MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 20, 2013

Fight for help for prescription drug addicts

It is unfortunate that prescription drug abuse is high in Muskogee County.

Our county ranks sixth in the state for prescription drug indicators, said Lindsey Roberts, the director of regional prevention coordination for Neighbors Building Neighborhoods. The indicators include prescription drug-related crimes, treatment admissions and overdoses — fatal and nonfatal.

Several Muskogee area agencies are working to help prevent and treat prescription drug abuse.

But they are fighting an uphill battle.

The sad reality of the situation is a person will not change until they want to change, no matter how much you beg or plead.

Try to remember you are not dealing with the person you know and love; you are dealing with an addict. The person you know and love wouldn’t lie, steal or cheat. But an addict will.

But the person you love is in there somewhere. And they are worth the fight.

In the meantime, keep an eye on your prescriptions. If they are not needed, dispose them at a lockbox at the Muskogee Police Department. If they are needed Neighbors Building Neighborhoods also offers code-activated lockboxes where people can keep their prescriptions, Roberts said. The boxes can only be opened by punching a code on a keypad.

If you are an addict, don’t be too proud to ask for help. Sure, it seems impossible. But imagine a life where you don’t need upwards of 50 pills a day to function.

You are not alone, and there are trained professionals waiting to help and wanting to see you succeed.

But you must be fully willing to commit to treatment. There are no half measures. As addict Jennifer Norris told the Muskogee Phoenix, she had tried a few treatment centers, and the treatment didn’t last.

“I wasn’t ready to give it up,” Norris said. “I wasn’t ready to learn to live life on life’s terms.”

But she eventually decided to commit to treatment.

After 60 days at MONARCH, Norris said, “I feel amazing now.”

And you can, too, if you get help.

To get help

People dealing with prescription drug problems can access a Reach Out helpline at (800) 522-9054.

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