19 Nov Opiate Interventions in Alberta
Reports from the World Health Organisation have revealed that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide. Of these statistics, over 2 million individuals in the United States struggle with addiction to opiate painkillers, and in Canada, there were 3,987 opioid-related deaths in 2017, an increase of 22 percent from the previous year. That’s more deaths than road accidents and homicides combined.
In 2016, Alberta reported a rate of 14.4 per 100 000 deaths due to an opiate overdose; in 2017, the number increased to nearly two deaths per day. And the numbers keep rising.
At a recent news conference, the associate health minister Brandy Payne said, “Substance use is claiming the lives of men and women in the inner city, the suburbs and in rural Alberta. We are losing mothers, fathers, and children. We can’t ignore this crisis.”
There is no doubt that we are facing a crucial drug crisis; but there is hope. Intervention can help.
How an Alberta Intervention Helps
The opioid crisis in Alberta requires a holistic approach that includes awareness, patience, knowledge, and professional experience in drug intervention.
One of the biggest barriers to seeking professional help is the stigma that surrounds addiction.
There are three kinds of stigma: social stigma, structural stigma, and self-stigma. Each one promotes negative stereotypes and attitudes that isolates, shames, and vilifies addicts, which makes it more difficult to seek help.
Intervention helps alleviate the shame of stigmatization by talking openly, honestly, and compassionately about substance use, substance use disorders, and people who experience them.
The opiate intervention process helps educate everyone involved to learn how to speak to the person addicted without unconscious shaming and judgment. This includes avoiding derogatory language like addict or junkie, informing friends and family that substance abuse disorders are a medical condition and need to be treated as such; and using positive language that reinforces the possibility of a drug-free future.
Opiates are highly addictive. How quickly someone becomes addicted depends on various factors including overall health, age, body size and weight, and the strength of the drug.
Many addictions are due to prescribed medications for pain such as:
- medical heroin
How to Plan an Intervention
Whether an opiate experimentation has just begun or an opiate addiction is out of control, professional help is critical to reducing the risk of overdose. The good news is that treatment is as effective as treatment for other diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
However, before treatment can begin, an intervention may be necessary to help the patient accept that rehabilitation is a step that must be taken as soon as possible.
A professional interventionist can help family and friends through the process. An intervention is a life-changing event, but it can also be emotionally stressful and difficult.
An interventionist can help family and friends understand who should be invited and what should and shouldn’t be said at an intervention.
Planning an intervention can be done quickly. The process includes a practice session, a few hours of planning, and phone calls to the people you want to include.
A professional interventionist will take care of all these details and more to ensure the intervention is effective from beginning to end.
If you would like to organize an opiate intervention in Alberta, please contact us. We can help you discover what you need and how to proceed to help your loved one on the road to sobriety.