Governor Sandoval will hold a planning session this month to come up with a plan to address the ongoing problem of prescription drug abuse in Nevada. The planning session will include professionals from state agencies and licensing boards as well as individuals with expertise in the areas of:
- Criminal justice intervention
- Prescription medication prescribing practices
- Substance abuse treatment
- Potential challenges and opportunities provided by different options
The committee will additionally make time to hear public comments on the topic in preparation to prepare an agenda that will be presented at a two-day summit scheduled for the end of the summer.
If you would like to share your thoughts, you are encouraged to attend. The planning session will be held on June 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Legislative Building in Carson City, NV. Video conferencing from the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas will also be available.
The fact that there will be time and opportunity for Nevada residents to voice their concerns and offer their solutions is a critical piece of the puzzle. Overcoming addiction is a problem that is impacting individuals at home and on a community level; thus, it is a priority that these individuals have the opportunity to share their experience and present possible solutions. As family after family in Las Vegas and across the state are infected by addiction and poisoned by grief after loss due to accident under the influence or drug overdose, it has become clear that the problem is one that cannot be ignored by anyone in the community.
Creating Positive Change at Home
If you, or someone you care about, are living with addiction, the time is now to draw a line in the sand for yourself and for everyone in the family that says that the status quo will not continue. One of the most efficient ways to turn your hopes for change into reality is to have an honest conversation that includes everyone in the family, including the person struggling with addiction.
An informal conversation in which everyone shares their concerns and helps the person to begin treatment may be all that is needed to bring the issue out into the open. In many cases, however, when an informal discussion is not enough to effect change, a more formal option is necessary. Called an intervention, this can signify a turning point in the mindset of all who participate, helping all involved to take steps toward recovery after addiction.
An intervention offers the opportunity for:
- Family members and concerned friends to discuss how the addiction has hurt them and how they hope treatment will improve the future
- An interventionist to identify an addiction disorder as a medical problem that requires medical treatment
- The person living with addiction to immediately enter treatment directly after the intervention
- The rest of the family to choose to no longer enable the addictive behaviors and make positive changes for themselves and the person living with addiction
When you hold an intervention for someone in need of addiction treatment, you first identify that treatment is indeed necessary and then enumerate the ways that life will change going forward, whether or not the person agrees to get help. This often means making it clear that there will be no more money given to the person living in addiction or other support that enables drug use. If the person refuses to get treatment, other support may be removed as well. For example, they may have to move out if they live in the home with one of the participants; if they are married, it may mean a separation; and if the employer is present, it may mean that employment will no longer be an option.
The goal is to make it clear that addiction is serious and requires immediate medical treatment – treatment that can begin right now.
Impacting the Community
Showing up to political gatherings like the planning session this month and playing an active role in pushing through legislative changes that will have a positive impact on the community is a great start. It’s one of many ways you can take part in helping Las Vegas and the state to begin to heal from addiction.
You can also:
- Share your personal story if you, or someone you love, have ever dealt with addiction.
- Be a mentor to a family or young person struggling in recovery.
- Advocate for increased access to treatment and to resources that will help families in crisis.
- Support prevention efforts, including education in schools, for prescribing physicians, and among the general public that provides a better understanding of the risks associated with prescription drug use and abuse.
Are you ready to help improve your community? How will you create positive change this year?