The pandemic raised a number of challenges for Americans living in the U.S. With unemployment skyrocketing and countless COVID-19 related deaths spiking there came an increase in the need for mental health services. According to the American Psychological Association, a number of health officials said that a “misuse of opioids and stimulants” rose as a result. The American Addiction Centers note that sometimes people may turn to drug use as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, difficult emotions or life-changing events. Substances like alcohol, cocaine, and heroin can provide temporary relief from reality and life’s stressors while enhancing pleasure and decreasing “inhibitions and anxiety.”
What is drug addiction?
According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, drug addiction is defined as a chronic disease characterized by “drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control,” regardless if it may cause harm to your body. Repeated drug use can often lead to significant changes in the brain that could potentially prohibit an individual from resisting the temptation of using. This is why drug use is often considered a “relapsing disease” the report notes. People who are recovering from excessive drug use may return to using at some point in their lives, creating a constant loop of dependency.
So what happens if a person doesn’t want to quit?
Cities across the U.S. are launching a number of drug awareness initiatives to help users and addicts find safer ways of injecting or ingesting their drug of choice. Blacks Rule Magazine recently tweeted out a comprehensive list of resources for people that could potentially save lives. The Twitter thread mentioned a number of preventative drug overdose organizations and resources that can be used to help victims struggling with addiction and provide drug safety information for active users. Some of the organizations listed provide preventative drug overdose measures that could help detect life-threatening substances like Fentanyl, “a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin”, the Public LA County notes.
There are several other cities leading the way in drug advocacy initiatives throughout the U.S. that provide resources to individuals struggling with addiction, including detox programs and rehab centers. They also offer harm-reducing protocols for people who are actively participating in drug use. MADAMENOIRE has constructed a running list of programs that could be helpful to you or a loved one.
This site includes a list of harm reduction and addiction methods across Philadelphia.
A unique hospital-based detox and residential program serving the New Orleans area and beyond that is focused on the needs and unique circumstances of each individual.
The Chicago Recovery Alliance offers training on helping people to detect and treat a person experiencing an overdose.
Based in Washington D.C., this drug rehabilitation center provides addiction treatment and resources to individuals battling with drug use.
A Charlotte-based organization that is dedicated to offering wellness resources to young adults about drug safety, substance abuse, and tactics on creating a substance abuse-free lifestyle.
Safe Point is a program that is a part of the Memphis Area Prevention Coalition that offers clean needles & supplies through a needle exchange program as well as overdose prevention training, harm reduction education, and free Narcan at no cost. Narcan is a nasal spray that could be used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.
A Houston-based detox facility offering services for struggling and recovering meth addicts.