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GET EDUCATED

Heroin Addiction: Online and Local Resources 

March 28, 2014  |  Falmouth Enterprise

By Dr. Michael Bihari

This article in outlines some of the online and local resources available to help you learn more about opiate addiction as well as locate places for treatment.

Opiate addiction is a treatable brain disorder. It is not a character flaw or a moral problem, it is a disease that can be treated and managed over time!

ONLINE RESOURCES

Falmouth Prevention Partnership: The Partnership’s website provides information about the organization’s work in Falmouth to prevent teen substance abuse. The site has numerous articles dealing with underage drinking, marijuana, and prescription pill and heroin abuse. You will also find articles dealing with parenting skills that will help you communicate with your kids about substance abuse.

KidsHealth: This site is the most-visited website for children's health and development from before birth through the teen years. The site is divided into three sections for parents, kids, and teens. The search box on the home page of each section will take you to age-appropriate information about drug use. 

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: This organization’s website has a plethora of information about the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction with a focus on teens and young adults. The site provides access to a Drug Guide with information on 40 commonly abused drugs; an e-book for parents of teens and young adults addicted to opioids; the Medicine Abuse Project to help you safeguard your medications; and numerous articles and videos about addiction. 

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for consumers, which is produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. The has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 900 diseases and conditions, including:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse focuses on the science of addiction and contains comprehensive information about many aspects of abuse, from addiction to treatment. The site has sections relevant to patients and their families, parents,  students and young adults. 

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), part of the U.S. Department of Justice, is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. The DEA goes after organizations and individuals involved in the illegal growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances. The agency also recommends and supports programs aimed at reducing the availability of illegal drugs. The site also has Get Smart About Drugs, an interactive resource for parents. 

Above the Influence is a program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The information on the site is inspired by what teens have shared about their lives, and how they deal with the influences that shape their decisions. The more aware teens are of the influences around them, the better prepared they are to face them, including the pressure to use drugs and alcohol. 

LOCAL RESOURCES

If you are concerned that your teen is involved with prescription drugs or is at risk of using heroin or other addicting substances, you should speak with your child’s pediatrician or family physician; or discuss your concerns with a school guidance counselor. The Community Health Center of Cape Cod provides behavioral health support and services for children and teens who are primary care patients of the health center. 

Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What To Ask. If you are addicted to opiates finding the right treatment is critical. Addiction treatment is not “one size fits all.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers guidance in seeking drug abuse treatment and lists five questions to ask when searching for a treatment program.

Gosnold on Cape Cod: Gosnold, with sites throughout Cape Cod, is the major local addiction treatment program. Gosnold’s treatment philosophy is based on the belief that addiction is a chronic illness.  According to the Gosnold website, “Our programs are designed to help patients have longer periods of remission, less frequent periods of regression, and improved life functioning during remission.” Gosnold provides services for people age 18 and over. For more information visit the organization’s website at www.gosnold.org or call 1-800-444-1554.

The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline: The Helpline (1-800-327-5050) provides free and confidential information and referral for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. The Helpline website contains an interactive program that helps you identify services in your area. 

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