This month rings in the 30th anniversary of Recovery Month with the theme: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”
September 2019’s Recovery Month theme is aimed to draw attention and awareness towards the need for resource networks across the country to support and give guidance to those trying to find a path to recovery. September has become the month for reminding us that Substance use and Mental disorders affect all and all can be part of the solution to overall health and wellness.
An estimated 30.5 million Americans (age 12 or older) are currently illicit drug users and have used in the last month. In addition, 24.5% of this same population are current binge drinkers. Approximately 16.7 million people, 12 years of age or older have admitted to heavy alcohol use in the past month.
The increased number of reported drug and alcohol users with substance use disorders since 2017 are saddening. In 2017 there were 19.7 million (age 12 or older) or 7.2% of people with substance use disorders in the last year, that is a 10.8% increase in only 2 years.
To celebrate “Recovery Month”, Ventura Recovery Center is rolling out the first of a series of training’s to first responders to “Join the Voices in Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.” and promote long term recovery. First responders are on the front lines during overdoses and substance abuse related injuries therefore its extremely important for us to assist first responders in the appropriate responses to misused substances and mental illnesses in a way that effectively deescalates the emergency situation and informs of the resources and community networks that can properly assist in long term recovery when needed.
Since 2017, the rate of opioid overdoses is increasing at 5.6% per quarter based on the number of calls made to emergency rooms . Those figures have been from a total of 142,557 ER visits from 52 jurisdictions in 45 states, which all involved opioid overdoses.
The number of admissions to treatment facilities for alcohol abuse in 2016 was 552,990, according to “SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set”. The number of admissions to treatment facilities for methamphetamine use was 178,547 which has increased since 2011 from 115,244. There were 114,653 discharges from outpatient facilities in 2016 as well.
In 2017 there were 1.4 million adults (18 years or older) who attempted suicide and 3.1 million adults (18 years or older) had serious mental illnesses co-occurring with their substance use disorders in the last year.
Kratom Use on the Rise
A lesser known opioid substitute called “Kratom”, (a plant consumed for stimulant effects) has drawn the attention of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention after published case reports of seizures, psychosis, and death were associated with Kratom use. According to the CDC a study from 2010 to 2015, Kratom exposure cases rose from 26 to 263, and at least 44 of those tied to death!
In 2017 the “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration” reported 37,133 fatalities related to driving while under the influence of alcohol. First responders have a large responsibilities to be aware of all at-risk populations within their daily work.
As part of Ventura Recovery Centers daily mission to be of service in our community and to “Join the Voices in Recovery”, we will be hosting educational events to assist recovery heroes in our community, the First Responders to drug and alcohol related emergency calls.