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From Jeff Michael

Hoffman, Monteith, Belushi and Maybe Your Loved One

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© flickr:Alan Cleaver © flickr:Alan Cleaver

"Just say no."

Remember that line from First Lady Nancy Reagan? In the midst of the drug war of the early 1980's, that was Mrs. Reagan's answer. It was sincere I'm sure but, unfortunately, even more simplistic and embarrassingly naïve. Sure, we all have the ability to say no to things when we have all our faculties, when we're not suffering in physical pain or depression or from PTSD. Telling someone addicted to heroin to just say no… you might as well tell a balding man to fill in his hairline.

I am betting there is at most, two degrees of separation between you and someone struggling with addiction to opioids. That's where heroin addicts usually start – in the medicine cabinets of their parents or from a post-surgical prescription to pain killers. What scares me more than I can write in this space is that heroin addiction usually ends in death; the old expression, "There are no old heroin addicts."

But the battle for the addicted and their families is not hopeless. The treatment methods are better than ever. Methadone has been replaced by Suboxone (not perfect) and Vivitrol (still too expensive but amazing). And treatment centers are more abundant than ever. Please watch this interview I did with Dr. Damon Raskin then look around… and see if there is someone in your world who needs help with addiction.

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