You’ve probably heard that drug addiction and alcoholism are a big problem in the US, but you may not be aware of how it affects your community. In Marion and Ralls counties in 2014, residents had 40 alcohol-related and 26 drug-related hospitalizations. The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are serious issues that you shouldn’t ignore.

You’ve probably heard that drug addiction and alcoholism are a big problem in the US, but you may not be aware of how it affects your community. In Marion and Ralls counties in 2014, residents had 40 alcohol-related and 26 drug-related hospitalizations. The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are serious issues that you shouldn’t ignore.

Heather Higgins, a program director at Turning Point Recovery Centers (TPRC), says, “Substance use involves and affects the entire family and community. Ignoring the problem only makes it worse. One of the hardest things to do is to reach out for help but there are options available. Maintaining abstinence and working a recovery program is not easy but it is worth it. You are going to get as much out of it as you put into it.”

Cyndi Keele, the Executive Director of National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) mentions that in a rural community, alcohol and drugs can seem like a socially acceptable way of treating mental health or other health problems, such as long-term pain. However, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol can worsen your health problems and can lead to addiction.

“TPRC offers various tools to help with maintaining abstinence and developing and maintaining long term recovery supports – detox, residential, outpatient, SATOP and Medication Assisted Treatment,” Higgins says. “Our Women’s and Children’s Program allows children to stay with their mothers for the duration of their stay.”

That’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse early. There are a number of signs that you or someone you love may have a drug or alcohol addiction.

You might be addicted to alcohol if you:

•Have temporary blackouts or memory loss

•Drink alone, in the mornings or in secret

•Argue or fight with family members or friends when you drink

•Use alcohol to relax, cheer up, sleep, deal with problems or feel “normal”

•Get a headache, have anxiety, problems sleeping, feel sick or other unpleasant symptoms when you stop drinking

    

You might be addicted to drugs and other substances if you:

•Can’t control your use of drugs – you may use more than you want to, for longer than you meant to, or even after telling yourself that you won’t do it anymore

•Go to work or school less often or not do as well in work or school

•Keep using the drug even though it is causing problems on the job, in relationships or for your health

•Take serious risks to get your drug of choice

•Spend less time on activities that used to be important to you, such as hanging out with family and friends, hobbies or other interests

•Care less about your cleanliness or physical appearance – stop showering, shaving or cleaning your clothes

Turning Point Recovery Centers (TPRC) has detox and residential programs for adults. Call the Hannibal office at (573) 248-1196 to learn more.

The Missouri Department of Mental Health has treatment programs for adults, teenagers and children. Call the local office for substance use services in Marion and Ralls county at (573) 751-4942.

If you are considering suicide, call the Behavioral Health Crisis Line/Access Crisis Intervention Line in your county

•Ralls County: (800) 833-2064

•Marion County: (800) 356-5395