In response to the prescription drug article [in the May 16 Focus section], with the increase in prescription-drug abuse throughout the state, there are two important things to understand:
First, because of the nature of these substances, abuse of and addiction to prescription medications is just as serious as addiction to other substances. In some cases, it can even lead to use of other illicit drugs. For example, individuals who abuse prescription opiates might turn to heroin when necessary, sometimes because it is cheaper to do so. This is a growing problem in many Indiana counties that needs special attention.
Second, if correctional departments across the state are now putting a stronger emphasis on rehabilitation, the necessity for increased funding for rehabilitation programs is paramount. Despite state and other budget cuts, some community organizations currently offer various forms of substance-abuse rehabilitation, and a handful of them specifically address the issue of prescription-drug abuse.
Families First, located downtown, currently offers rehabilitation for prescription-drug abuse in an outpatient setting. The 16-week, intensive outpatient program is designed to meet individual client needs. Unlike other outpatient groups, the prescription-drug classes focus solely on the culture of prescription substance abuse, and address various addictive prescription substances, the addiction process, biological changes and plans to avoid relapse. For more information about this program and many others at Families First, please call 634-6341 or visit www.familiesfirstindiana.org.
CD client advocate, Families First