We have a crisis that has visited every community in America, from the largest to the smallest, called opiate addiction. People are looking to...

We have a crisis that has visited every community in America, from the largest to the smallest, called opiate addiction. People are looking to fill a void in their life, or escape the pains and stresses in this life, so they turn to mind-altering substances to do this. I remember running my share of these calls when I was on the job, but I believe that the problem has become exponentially bigger. Opiates, cut with other drugs like Fentanyl, seem to be more available than ever before. There have been numerous cases, in the recent past, of a rash of overdoses in various localities, all tied to heroin laced with Fentanyl. Heroin, laced with Fentanyl, is only one example of an opiate.

To say that my child, my husband, my wife, my mom, my dad, my friend, my coworker would never do such a thing is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand. I am amazed at how accessible these drugs must be. I had a friend that recently took these drugs, for what he claimed was the first time and it almost killed him. Changes in a person’s behavior could be occurring because they have turned to this. It starts in private, but as the habit or addiction becomes more uncontrollable, it becomes more public. In other words, they may be under the influence, while driving a motor vehicle, at work or at school.

My wife and I were watching The Deadliest Catch the other night. One of the first mates on a boat was telling a story that led others to believe that he might have cancer and that was the reason for his near miss accidents on the boat, pain he was experiencing, as well as his inability to function. When they got into port, the captain took him to the doctor. The doctor’s findings were negative. This led the captain to dig deeper, knowing that something was wrong. Upon doing a search of his berthing area, the captain found opiates, and consequently fired him.

What does a person look like that is under the influence of an opiate? The effects of a drug may differ from person to person, but the effects are noticeable. Unconsciousness or death are possible end results to any use of a drug. You might say, will we see anything before that point? Yes. As stated previously, a change in a person’s behavior is a sign. Physically, the person may exhibit with slurred speech, clumsier than usual, unable to answer simple questions or commands and pinpoint pupils. There are other things that they may exhibit, but you must have some index of suspicion, if you are going to be able to figure this out.

Once a person either confesses this problem or is “found out,” then begins the long road back. You can do everything imaginable to help a person, but they must want this for themselves. There are three aspects to every person, the physical, the emotional and the spiritual. If you do not consider all three, you may heal one or two and leave the others to continue to deteriorate. Opiate addictions will most likely require in-house rehabilitation. Again, a person will have to want this for him or herself, before the healing process can truly take place. We tend to tell a person that they need help, without giving them the tools or resources to deal with the problem.