Opioid Use and a Pandemic – Perfect Storm for Community Set Back
COVID-19 has created a perfect storm of feelings of isolation, desperation and anxiety among people from all walks of life. At the Family Guidance Center of Warren County, we are aware of the problem and the multifaceted causes of increased use. You may have seen our agency’s billboards in the community that shine a spotlight on this issue. “The Partnership for Success” grant has given the Family Guidance Center the ability to place two large billboards in the community, but we do not want to stop there. We want to make sure that the community has a place to turn if they or someone they love is in need of recovery services.
Opioid use does not just affect the individual; it has an impact on the whole community. So let’s make community recovery our mission. When you think about the impact that one life lost can have on a community and then multiply that void, that is the level of loss the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid epidemic will continue to create unless we come together and remove barriers. Opioid abuse does not discriminate; often the path starts with an injury where narcotics are prescribed. The barriers to people getting help are stigma, shame, denial and lack of resources. As a community, we can do better in supporting those with substance use tendencies—making community recovery the goal. No shame, no stigma—just unwavering support. We can break the stigma of substance use together.