How to break free of an opiod epidemic? Help is available

Stock image, St. George News

FEATURE — Opiates, opioids, black, heroin, dope, doctor. These all are common expressions of the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation by storm.

How one goes about procuring their drug of choice makes no difference as opiates begin to take hold with chemical dependency — slowly, progressively, nurture impacting nature and the disease of addiction settles in. No matter the means of ingestion, route of collection or socioeconomic status, the disease of addiction knows no bounds and is destroying loved ones, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, newborn babies, friends, colleagues … and the list continues just as the opiate epidemic does.

Read more: ‘Believe in miracles’: Lion’s Gate Recovery owners, staff want to help addicts reclaim their lives

The opiate epidemic surrounds us – wholly as a community but more importantly as a way of living.

In the news, articles infiltrate our senses with doctors overprescribing opiates, heroin dealers busted, the War on Drugs, manufacturing of synthetic substances, overdose deaths; should I continue?

Many know all too well the feelings associated, the hurt contained within and the overall pain of knowing things could have been different. St. George is no exception in this plaguing issue. Knowing what to do is a challenge as there is much going on, but Lions Gate Recovery can help.

A simple Google search of “opioid epidemic” yields numerous pages of content, if your location is set on your phone or computer you may see “Utah’s Opioid Epidemic: Who’s to Blame?”

Prescription medications of the opiate family, prescribed for pain, are used and abused. And, of those taking such medication, some will be impacted and cross the threshold into addiction, begin using heroin or other black-market opiates and rapidly create a life of destruction.

Of those beginning with heroin, you say, nothing different is there? That may take us to another entry where that is explored. However, the disease of addiction is not any different as it is destructive in any form. Methamphetamine, alcohol, marijuana, benzodiazepines, cocaine — of course these in no certain order — present with their own set of unique qualities; however, they all wreck lives, destroy bodies and mental incarceration becomes the life expected.

Physiology, psychology, sociology and spirituality all influence the pathways for chemical dependency, addiction, and one’s ability to interact in their life, they also are a means to recovery. Addiction is Addiction — a common saying within the culture of recovery — is something we at Lions Gate Recovery work with on a daily basis. With a cultivation of knowledge, treatment, and understanding of self we can help you or your loved one abstain from substance

•  S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •

Written by CHRIS CLAYTON, CMHC, SSW.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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23 Comments

  • Brian August 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Step 1: Don’t take any prescription drug for any reason until you’ve explored all other options, including herbs, exercise, physical therapy, etc (obviously this doesn’t apply in an emergency when there isn’t time for that). Assume the pharmaceutical companies could care less about you and would gladly create misery and bondage for you if it means profits for them.
    Step 2: If you must take prescription meds, take as little as possible, for as short as possible, while actively exploring all other options.
    Step 3: If you’re already on prescription meds, takes steps to be as educated as possible about them, and actively work to reduce or eliminate them. Don’t be hasty (for some meds cold turkey can kill you), but don’t dilly dally either.

    There you go. No charge, and worth every penny.

    • comments August 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      is this the same brian as the usual hardcore LDS brian or a new one?

      • high5 August 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

        Brian Allen in Winchester – yes LDS Brian🙄🙄

      • Brian August 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

        I’ll answer to hardcore LDS. To paraphrase Gandalf, “I am Brian, and Brian means me”. Same Brian.

  • mctrialsguy August 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    I think that it is a great service that you provide, however…it is for financial gain. Also, those without insurance or funds, which most addicts no longer have either, cannot pay, so they cannot get your services when they get that far down that path. By saying it is a disease you are condoning and minimizing their issue and giving them an excuse. Addiction is “not a disease” in any way and is a character fault and a person with no will power.

    • ladybugavenger August 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      I agree. It is not a disease neither is alcoholism.

      • Redbud August 24, 2017 at 2:55 am

        I absolutely agree that it is not a disease. I have been prescribed narcotic pain killers at various strengths and dosages, at least a dozen times throughout my life for surgeries, and injuries that have caused me significant pain. I only use them as long as I feel is necessary, and I don’t go begging for more. The people who abuse these drugs, do so by choice, and eventually the consequences of their actions will catch up to them. I know a man who used to have a beautiful family, a house, a car, a career, and now he has lost everything including his wife, kids, all his possessions, his job, his friends, and is now in jail. All because of drug abuse. I am now worried he’s going to lose his life because after he gets out, he will probably continue his habit, and he’s resisted all help from anyone who cares about him.

    • Brian August 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      I’m sure you feel strong and comfortable in that position, but a LOT of thoroughly explored scientific evidence disagrees with you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction_vulnerability

      40% – 60% of a persons tendency to become addicted comes from genetic, environmental, and other factors that are separate from their character. Different people are predisposed to different addictions. If your belief is that addiction is a “character fault and a person with no will power” that will limit you as a parent, friend, and neighbor because if anyone in your circle has any kind of an addiction, you’ll likely look down on them and be judgemental rather than supportive.

      • ladybugavenger August 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

        Just because the government labeled it a disease does not mean it is. It is a character flaw. A flaw, probably caused from a deep pain caused in childhood. A pain not overcome but covered up because it hurt so darn bad. Every addict, when exploring the why they started to begin with, has a trauma they are covering up, whether it be, mental, psychological, physical, or emotional abuse. It’s an unresolved issue. The only way out is with Jesus!

        • Brian August 24, 2017 at 9:23 am

          The “government” didn’t label it anything! The medical and scientific community has done hundreds or thousands of studies covering hundreds of thousands or even millions of patients, with data that you and I can’t even wrap our heads around (like 86,000+ brain scans which reveal absolutely fascinating things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esPRsT-lmw8). What data is your “character flaw” assumption based on, aside from pride that you aren’t one of those filthy addicts? Jesus is the only answer, and He taught us to be loving and understanding. It was the Sadducees and Pharisees that looked down on the beggars and those with leprosy and other ailments.

