In recent years, we’ve come to learn that addiction is actually a disease. In particular, it’s a brain disease that’s characterized by an obsessive, compulsive fixation on imbibing chemical intoxicants. However, the disease is unique compared to most other diseases. Despite it being a disease, addiction actually represents a culmination of behaviors; a person must become a substance abuser, steadily increasing the frequency with which he or she abuses that substance and the amount of the substance he or she imbibes. Over time, the result is semi-permanent chemical changes in the brain that are attributed to the fixation addicts have on the substances to which they’ve become addicted.
There have been numerous substances to emerge as the dominant threat, both nationally and globally. The latest substance to reach the point of being referred to as an “epidemic” is heroin, which quickly became popular when prescription painkillers — the previous epidemic of substance abuse — became much harder for substance abusers to obtain and were formulated in such a way as to be tamper-resistant. Unable to get the substance to which they were addicted, painkiller addicts quickly switched to heroin, which happened to be more accessible, less expensive, and more powerful than prescription drugs. Over the next several years, heroin would go on to become a cause for major concern among public officials, law enforcement, and citizens alike. And while the heroin epidemic has ravaged the entire U.S., there are certain places — such as Ohio — being forced to find more innovative ways of addressing the heroin problem due to the severity of the heroin epidemic they’re experiencing. The Ohio Amnesty Program is a new resource that has been implemented to fight the epidemic and help addicts recover.
Ohio Hit Hard By the Heroin Epidemic
To say that the heroin epidemic has affected the entire U.S. is not an overstatement. Communities large and small and all those in between are forced to deal with the rapid increase of heroin use, addiction, and overdose deaths. What’s more, there are few states that have experienced such rapid spread and advancement in severity of the heroin addiction as Ohio where an average of 23 people per week are overdosing on heroin. Even in regions like Columbus that have previously exhibited lower rates of substance abuse than other Ohio metro areas have experienced a major growth in heroin abuse, including suburban areas that traditionally have much lower rates of crime than most other places. In fact, Columbus has often been used for market research but is less and less useful for market research due to the rate at which drug dealers have been moving to the town to take advantage of the unmet demand for heroin.
With Ohio being continuously ravaged by the heroin epidemic, officials who represent the state have begun implementing a number of strategies in the hope of mitigating the growth of the heroin problem. There have been a number of community outreach initiatives in the hope of forming connections with people before they succumb to heroin addiction. One such initiative has been the Rally for Recovery, which consists of recovered addicts, community volunteers, educators, treatment providers, medical professionals, and many others from all levels of society who want to celebrate individuals who have managed to remain sober after getting off heroin. Also, it addresses the fact that Ohio has a much higher demand for treatment than it’s been able to meet. In fact, throughout the state, there are numerous addiction treatment facilities with waitlists consisting of heroin addicts who want to get help but the treatment centers can’t accommodate the numbers. There are other, more recent initiatives that are addressing the problem from other directions, too.
Ohio Amnesty Program to Push Heroin Addicts On the Path of Recovery
Time and again, studies have verified the widely held belief that sending addicts to prison can only make matters worse. For one thing, many prisons throughout the U.S. have issues with drugs and other contraband being smuggled into the prison, meaning that inmates with no history of addiction are becoming addicts while incarcerated and individuals who have histories of substance abuse are able to maintain their addictions. Meanwhile, it’s known that addiction treatment that is sometimes provided to inmates is remarkably ineffective. More often than not, there’s no addiction treatment or rehabilitation programs offered, which results in many inmates resuming their previous substance abuse after their release since the fundamental, underlying issues weren’t addressed during their incarcerations.
Fortunately, it seems that this vicious cycle has been acknowledged in Ohio as the Newark Police Department is instituting a new program that’s granting amnesty to individuals who are addicted to heroin and want help for their substance abuse problems. The Ohio amnesty program works like this: These people who are addicted to heroin can go to the police station, submit any drugs and paraphernalia they might have on their person, and ask for help. In response, the police officers will get them into addiction treatment programs within 72 hours. Similar programs have been developed in other states, including one in Massachusetts called the Angel Program, but none of the other programs offer addicts amnesty, and this is a really important difference. One of the main reasons why addicts would be discouraged from similar programs in other states would be due to fear of prosecution, but individuals needing help in Ohio don’t have to worry about that. According to the officers who are running the Ohio amnesty program, the main objective of this initiative is to provide real help to people in need who are looking for a second chance at health and life.
You’re Only a Phone Call Away From a Better Way of Life
If you or someone you love would like to learn more about the Ohio amnesty program being offered by law enforcement, or if you would like to discuss the treatment options that are currently available, call the Ohio Addiction Recovery Center toll-free at 800-481-8457. Our team of recovery coordinators are available anytime, day or night, to help you or your loved one take the first steps toward a recovery and health.