Westwood Behavioral Health Center is sharing tips and insight with community members on how they can play their part and help put an end to the local and national opioid epidemic. Together, we can help identify the solutions to help our loved ones out of addiction.
“It’s important that as a community we don’t become bystanders, but rather become educators and provide support to those who need it in regard to the rising opioid epidemic making its way through our nation and local communities. This is an epidemic that affects us all – in some way, shape or form – and this battle cannot be won unless we come together and put an end to this tragedy.” – Mark Spieles, CEO at Westwood Behavioral.
Being educated on recognizing the struggles, signs and solutions to the rising opioid epidemic could mean the difference between life and death. Community members have the opportunity to help save a friend, sibling, parent, coworker and children/grandchildren.
How Opioid Addiction Affects Our Community
Community members may think they have nothing to worry about when it comes to their own friends, families and neighbors, but the truth is this tragedy affects everyone – even those who least expect it.
- Roughly 21% to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Every 11 minutes someone in America dies from an opioid overdose.
- Opioid overdoses increased 30% from July 2016 through September 2017 in the United States.
- In 2012, every 25 minutes, a baby was born suffering from opioid addiction. This number continues to increase.
Not only is this frightening epidemic affecting our friends, family members and neighbors, but it’s also wreaking havoc on our social and economic welfare. There is a rising economic burden of prescription opioid misuse – nearly $78.5 billion a year – according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
The first step in defeating this epidemic is to recognize that it can happen to your friends. It can happen to your family. It can happen to your kids. It can happen to you.
It’s time we take action in putting an end to the epidemic and preventing any future tragedies. There are a few things you can do to get involved and raise awareness to the H.I.T.S. Campaign and Opioid Epidemic.
- Ask questions
- Be on the lookout
- Talk to local prescribers and counselors
- Encourage safe disposal
- Don’t share medication
- Educate and inform others
For more information on how you can get involved locally, visit westwoodbehavioral.com/HITS.
What is the H.I.T.S. Campaign?
The purpose of the H.I.T.S. campaign is to raise awareness on the rising opioid epidemic in Van Wert and Paulding counties, and other surrounding areas. The goal of the H.I.T.S. campaign is to:
- Increase awareness that opioids can be addictive and dangerous.
- Reduce the number of individuals using these drugs inappropriately.
- Let those who have been affected know that they are not alone and have a team of professionals here to support them.
What does H.I.T.S. stand for?
- Help Identify the Struggle.
- Help Identify the Signs.
- Help Identify the Solutions.
The opioid epidemic hits hard, hits home and hits here in our local community.
Not only does the H.I.T.S. campaign have the potential to reduce the amount of overdoses and provide support to those who are affected – whether it be addicts, family members or friends – but it also provides the opportunity to raise awareness and help others avoid a path to addiction.
Where Can You Find Local Support?
Whether you are directly affected by the use of opioids, know someone who has been affected, or want to help raise awareness to the opioid epidemic, we encourage you to reach out and contact us. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs immediate intervention, please call 800-567-4673 or text 4HOPE to 741741. We have a team of licensed professionals who are here and ready to help.