Let’s Stop Stimulant and Opioid Misuse in Our Community

Real people, Real Stories

Stimulants

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Stimulants frequently misused are commonly known as “coke”, “crack”, “meth”, and “speed”. Stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy while also elevating blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. While there are prescription stimulants for medical use, recreational versions such as cocaine and methamphetamine are illegal. 

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Do you know someone that uses prescription stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin? These medications are used to treat people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. However, many people misuse prescription stimulants that are often referred to as “study drugs”, “speed”, or “uppers”.

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Stimulants are not the solution to escape problems, fit in with friends, or satisfy curiosity….drugs eventually become the problem. Harmful effects include extreme weight loss, nose bleeds, infections, skin sores, severe dental problems (meth mouth), anxiety, memory loss, violent behavior, paranoia and hallucinations.

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In 2019, there were 266 psychostimulant involved deaths in Louisiana (approximately a five-fold increase since 2015).

Opioids

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Opioids include heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain killers such as, oxycodone and hydrocodone.
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When used correctly under a healthcare provider’s direction, prescription pain medicines, are helpful for short-term pain relief. However, abusing prescription opioids risk dependence and addiction.

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Prescription opioids are rarely needed for more than 7 days for acute pain. Discuss with your healthcare provider various treatment options to manage pain.
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Signs that there may be a problem with opioids include doctor shopping for multiple prescriptions, seeking opioids from others, engaging in risky behavior, shifting moods, social withdrawal, falling into debt, getting in trouble with the police, and over-sedation.
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In Louisiana, opioid misuse in 2019 led to 588 deaths (a two-fold increase since 2015).
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Most overdose deaths involve illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

What We Can Do As A Community

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Understanding the risks of opioid, stimulant, and other drug misuse starts with you!
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Opioid and stimulant misuse can include taking too much medicine, taking someone else’s medicine, taking it in a different way than you are supposed to, or taking medicine to get high.
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Stimulant and opioid misuse can lead to dependency and addiction interfering with school, work, and social relationships. Many times people mix a variety of drugs which increases risk of adverse effects and the potential for overdose that may be difficult to detect. Opioids and stimulants are highly addictive and can be deadly.

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Addiction hijacks the brain’s reward system and disrupts motivation and memory which leads to loss of control and cravings for more substances like opioids or stimulants.
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Substance addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes a person to compulsively seek out drugs, even though they can cause harm.
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How we can help? We all have a role to play in stopping misuse of stimulants, opioids, and other drugs. Lock your medicines and dispose of them properly. Never share your medicines with others. Learn how to administer Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medicine, that can be obtained at local pharmacies without a prescription. Help those struggling with substance misuse and their family members to connect with professional and supportive services.

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Communities can help create cultures of acceptance and support that can reduce the stigma of substance misuse, and help connect individuals and families to the treatment they need to recover. As a community, we need to help our loved ones by realizing that addiction is a treatable disease and not a personal failing.

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There is hope… recovering from addiction is possible. Behavioral therapies and other types of treatment can be very effective in helping people stop drug misuse and regain a healthy life free of drugs.
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If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction to stimulants, opioids, alcohol or other drugs, Capital Area Human Services is here to help. We offer confidential and professional help, including screening, assessment, referrals and treatment. Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurance are accepted. Call 225-925-1906 or visit our website at RealHelpBR.com for more information.
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Visit opioidhelpla.org to learn more about resources and addiction recovery services in Louisiana.  

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Capital Area Human Services
Addiction Recovery Services
2751 Wooddale Blvd., Suite A
Baton Rouge, LA 70805
Phone 225-925-1906
Toll Free 800-768-8824