RICO’s Safe Passage Program helps patients fight opioid addiction, stay out of jail
To deal with the growing fatality caused by opioid overdose, Rock Island County (RICO), Illinois has adopted a new way involving various police departments. The sheriff’s office, along with various police departments, is planning to work in collaboration with local treatment centers and help individuals struggling with addiction in RICO. The Safe Passage Program, as it’s called, will help thousands of addicts trudge safely through their recovery with the help of volunteers.
The program has already yielded positive outcomes in various other parts of the QCA and has been adopted by Lee and Whiteside Counties. A safe passage allows individuals dealing with opioid addiction an opportunity to walk freely into the sheriff’s office or other local police departments, and ask for help without any fear of being arrested.
However, Dixon Police chief Dan Langloss said that the time of visit can be a critical factor. “There’s a 12-24 hour period when somebody wants help between the time somebody’s used last and the time they’ll become incredibly sick. We’ve got to be able to capture that moment,” he said.
How opioid addiction occurs
Opioids are prescription drugs that are commonly used to help alleviate pain caused due to injuries, dental issues, surgeries and other medical conditions. Although using these drugs as prescribed is safe, when an individual begins to misuse them or does not follow the instructions of the doctor, it might lead to dependence and addiction.
Opioid use disorder is a severe form of addiction in which an individual experiences an irrepressible urge to use these highly addictive drugs. The development of opioid addiction in an individual is identifiable through a number of physical, behavioral, and psychological changes. Some of the common symptoms that one should look for when identifying opioid addiction are:
- Inability to coordinate properly
- Feeling of drowsiness
- Slow breathing rate
- Feeling of nausea or vomiting
- Inability to make decisions
- Slurred speech
- Disturbed sleeping cycle
- Mood swings
- Anxiety etc.
Effects of opioid addiction
According to the annual surveillance report of drug-related risks and outcomes by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 47.73 million people in the U.S. aged 12 or older used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs in 2014, with an estimated rate of 17.8 percent.
The effects of opioid addiction and misuse are ominous. It could lead to:
- Loss of job
- Broken relationship
- Bleeding ulcers
- Domestic abuse
- Child abuse
- Financial troubles
- Damaged kidney, liver and other major organs
- Hampered brain functioning
- Death, etc.
Road to recovery
Although severe and chronic addiction is fatal, one can still gain sobriety with a timely intervention. Individuals addicted to opioids should seek immediate help to recover from their addiction. However, walking the path of recovery is not that easy due to nagging and painful withdrawal symptoms that follow such as bone and muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, and insomnia, among others.
Managing these withdrawal symptoms requires one to seek an expert’s advice and assistance in curbing these symptoms and begin his/her path to recovery. Moreover, treatment for opioid addiction is also different for every individual, which include behavioral counseling, medication, evaluating of co-occurring psychological disorders (that might trigger an addiction), helping patients with life skills, long-term follow-up after treatment for thwarting a relapse, etc. Hence, only an expert can decide the line of treatment a patient requires by assessing his or her specific symptoms.
If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids or any other form of drugs, the 24/7 Drug Addiction Help can assist you in connecting with the best inpatient drug abuse treatment centers and outpatient drug abuse treatment centers as per your needs. Call our drug addiction helpline (866) 403-5607 or chat online with one of our experts to get the best help for drug addiction in your vicinity.