Covid-19 has affected everyone. Isolation can be extremely difficult on those dealing with addiction, or those helping others with addiction.
The Addiction Policy Forum is asking for your help. They are conducting a voluntary survey to gather information on how Covid-19 is affecting those with addiction in their lives. If you would like to participate in this survey, click the survey name below.
For those of you located in Northwest Ohio, you may find some help at the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board website – https://www.lcmhrsb.oh.gov/ Here you will find a COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline, and other helpful connections.
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Loneliness, self isolation and addiction often go hand in hand. However, in these days of COVID-19/coronavirus, with governmental mandates for self isolation, there is more stress and anxiety for everyone, around the world.
I’d like to share the link to a website I found that will help direct you to virtual/online help during this worldwide health crisis. You’ll find addiction and recovery help, crisis hotlines, and links to online meetings that you or the addict might not physically able to attend now. (Click the bold text below)
I came across an article which had no date, however based on some of the statistics they sited, it is at least ten years old. Regardless, the points made in this article entitled, “10 Ways to Cope with an Addict in the Family” by Maria Trimarchi are still valid and on target. Her piece was posted on a website called, How Stuff Works.
As the title suggests, the author lists ten ways to cope with a family member’s addiction. They are, in reverse order:
Harbor’s Heroin/Opiate Initiative and the Toledo Lucas County Public Library have partnered together to offer a book group focusing on America’s opioid epidemic in the book, Dreamland, by Sam Quinones. Harbor, with the support from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, is working to bring awareness and education to the community around the heroin and opioid epidemic in Northwest Ohio. The epidemic is portrayed in Dreamland, through the author’s chronicles of how the distribution and sale of heroin has evolved over the last 15 years.
Book group discussions of the heroin/opioid topic and Dreamland will be offered from 7:00 pm – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 28th at the King Road Branch Library, Thursday, April 9th at Main Library or Monday, June 15th at the West Toledo Branch Library. Dreamland can be borrowed from the branch 30 days prior to the scheduled session. Register at toledolibrary.org.
A Dreamland Book Group or a Harbor Heroin/Opiate Initiative presentation can be made available to any Lucas County organization by contacting Kathy Schnapp: email@example.com or 419.214.3631.
Dreamland is a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner.
Harbor is a behavioral health and substance use provider located in northwest Ohio.
‘Tis the season, so lets continue the conversation about the upcoming holidays, and the stress they put on anyone dealing with addiction, from the addict to their families and friends.
I’d like to direct your attention to an article written back in 2011 for Social Work Today magazine by Christina Reardon, MSW, LSW. The article is titled, Families and Addiction — Surviving the Season of Stress and can be read in its entirety by clicking the magazine cover, or the title above.
This article has so much useful information for families as the holidays approach.
Highlights of this article include:
Expectations that the addict will be magically “cured” over the holidays will likely cause more stress and frustration
Handling actively using addicts
Firm ground rules and expectations of behavior should be set and agreed upon prior to a holiday event, with strict consequences if not met.
Is this a good time for a family intervention?
Realize that family gatherings can be very stressful for the addict too
Supporting the recovering addict
If alcohol is the problem, refrain from cooking with wine or other liquors or serving candy with alcohol centers.
Respecting the needs of the addict does not mean everything has to be perfect
Learning to let go
Take care of yourself!
Accept that you are not responsible for whatever happens
Take some time and read through this helpful article. Then start setting your expectations for the upcoming holidays. May they be joyous.
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December 9th, 2019 is the sixth anniversary of Mary’s death. Mary was a close friend, and also a coworker at The Blade, the newspaper in Toledo, Ohio.
On the morning of December 9, 2013, I received a call from a former co-worker (I had retired) at The Blade, informing me that Mary had not shown up for work that day. They had sent someone to her home and had found her laying dead on the kitchen floor. She had been stabbed to death. Her son was convicted of the murder. He was a loving son, and her only child. But, heroin got the best of him, and this was the result.
Today I ask everyone who knew Mary, worked with Mary, or seeks help with an addicted loved one to take time to explore A Place For Mary. Remember Mary. Find help for yourself here.
This site is a good first step in understanding addiction, realizing you are not alone as you struggle to know how to help someone you love, and finding the help you need, whether it’s just reassurances that you’re doing the right things or finding professional help for yourself.
Mary, you are missed.
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The American Society of Addiction Medicine updated it’s definition of “addiction” this year. In an article by Paul Earley, MD and Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH, an explanation of the new definition, and the need to look at addiction from a medical, genetic, mental, and environmental standpoint is discussed.
Redefining Addiction. Reimagining Solutions.
By Paul Earley, MD and Yngvild Olsen, MD, MPH Oct. 21, 2019
Words matter. When it comes to addiction medicine, stigmatizing language and misunderstood terminology may keep some people from seeking effective care, leave families poorly equipped to support their loved ones, and drive policymakers to make counterproductive, even harmful, policy.