The Circumstance of Substance Abuse pt 1
March 29, 2014•23 min
In St. Louis there is a growing crisis with heroin addiction and prescription drug abuse. Substance abuse is usually a symptom of other underlying issues where the substance use or harmful behavior serve as a coping mechanism for another problem. Bethany and Dr. Fred Rottnek, Medical Director of Corrections Medicine for the St. Louis County Department of Health and Associate Professor at St. Louis University, discuss substance abuse, addiction, and treatment. Dr. Rottnek defines addiction as something we do even though we know it is bad for us. The diagnosis of addiction is larger than only substance abuse, which is a type of addition. Dr. Rottnek reminds the audience that it is important to remember how broad the definition of an addict is so that we do not label somebody as ‘different than me’ because ‘they have a drug problem.’ Substance abuse, a type of addiction, is often recognized as a pattern of behavior that is destructive and harmful the user and to others. Despite the substance creating negative consequences in the addict’s life, they continue to use the substance. Dr. Rottnek encourages families to be hyper-vigilant about putting prescription medicines out of site because they are often a gateway drug into long-term addiction. Bethany and Dr. Rottnek discuss common causes of addiction. After the addict begins the negative behavior, it is difficult to stop because that means admitting to yourself something is wrong and something isn’t working. There are resources and help for people in St. Louis who want treatment. If you think you may be an addict or you may know an addict please visit http://www.samhsa.gov/ or call (800) 575-7480 for more information. For Dr. Rottnek, being Alive and Well in STL means being content in daily life, enjoying and nourishing meaningful relationships, and taking pride in his work. Post below to tell us what it means to you!