Today is primary day in New Hampshire. Here’s hoping the citizens of the state vote for a candidate who will stop the insanity of failed policy on addiction. Addiction costs the U.S. some 70 billion, yes that’s billion, dollars every year. The war on drugs has failed. Prisons are overflowing with people suffering from substance use disorders. Which is a joke, because anyone who has been to prision will tell you it’s easy to score drugs on the inside. Outside, the ravages of substance use continue causing welfare, social services, health and justice budgets to balloon. What a waste.
There is a better way and it’s already practiced in one unorthodox town in New Hampshire, where prescription meds and heroin addiction has skyrocketed. Eric Adams, a former undercover police officer, gave up narcotics operations to work as the Laconia Police Department’s prevention and treatment coordinator. That’s right. The cop is a prevention & treatment coordinator, who listens compassionately to people whose addiction has become so severe, they contemplate killing themselves.
Judging and moralizing will get a rare few clean. Compassion and kindness will go a lot further. Sure it’s everyone’s choice when they begin using. But in a significant portion of the population, continued use hijacks the very part of the brain where you make decisions, such that freedom of choice becomes extremely difficult. Then people get desperately sick and won’t get better without compassionate-evidence based treatment and care.
That’s why we built AddictionTheNextStep.com. On the site, you’ll find the Interactive Guide, built in collaboration with New York City’s Center for Motivation and Change. This support is exclusively for the families and loved ones of those battling a substance use disorder. There are 20 scenarios, eg: “I’m confused by all the advice. Which approach is best for my child?” Click on a scenario that sounds most like your problem, and begin an interactive journey of discovery that teaches a whole new way of communicating with the substance user, that shifts the conversation from shaming and blaming, to compassion and kindness. Most importantly, this evidence-based program, gets 7 out of 10 treatment resistent users to get help. It’s free and can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
Eric Adams in Lanconia is changing the conversation about addiction. You can too. Please visit AddictionTheNextStep.com to learn more.
– Mike Pond