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Opioid Awareness

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On both the federal and state level, local groups and leaders are pushing for a change to relieve the opioid crisis. A specific regulation was updated last year, and the change went into effect in March 2017. The update allows facilities such as Horizon Health Services to be included in the exchange of information using new health care models. This means substance ab…

Chronic. Progressive. Fatal. That’s how Colleen Babcock, parent and family support coordinator at Horizon Health Services, characterizes addiction. Opioid addiction has grown in the past decade, particularly in the past couple years. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated there were more than 72,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017. Of those overdose deaths, the …

Do you suspect a child, friend or loved one may be abusing opioids? Here are some signs to watch out for. (Note that demonstrating a few of these signs does not automatically mean your loved one has an addiction.) Physical & health-related warning signs Red eyes or pupils larger/smaller than usual Runny nose Loss of interest in physical appearance Sudden…

Alcohol: juice, cold ones, brewskies, poison, booze, hooch and sauce Cocaine: coke, blow, powder, sugar, nose candy, dust, toot, snow, sneeze, lines, base and rock (crack) Hallucinogens: Ecstasy: E, X and XTC Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: LSD, acid, blotter, beast, blue cheer, dot, lucy in the sky with diamonds and blue heaven Phencyclidine: PCP, angel dust,…

R. David Fenske III’s struggles began at 7 years young when his dad left home; he struggled with feelings of abandonment and not feeling loved. I took him for counseling because he didn’t want to eat, sleep or talk to anyone. The counselors diagnosed him as mildly suicidal, with anxiety and depression. David’s way of coping with his emotions was to excel at sports. To p…

You can’t open a phone book to “addiction” and find a multitude of resources. Especially five years ago, which is when Colleen Babcock went to the CEO of Horizon Health Services and asked her to create a family liaison position for her. Babcock knows first-hand what it’s like to have a family member who struggles with addiction. She said it was difficult for her to find…

With education on opioids and opioid addiction on the rise, some teens are turning to different kinds of drugs, said Jessica Hutchings. She runs Kids Escaping Drugs’ Face 2 Face Program, which provides early education and addiction intervention. One of the main substances that kids in the early stages of addiction are using currently is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — oi…

Many believe opioid addiction is a choice. It is not, said Jessica Hutchings, who works at Kids Escaping Drugs. Misconceptions about addiction can cause those addicted, or their families, to feel like they will be judged when they reach out for help, which can affect their recovery process, said Anne Constantino, CEO of Horizon Health Services. “The most important th…

Many people think the opioid crisis is not going to affect them. “They think, ‘Not my kid.’ ‘Not my husband,’ but there are no guarantees against it,” said Anne Constantino, CEO of Horizon Health Services. “No amount of education, no amount of privilege, no amount of opportunity protects somebody from the possibility of this disease happening.” Constantino said she’s…

Amherst Beacon Center 3354 Sheridan Drive 831-1937 Best Self Behavioral Health 1408 Sweet Home Rd. 247-5281 Inner Quest Counseling Services 885 Sweet Home 870-3625 Oxford House Amherst 6 Carriage Hill 580-3863 Oxford House Clarence 10010 Transit Road 688-2817 Oxford House Margaret 171 Margaret St. 783-7211 STAR Amherst 210 John Glenn Drive, …

Our son Paul was 31 years old when he passed away from a heroin overdose on Sept. 14, 2017. Paul was an outgoing, friendly, kind and caring person. He had a close relationship with his sister and us. He was prescribed opiates for back pain in his early 20s, which led to a 10-year struggle with addiction. He continued to be prescribed painkillers until he enlisted in …

If your loved one admits they have an opioid addiction… Contact your primary physician. It’s important that he or she is part of the recovery plan, especially if the issue involves prescribed opioids. Call a substance abuse outpatient clinic in order to determine your loved one’s medical condition, and what medical intervention steps may be needed. People with withdraw…

Our loving family was turned upside down when we learned that our two sons were addicted to drugs. It was a battle we all fought for the last 15 years. Two bright, hard-working, good-looking young men now struggled with demons on their backs. Fifteen years ago, it was really hard to get someone any help. They had to meet certain criteria for anyone to be willing …

Addiction affects families just as much as their addicted loved ones. In the midst of all the treatment, medications and meetings, it’s crucial for family members to evaluate their own well-being. Here are three actions people can take to help themselves while they help their addicted loved one: Join a support group Oftentimes families will feel isolated or judged by oth…