Recovery Month: Opioid Addiction, Recovery, & Overdose Prevention

As Philadelphia continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is still facing an opioid use and overdose epidemic. Every neighborhood across our city and country is affected as well as all racial and ethnic groups. Addiction to opioids can happen to anyone, no matter age, gender, income, or family upbringing. As we celebrate Recovery Month 2020, we must do all we can to support those struggling with this addiction so that they, too, can experience recovery. What exactly are Opioids?  Opioids are a class of drugs prescribed to relieve pain (often termed, 'pain killers.') Common brand names include: OxyContin® and Percocet® (oxycodone) Vicodin® (hydrocodone), and Kadian (morphine.) When appropriately prescribed by a doctor, opioids help the brain block the feeling of pain and help many people to cope with the pain caused by surgery, physical trauma, and chronic ailments. Also included in the opioids class is the illegal drug heroin (which is chemically similar to prescription opioids), and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical academic center, notes that people who take potentially addictive drugs as prescribed rarely abuse them or become addicted. But taking them not as prescribed or for an extended time increases the risk of misuse and addiction. Once addicted, it is challenging to stop continued use. When a person is addicted to a drug, [...]

2021-01-04T21:32:16-05:00September 24th, 2020|Addiction & Recovery|

Stop Vaping

E-cigs. E-hookahs. Mods. Pens. Vapes. Whatever the name, e-cigarettes are not safe. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. E-cigarette use among youth was recently declared an epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General. Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Some e-cigarettes look like pens, USB sticks, or other everyday items. Despite the “vaping” name, e-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.” It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “No one knows what’s in these products. Even the FDA doesn’t know, because they haven’t required manufacturers to submit a list of ingredients. My message to people in Philadelphia is this: don’t use products that you don’t know are safe. Until we know more, don’t vape.” “These products are addictive and killing young people,” added Mayor Jim Kenney. “The FDA should have regulated this industry a decade ago, and Philadelphia won’t sit idly by waiting for federal action.” Behind The Haze is dedicated to revealing the truth about vapes, so you can see the real facts for yourself.   [...]

2019-11-03T16:35:16-05:00November 3rd, 2019|Addiction & Recovery, Awareness, Family & Youth|

Overdose Rescue: Learn how to get and use naloxone

Philadelphia is facing the greatest public health crisis in a century. Every neighborhood in the city is being hit hard by an epidemic of opioid use and overdose. Across all racial and ethnic groups, the number of deaths from drug overdose is higher than the number of deaths from homicide. Of the 1,217 overdoses in 2017, 1,074 involved opioids.Opioids are a class of drugs that relieve pain. When appropriately prescribed by a doctor, opioids help the brain block the feeling of pain. Misusing opioids can cause addiction, overdose, and sometimes death. Philadelphia Fights Back The City is working to save lives, improve access to help, and reverse the negative effects opioids have had on our communities. To support overdose prevention, the City is distributing the lifesaving drug naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote. DBHIDS is offering monthly lifesaving Naloxone Overdose Prevention & Rescue Training. What is naloxone? Naloxone is a prescription medicine that reverses opioid overdoses. It temporarily blocks the effect of opioids and helps a person to start breathing again. Here's what you need to know. Naloxone only works for someone on opioids Naloxone cannot be used to get high Naloxone is not addictive Adverse side effects from naloxone are rare Naloxone is safe and easy to use It takes effect in 2–5 minutes More than one dose may be [...]

2021-01-04T21:25:48-05:00August 22nd, 2019|Addiction & Recovery, Awareness|

Game-bling

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently listed “gaming disorder” as an official addictive behavior disorder. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) lists gaming disorder as a “pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences” (WHO, 2018).  In order for gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behavior pattern must be of “sufficient severity” resulting in significant impairment in an individuals’ personal, familial, social, educational, occupational or other significant areas of functioning. The behavior pattern must be evident for at least 12 months. Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities. However, people who partake in gaming should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly when it is:  to the exclusion of other daily activities,  to any changes in their physical health to any changes in their psychological health  to changes in social functioning  Gaming disorder and gambling have similarities and can impact individuals in a plethora of capacities. The risk of gaming turning into gambling is the biggest trend and problem that we are facing in prevention. The Gaming industries are targeting youth and adult with free games, and once the player [...]

2021-01-02T19:47:04-05:00July 7th, 2019|Addiction & Recovery|
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