Battling addiction during the holiday season
Family members may not even know they're enabling their loved ones who are suffering.
The power of addiction may intensify during the holiday season, and what you have in your home could be fueling it.
Family members may not even know they're enabling their loved ones who are suffering. It could be as simple as leaving prescriptions in a medicine cabinet or a drawer.
As everyone prepares to celebrate the new year, families can take steps to help those who are battling an addiction. The holiday season can be a time when alcohol and prescription pills can be easily accessible.
"We always say that pill, that prescription, should be treated like a loaded weapon. It should be locked up, put somewhere safe, maybe not necessarily where an addict would know to look," Brett Martin, with Addiction Campuses, said.
The organization provides a path for help.
Martin said addicts do what they need even if it impacts family members.
"It's not something personal," Martin said. "I'm not going to my mom's house and personally taking it to affect her, but I'm doing it to get my fix. That's what an addict does."
In 2015, the CDC said Tennessee averaged one and a half prescriptions per person, ranking third across the nation. Martin calls that alarming.
The most recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event showed Tennessee led the country by turning in more than 68,000 pounds of unwanted or expired medications. That beat the totals from Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio combined.
"It says that Tennesseans are listening to the warnings that are being put out there, which is a good thing," Martin said. "We know that if we're going to combat this issue, this crisis, this epidemic, it's going to take a team effort."
That's what'll help curb addiction.
Martin said family members can also keep alcohol out of any upcoming celebrations and make sure to count and lock up any medications.
"If they want to be around for New Year's Eve, for the years to come, go get help now," Martin said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can contact Addiction Campuses on their 24/7 hotline at 1-888-614-2251.