Reducing Minnesota’s Overdose Rates isn’t Going to be Easy

 Many people make the mistake of thinking that once their loved one goes to rehab for drug addiction, they will never relapse or do any drugs ever again. This isn’t the case, though. There are many people who suffer from an addiction all of their life, regardless of if they went to rehab or not.

A local family in Minnesota recently found this fact out the hard way. Their loved one, Ryan Anderson, went in for treatment only to relapse a short time after he was released from the treatment facility.

Monica Rudolph from Minnesota is an example of someone who had to take prescription medications while in recovery in order to stay off drugs and rebuild her life. She is now over a year sober and contributing to society.

Rudolph and Anderson had similar stories, but Anderson didn’t have the same resources available as Rudolph, and unfortunately, he overdosed and died shortly after relapsing. This is an all too common reality for many, but luckily, there are things that can be done to better the chances of staying sober.

Create a Strong Support System

Many addicts feel alone when they go through their addiction and often feel ashamed and looked down upon by the world, even after treatment. It’s important to realize that providing support is essential to their success.

Addicts need to understand that using drugs isn’t acceptable, but that their family and friends will be behind them to back them up whenever they need it. That doesn’t mean that all is forgiven; trust does need to be rebuilt but knowing that your loved ones are there to support you can make all the difference.

Treatment Options Need to be Readily Available

A huge reason why addicts end up overdosing after they get out of rehab is that they don’t have access to

Communities can also come together by having groups in place for addicts to be able to go to during every stage of their recovery. Churches can set up or host Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings for those looking to find a place full of other people who are currently or have already gone through what they’re currently experiencing.

Getting advice from former addicts can help those currently battling addiction because they’re talking to people who have walked in their shoes in the past. They know that the former addicts know everything they’re feeling, thinking, and experiencing on their road to recovery. It’s an uphill battle for most but knowing that they can talk to someone can make the process easier for everyone.

Treatment Needs to be Made More Affordable

Many people don’t realize that addiction is a disease that can’t simply be overcome. It takes a lot of hard work and effort and sometimes the addiction is physically impossible to overcome safely because the addict’s body could shut down if they just stop taking drugs altogether.

This is where rehab comes in; while in rehab, the addict will be given any medication and extensive treatment for their addiction. Such treatments include group and private therapy, medicated-assisted therapy, sober living, and sometimes animal therapy, it all depends on the facility.

Unfortunately, many addicts don’t get the treatment they need simply because they can’t afford it. While there are many Minnesota rehab facilities available for the public, they often have limited spots available to those who can’t afford to pay anything for treatment.

Lawmakers are considering putting in an additional $12 million to help combat the current opioid crisis and help treatment facilities. They know how important it is, and although there is support, finding the funding can be very difficult to do.

Mobile Treatment Facilities Will Be Helpful

In order for the epidemic to diminish, people in rural areas need to be able to have access to treatment for their addiction. Mobile treatment facilities are being considered to help those who are in rural areas get the treatment that they need. Currently, getting treatment for opioid abuse often requires addicts to travel to a treatment facility, but with mobile treatment facilities, the treatments will go to them. This is great for places like Minnesota, as there are many in the state living in rural areas.

Proper Education Is Crucial When It Comes to Addiction

A common issue plaguing communities is a lack of drug addiction education. While people know that it’s possible to get addicted to hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin, they don’t realize just how dangerous opioids can be.

Regular educational sessions should be set up throughout Minnesota to ensure that the community is able to get the proper education that is needed about drug abuse. This can help them learn why it’s important to dispose of drugs properly, how taking them as prescribed is crucial, and what they need to do to avoid an overdose.

Overcoming a drug addiction isn’t easy for someone to do on their own and getting the necessary help could be a lifesaving step towards decreasing the overdose rates within Minnesota. If steps aren’t being taken in a certain area, residents need to band together to let lawmakers know that they want to see changes when it comes to opioid abuse and addiction.

It’s important to know that all the necessary changes can’t happen overnight. Change takes time, but it can make a huge impact on the state as a whole. Being able to lower the number of overdoses that occur in Minnesota each year can improve the community as a whole.