Bradford Health’s Erin Hinz on Addiction: Costs, Consequences and Treatment
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Last week, Rotarians learned more about the challenges of addiction, both for those who suffer from it and those charged with its treatment. Bradford Health’s Erin Hinz spoke to the club. Rotarian Jimmy Mixson introduced the speaker.
Hinz began with an overview of some common myths about addiction. Defined by the medical profession as a chronic, progressive and often fatal disease, addiction cannot be beat by willpower alone. Like other diseases it must be treated through a variety of medical and therapeutic regimens.
What makes treatment difficult is that the disease is often so difficult to see, Hinz said. Approximately 70 percent of people who are using illegal drugs, for example, are fully are employed, “functional” members of society. They can rarely be diagnosed or treated until the consequences of their addiction — financial, professional, legal and personal — outweigh the benefits of using.
Aggravating the difficulty of diagnosis is the popularity of new “synthetic” drugs, such as bath salts, that are in fact sold regularly in stores, albeit under other names and labeled “not for human consumption.”
The good news is that Bradford and other treatment centers offer hope through treatment. Facing the realities of addiction, intervening and asking for help is the first and most important step.
Hinz was joined by her colleagues Chuck Wint, who has been with Bradford in Alabama for over eighteen years, and Julie Holden, a counselor who is coming on as Bradford’s new community outreach coordinator for West Alabama.
Bradford Health Services has been treating alcoholism and drug addiction in Alabama for more than 30 years. For more information visit www.Bradfordhealth.com.