Our communities continue to face challenges surrounding substance use disorder, overdoses, and the opioid epidemic, that is why it is continually important to have open conversations about these topics – to destigmatize and create change.
On a sunny afternoon at The Statler Bistro in Detroit, members of the community gathered to listen to a conversation about substance use disorder hosted by WJR 760’s Paul W. Smith, featuring Co-Founder of the Jamie Daniels Foundation, Lisa Daniels-Goldman, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr. Matt LaCasse, and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and JDF Trustee, Margaret Trimer.
The discussion included topics of substance use disorder, overdose, recovery and how each affect those struggling as well as their loved ones.
Lisa explained that when her family found out Jamie was struggling with substance use disorder, they didn’t know where to turn –especially in Michigan. That’s why JDF is supporting an outpatient recovery clinic in Southeast Michigan that focuses on those under 23 years of age – a unique resource in our community. The Adolescence Addiction Treatment Center (AARC) at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Troy will open within weeks. This clinic will be open to the public and will accept all patients regardless of their insurance status.
Margaret shared that when she joined Delta Dental one of her first assignments was to explore how the organization can help address the opioid epidemic, which lead her to support JDF. Since then she has personally been impacted by the disease through experiences with family and loved ones.
According to Dr. Matt LaCasse, “addiction is much more than the drug itself and the impact it has on the person, it’s also the family it affects”.
According to the CDC, the majority of adults who meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder started using substances during their teen and young adult years. Dr. Matt LaCasse detailed that centers and clinics that offer support for young adults for recovery are slim to none- this is a national problem.
But the group also discussed how oftentimes, it’s the stigma around substance use disorder that prevents individuals from seeking treatment. And because of the stigma, families will keep their loved one’s secret, which perpetuates shame.
Conversations like this one are important to have not just formally, but within our communities as well. The stigma around substance use disorder cannot be eliminated without dialogue – this event was simply one conversation of many that we must continue to have to advance the support and treatment of this devastating disease.