          • ladybugavenger August 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm

            Look Brian, I have first hand experience. I don’t care about scientist and their addiction theories. They made a choice and went down the wrong road just like the family members before them. The sons of the father will visit the son. God is the only way out. Not scientist- not studies, not a lie that believe believe. Only God/Jesus can heal the broken heart.

          • ladybugavenger August 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm

            You’re right Brian I’m glad I’m not a filthy addict. I’m blessed that I was delivered from drugs. I don’t hang around with people that do drugs-I’m going forward not backwards and if a drug addict wants to follow and get clean, I say, come on-let’s do it! There’s a better life waiting for them 😁

          • ladybugavenger August 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm

            I was bound by the chains of Satan I’ve been delivered Praise the Lord (sing it)
            I’ve been delivered praise the Lord.

          • comments August 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm

            LBA, serious question: do u think the permanent brain damage caused by methamphetamine could be considered a disease in its own right?

          • ladybugavenger August 25, 2017 at 7:26 am

            No Bob, I don’t think permanent brain damage from meth is a disease. It’s a consequence of a choice. A choice that was made and then the person became overcome by that choice. It starts with a feeling of euphoria and freedom and ends in bondage and darkness. A choice is not a disease. But once this choice is made a majority are hooked and then the choice makes them and their powerless to make any other choice….only God can give them freedom, but it’s work everyday to get out and not go back.

            I recommend people go to Salvation Army adult rehab center in north Las Vegas. Not many survive and stay in the program but it has a better success rate than other rehabs. And they saved my sons life, but it’s my son who made the choice to not walk out. He wanted to. But he knew he would be lost forever if he walked out, so he stayed. Clean 2 1/2 years now. Doing well too and still in Vegas. He had my support and a lot of people don’t have that after rehab support.

          • comments August 25, 2017 at 11:23 am

            terrible thing, that meth

  • high5 August 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Help is in ANY Leagal CANNABIS STATE N AND IT WORKS! I’m proof!

  • youcandoit August 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I don’t understand how people get the pain meds so easy. I had to have 3 MRI. I still didn’t get any relief for a year as I had a shattered tailbone. Then years later I developed tumors in my spine however I always take my medicine responsibly. This is going on all over the world not just Utah and I’m not a Mormon. I always tell other Dr’s the medicine I’m on. I feel if Dr’s gave drug tests and people have to show physical proof why they need to take it and when they type their name in the computer it can show if they were just prescribed pain medication. That would help slow down the people lying to get the drug. Because the responsible people who need to take it to have some quality of life makes it hard on us. I don’t have a social life due to the disease I have it’s very debilitating.

    • Brian August 24, 2017 at 7:53 am

      The biggest way is medicaid. According to the CDC a person is 5.7 times more likely to die from an overdose if they get meds through medicaid, because its so easy to doctor shop and there aren’t the same limits that there are for self-pay or if insurance is involved. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449171/medicaids-opioid-problem-has-it-made-epidemic-worse

      • high5 August 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

        You must live on ur keyboard n you claim addiction doesn’t exist?? LMFAO – YOUR ADDICTED TO THIS COMMENT SECTION AND THE INTERNET!!! Lol
        Explain That Answer To Brian aka HARD CORE🤣🤣🤣🙄🙄🙄🙄

  • mctrialsguy August 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    The studies were done by the drug manufacturers and the healthcare community that all benefit from the results that fit their financial agenda. There has not been any genetic testing or MRI’s that show or can show it as being a disease. It comes from need due to medical injuries to alleviate pain, or street use. The street use is from bad lives and baggage that people carry and they loose the will to live or to work. Then, when they take drugs, they feel better for a short time, and that is short lived. It takes character and will power to excape the drugs. Once you reach the bottom, you loose most of that. I have broken my neck, back, and over 50 bones in my lifetime, and I refuse to take pain-killers as I have seen what it has done to others around me. I am in pain every day and eat well and do not take the pain killer med’s that they always want me too. I work out everyday, eat well, hike and bike ride, because when I do not, the pain is worse, you have to push on everyday, make the best of it, and wean yourself off of the drugs. Drugs and also achohol are not a disease, and don’t use that excuse!!

    • comments August 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      “. I have broken my neck, back, and over 50 bones in my lifetime”

      was it all at the same time or..?

  • Godsgrace September 1, 2017 at 7:42 am

    There are some people that can take prescription medication as directed and not become addicted. There are some people that can have a couple drinks with dinner and they are not alcoholics. There are some people that can’t. There will probably be a many lifetime debate over whether or not it is it isn’t a disease.
    There are some people that have brains that cannot assimilate what excess is and for those people the DISEASE of addiction is very real. God bless you if this is something you have never struggled with in your life time or had to watch a loved one struggle with or watch die from. I truly hope and pray you never do because that is when is disease becomes very real and tangible. When you are sitting truly at the gates if hell and you can’t understand why you can’t be “normal” like everybody else. Until you have actually walked that path with someone you have loved very dearly and watched it take over and the very flame of their sprit go out or better yet, mired in the pits of hell this actual disease is, please do not judge.
    Many have survived and we walk among you. Some of us are your doctor’s, your nurses, your therapists, your police officers, your teachers and even your clergymen.. the kind person who smiles and opens the door for you. The face of addiction has sadly been misconstrued. We are not all mentally ill, homeless, vagrant’s with nothing to offer society. We walk among you, some of us still fighting a very personal battle every day that none of you can see from the outside. Please be kind. You never know who this disease has effected and is currently effecting.

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