I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
I believe one of the stigmatized issues outside of disabilities, is addiction. When people picture addicts they generally pull out this visual of a bedraggled homeless person that looks like a cross between a skeleton and a mass murderer. The truth is, an addict could look just like your neighbor, they could be the PTA mom at your school, your spouse or even your child.
People also assume that addiction stems from bad behavior in a person, weak morals or just an addictive personality, but honestly, most people that become addicted to opioids often due so out of necessity for pain relief. It’s sadly a disease that affects many more American’s each year.
I used to be the face of an opioid addict. After years of dental and back issues without insurance and being prescribed time and again an opioid for the pain, it became a habit – then an addiction; which is often the case for many people. The sad thing is that the stigma people place on others doesn’t help those who suffer. On one side you have people who believe they can’t possibly be addicted because they aren’t the picture of the stigma and on the other side you have people afraid to get help because of what others will perceive them as. It’s important to toss that preconceived idea out of the window and open your heart and eyes to the fact that there are millions of people out there that need help and they are just like you.
Since over time prescription painkillers can alter the brain, “reset” it so to speak, people need a way to get back to themselves. Reset Reality is public health initiative designed to spread awareness and understanding about opioid prescription painkiller addiction in the United States and the science and treatment options available. It encourages those living with prescription painkiller addiction to hit the “reset” button on their lives by working with a healthcare professional.
It’s the first step that people can take anonymously on their own and a place that you can share if someone you care about shows signs of addiction. It’s also a place where they can rid themselves of the stigma and read stories about everyday people who I like to say “got stuck”. Stories like Michael Sorrentino’s and Cheryl, who had both become addicted after accidents had caused them pain. Cheryl’s impacted me the most because she didn’t realize that it was bad until she was close to giving her son painkillers and I know many families that often do this thinking they are helping each other.
To find out more information about Reset Reality, visit the website, read the stories and inform yourself on the symptoms and signs so that you can be there and be helpful to those around you. The more this issue becomes common, the more we are going to have to reset our idea of it and becoming aware is the first step.