shutterstock_101644687When people think of communities that are struggling with addiction problems, chances are they don’t think of the major tourist towns where high-profiles celebrities have vacation homes. However, these places may be just the towns where addiction runs rampant. Take, for example, Martha’s Vineyard.

The Martha’s Vineyard Times recently reported that opiate addiction has become a serious issue on the island. The news source recently sent a reporter to speak to people during a meeting held for former opiate addicts, led by Charles Silberstein, resident psychiatrist and addiction specialist at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Many of these individuals told the reporter that they credit their ability to overcome their addiction to a drug called Suboxone, which has caused a great deal of controversy because while it is designed to reduce the cravings that come with opiate withdrawal, it is also an opiate-based drug. The news source explained that this article is one in a series about drug addiction on Martha’s Vineyard that are meant to shine a light on this serious issue.

Martha’s Vineyard grapples with addiction
The most recent study conducted on the island found that addiction is a major problem in Martha’s Vineyard. For example, alcohol abuse is twice as common on the vineyard than it is in the rest of the country. Furthermore, there have been many deaths on the island due to opiate overdose over the past few years.

“The prescription pill problem has become outrageous,” Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake told The Martha’s Vineyard Times. “If you look at our top ten drug arrests over the past year, the vast majority is the pills. We’ve seen a lot of theft from job sites, addicts stealing the tools or copper for money to buy more pills.”

At the meeting for opiate addicts, one woman told the news source that she could gain access to any drugs a person could want in an hour. One former addict, named John, described the impact that drug addiction has had on his life.

“I ended up losing my job, getting divorced, and doing jail time. “I wound up homeless. I slept behind the place I used to work. My dog kept me warm at night,” John told The Martha’s Vineyard Times. “I eventually started shooting [heroin]. It’s a miracle I didn’t get any diseases.”

Abby, another addict, told the news source that she started using opiates when she started dating a man who used. Eventually, he convinced her to steal money from her father to fund their addiction. The stories these addicts shared highlight how crippling addiction can be and the serious negative impact it can have on people’s lives.

Running with the right crowd
People who are recovering from addiction need to stay away from people in their lives who may encourage them to take drugs. The Mayo Clinic explained that staying away from people who do drugs is one of the keys to recovery, which is why some addicts may even have to move in order to stay clean. In order to prevent a full-scale relapse, the clinic recommended that people seek help immediately if they ever use drugs or alcohol again.

Furthermore, people need to remember that prescription opiates are just as dangerous as illicit drugs if they are abused. This is why people should always follow their doctor’s orders when taking these medications, and discontinue using them when they are no longer needed for medical purposes. These drugs are very addictive, and individuals need to be careful when they are taking them, even if they have a legitimate pain problem.

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