There is always a never-ending battle when it comes to drug addiction. The problem does not end with the use and stop of usage. It leaves a mark and a stigma that one is an “addict”. This stigma makes it difficult for people to move on with their lives or start a new one. This is also a challenge for addiction treatment programs as they try their best to help addicted individuals.
This is an addiction blog that hopes to inform people on the importance of being drug-free and staying that way. Help is also available and what addicted people needs to do is to simply acknowledge that they need help and seek it. Such problem has been existing in Franklin County as they struggle to save more lives.
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New resources spring up every month, from programs to medication-assisted therapies to recovery houses, all in the spirit of defeating the opioid crisis ravaging Pennsylvania.
This mix of resources is likely a key factor in the number of fatal overdoses in Franklin County dropping from 46 in 2016 to 35 in 2017, a decrease of 23 percent.
But, for these resources to work, people battling addiction must be comfortable with using them. For some, the cloudy threat of criminal punishment from the leftover belief that all drug users are all criminals and should be thrown in jail hangs over each day.
Franklin County aims to change that stigma and the one families and loved ones of addicts – alive, or dead – encounter.
“There are a few initiatives that are ongoing where it is designed to look at this issue differently,” District Attorney Matt Fogal said. “And that’s no small thing.”
Fogal said these changes focus on strategy and the acknowledgment that cases of drug addiction require something other than standard incarceration.
Stigma comes in two forms, according to Fogal: The opinions of people who don’t know an addicted person or what challenges addicts and their supporters face; and distrust felt by addicts toward the authorities who are trying to help them.
Chief Probation Officer Dan Hoover said he’s seen some change in how people struggling with drug addiction while on probation or parole view their time under supervision. The department has done a number of things to help these offenders – such as establishing a drug court, outreach efforts, jobs programs and supporting the recovery home Noah’s House – which have helped them open up to treatment and see that not all authorities are out to hammer them.