By Colleen Rice
“The greatest problem we have working with alcoholics and addicts is our own beliefs and expectations,” said Dr. Brad Lander. And that’s how this powerful session about addiction began.
Dr. Lander defined Addiction as the physical adaptation of the reward pathways of the brain to the repeated presence of dopamine-surging chemicals. Addiction is a false survival drive. But why don’t they just quit? Lander says that all behavior comes from the brain and that the brain is chemical. Chemistry follows the laws of math and science. He said treatment is life-long and likened it to diseases such as diabetes. If someone went to the ER with repeated low or high blood sugar because they didn’t adhere to their diet and medication, we wouldn’t turn them away. He said the same should be true for people with drug addiction. In fact, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates for cigarettes, weight loss, hypertension, asthma and diabetes are similar to those with drug addiction.
The Addiction Forum panel facilitated by Ron Blue consisted of Judge Dunn, Dr. Quallich, Lenny Hrovat, Dr. Surso, Gary Hubbard, and Dr. Lander. They shared with us about barriers, resources, and prevention methods being used county wide. Dr. Lander shared how impressed he is with our community response. What can we do as leaders? There are countless ways to get involved and take action. But like Dr. Landers said in the beginning our own beliefs and expectations get in the way – way too often. Perhaps the place to start is inside of ourselves.
Special thanks to local resources that took time out of their busy schedules to share important information about their addiction services and showing us how we can get involved by joining advisory boards, foster care, disposing properly of medications, and more. Check out the links below to delve deeper and get involved. Get ready to challenge your expectations.
Job and Family Services: http://www.mcjfs.us/
Solutions Behavioral Healthcare: http://www.solutionsbh.org/
Integrity Verifications: http://integrityverifications.com/
Catholic Charities: http://ccdocle.org/facility/catholic-charities-medina-county
Medina County Drug Task Force: https://www.mcdtf.org/
In Plain Sight (Bath Police Department): http://www.bathtownship.org/Police%20folder/Police%20folder/Police%202%20web%202.htm
Medina County Health Department Project Dawn: http://www.medinahealth.org/
ADAHM Board: http://www.medinamentalhealth.com/
Alternative Paths: http://www.alternativepaths.org/
Thank you RPM International for sponsoring this important event. We enjoyed learning in your incredible auditorium at the lodge.