county to get 123 doses each of prescription pain killers.

These drugs were accessed not only by people in southern Ohio, but from all over the state.

In Adams County there was a sharp increase in the number of people being arrested or ending up in emergency rooms as a result of their opiate addiction, but their scripts were all coming from Scioto County.

The year 2008 was a landmark year. Ohio adopted legislation that closed down the pill mills. People who were addicted to prescription opiates began transitioning to heroin because it was cheaper and easier to access. There was also a resurgence of methamphetamine.

The game changer in Ohio came in 2006. For the first time in the history of this or any other state, the number one cause of accidental deaths was drug overdoses rather than automobile accidents. That got everyone’s attention. Those numbers then spread across the United States.

By 2012 the number of drug overdose deaths caused by heroin caught up with prescription drugs. Now heroin is the number one cause of overdose deaths.

What does an epidemic look like? In 2001 Ohio’s Department of Drugs and Alcohol and the Department of Health began measuring overdose deaths and the number of people being admitted to treatment centers with a diagnoses of opiate dependence. In 2001 the number of people admitted for heroin addiction was less than 5 percent. Today it is more than 95 percent.

It is vital that communities begin responding to this crisis by providing treatment for the afflicted. Addiction is a primary, progressive disease, which is best treated with compassion, understanding, and honest self-appraisal. It requires a health management continuum like that created by Compass Community Health and the Counseling Centers. Their program not only provides treatment for those suffering from addiction, but also addresses their needs beyond treatment by providing residential housing, prevention services, crisis intervention, outpatient care, and primary healthcare.

“One of the problems we had when we got rolling was that once doctors discovered that someone was addicted to the drugs they were prescribing them, they essentially would fire that person,” said Hughes. “It actually created more of a problem because the people would go to the street.”

Because addiction impacts every aspect of life, communities who step up and offer support to those who suffer from the disease benefit from the effort. “We talk a lot about addicted people and the chaos they cause in their communities, but not so much about those who are recovering.” Hughes noted.

Studies have found that people in recovery do very well and become very good citizens in their communities.

People in recovery have a higher employment rate than the general population. “Part of that is due to the recovery principles addicts have to embrace. You can’t continue to be the same person you were before recovery.” said Hughes.

“Recovery involves a lot of important principles and one of them is supporting yourself and taking care of your own responsibilities,” he added.

People in recovery have a significantly lower criminal activity rate than the general public. A study done in Scioto county found that among the people who get into trouble and end up in court those who have gone through treatment are less likely to show up in the criminal justice system again as repeat offenders.

People in recovery are also more likely to vote. The idea of embracing your citizenship and becoming part of your community is another outgrowth of adopting the principles of recovery.

People in recovery are less likely to use ER care, and more likely to have an employer health care program.

People in recovery are more likely to own their own homes and experience fewer negative financial events than the general population.

Most importantly people in recovery can pass a drug test. It is crucial that employers recognize these strengths and become advocates for those in recovery.

The Counseling Center in Adams County offers a wide range of services to help individuals with substance abuse, mental health and physical health problems. There are licensed chemical dependency and mental health counselors dedicated to providing treatment that helps people get their lives back on track.

The Counseling Center, Inc. is located at 210 N. Wilson Drive, Suite 101, West Union, Ohio, (937)544-5218. For admissions information phone (740)-354-6685 or 1-800-577-6685. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Pictured above at the Counseling Center luncheon , from left, Craig Gullion, Sarah Hood, Andy Albrecht, and Ed Hughes.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Luncheon.jpgPictured above at the Counseling Center luncheon , from left, Craig Gullion, Sarah Hood, Andy Albrecht, and Ed Hughes.
Working to raise addiction awareness

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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