To The Daily Sun,
New Hampshire is third highest-ranked in the country regarding the pandemic of substance abuse, both drugs and alcohol. This substance abuse is both a medical as well as mental health issue that faces multiple families and communities in this state. Substance abuse is not about choice, rather it is a symptom that perils many in this state today. There is an immediate need to provide assistance, not only to those who are afflicted by the abuse directly, but to incorporate the holistic aspect in providing the road to recovery.
In many communities, this illness is being addressed by local groups such as Stand Up Newfound — or SUN— as they seek resources to help those addicted. This group looks at the entire holistic aspect of substance abuse and actively seeks ways to assist addicts and their social communities. This group consists of dedicated people who care and voluntarily seek resources to help addicts move forward. There is a lot of work to do to provide the services these addicts need. SUN meets on the fourth Thursday of each month in the town of Bristol.
Some crimes do come about from these addictions. Robberies, theft, domestic abuse, drunken driving, and so forth, as some addicts feed their addiction. These addictions are not a result of a bad choice. Addictions often start with mental health issues along with low self-esteem that are a catalyst for those afflicted. Low or no employment can also be a contributor. Genetic components as well as family or social backgrounds can set the pace of addictions. There are many factors that result in addiction.
Substance abuse has its own medical and mental health diagnosis. They are treated with counseling, medications, and therapy. The development of recovery centers is essential to aiding the addicts to remaking their lives and moving them forward. We need recovery centers that are close to help these addicts, as many may not have means of transportation.
Professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists provide a medical and mental health foundation that help guide the addicted forward. Many yet, still fall by the wayside, not of their own choosing. These clients need our help and our support.
The road to recovery is not an easy one. It embraces the entirety of the addict's holistic environment. Not only is support essential from professionals, but from the families and significant other relationships that surround the addicts. It is a long road and path to recovery. Once a person has been afflicted, he or she is permanently affected. But they can move forward with the help of the community, our state, and federal governments.
All walks of life are affected. Addiction does not discriminate. It takes more than just stopping the source of addiction. It means a rebuilding an entire life, one that increases self-esteem while at the same time providing physical strength to move forward as well. There is the educational and employment component, and the mental health/medical component. It takes time and does not resolve overnight. Recovery is the rebuilding of lives and enable these clients to live better lives. It requires hard work, overcoming relapses, and holding one's head high, knowing that this addiction can and will be overcome.
New Hampshire's economy is one of many sources that can further improve the outcomes for recovery. While the present unemployment rate in New Hampshire is under 3 percent, the true picture is that so many addicts, not all, are impacted by unemployment. Improving the employment picture improves self-esteem and pride, both of which are essential to providing a strong base for recovery. The Legislature recently approved funding to further the cause for those afflicted. The drug courts also are an excellent avenue to start the path for a better life. Police departments are now looking at addiction as a disease, not just a crime
Recoveries will not only benefit the addicts themselves, but the state and the communities these addicts reside, as well as their families and social circles. Assistance needs to come from everyone, and recovery is a win-win situation for everyone. Compassion and understanding go a long way to better appreciate why the addicts become afflicted. Once this is accomplished, these people can move forward as members of our communities.
Robert T. Joseph, Jr.
- Category: Letters
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