Experts explain how to support addicts – The Cavalier Daily

The university is participating in new research that helps identify and support people with addiction problems through its Center for Leading Edge Addiction Research, which develops treatments for addiction.

The number of high school and college-aged students ages 15 to 24 who died from an overdose rose from 3,377 deaths in 2009 to 4,777 deaths in 2019, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. According to the NCDAS, the surge in deaths is mainly due to opioid overdoses, many of which are caused by cocaine-infused fentanyl. The Addiction Center found that college students were twice as likely to abuse drugs than those who did not attend a four-year full-time program.

This substance abuse can be caused by a variety of causes, including stress, increased course exposure, curiosity, and peer pressure. Students involved in Greek life are 26 percent more likely to be affected by substance abuse than other college students.

CLEAR Director Nassima Ait-Daoud Tiouririne explained the importance of CLEAR and the constant innovation in the field of addiction research.

“I think it is very important to keep the field rich with new approaches and ways of treating addiction,” said Ait-Daoud Tiouririne. “We really need to be the leader in testing a new addiction intervention.”

One of the new approaches that Ait-Daoud Tiouririne has implemented at CLEAR is the Opioid Helpline, an advertising-ready and confidential helpline that can be called for a variety of opioid-related questions. She said two main groups of people call the helpline – those who have been prescribed opioids and want advice on avoiding addiction, and those who are addicted and seek help.

“We really wanted to see and test this platform and see what people – both doctors and individuals – thought about it, and some of what we found was fascinating,” said Ait-Daoud Tiouririne. “And when we were collecting the data, the most helpful thing was to have someone to talk to.”

Ait-Daoud Tiouririne said that many addicts need to speak to someone for orientation, education and contact.

Freshman Anna, who had a loved one who suffered from substance abuse, said she had come to a similar conclusion. For data protection reasons, Anna has decided not to provide her last name.

“Listening is the key to helping someone,” said Anna. “I realized that I would never really be able to understand what it is like, but I still have a responsibility and obligation – as someone who cares a lot – to work to understand theirs as best I can Experience. ”

As opioid use increases among college students, it is useful to know how to respond to a loved one who is battling addiction. When approached by a loved one seeking help with addiction, Ait-Daoud Tiourine said that one should avoid accusatory language that is not productive to help a person as it adds to the stigma surrounding the addiction.

Despite the current understanding that addiction is a disease, there still remains an enduring stigma around people suffering from addiction. When scientists first began studying addiction in the 1930s, they believed it happened to people who lacked willpower. However, in recent years, studies have shown that addiction tends to reflect a brain condition.

“It has many compulsive components that look like OCD in many ways,” said Ait-Daoud Tiouririne. “It changes the brain. It takes control of your brain and becomes compulsive, and you give up everything to keep it up. “

Anna’s personal experiences reflect these trends.

“At first it was difficult for me to understand the thought processes behind her decision to continue abusing substances,” said Anna. “Then I finally realized that they weren’t making a decision and that there was no thought process behind it. Addiction is not a choice and it doesn’t help anyone to think it. “

Another organization dedicated to combating addiction is Addicted.org, a Charlottesville drug treatment center company that works to help address the opioid crisis. The company uses a treatment locator service to find a location near the patient that will meet their needs for specific drug problems. The company also publishes information on addiction online.

Author Joseph Kurtis publishes articles on drug abuse treatments and addiction trends for Addicted.org. He started his addiction work in 2011 in a rehab facility and a large part of his work was in the field of patient admission.

Kurtis explained how to react when a loved one is addicted.

“You have a hard time,” said Kurtis. “Your life is not good. So you don’t need someone to come in and tell you how to screw it up or let it down. They know that is why they didn’t get in touch and ask for help. “

Kurtis also stated that the field of addiction and the understanding of addiction changed in the course of his activity.

“When I first got into the field I thought there was only one treatment,” said Kurtis. “You are treated and [it] it either worked or it didn’t. It turns out that there are many different types of treatment. ”

An important part of a holistic approach to addiction care is having a support team for someone struggling with addiction. Ait-Daoud Tiouririne said being heard was an important first step in recovery.

The university offers a range of resources for students with addictions or drug use issues, including support groups, individual counseling, substance-free social events, and in some cases medical interventions. You can contact Student Health and Wellness at 434-924-5362 or visit the Health Promotion and Wellbeing website for more information.

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