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Breaking the Cycle: Empowering Families Struggling with Mental Health and Opioid Abuse

MeIisa Frain (Secretary, Affinity Patient Advocacy):

For Mental health awareness I would like to talk about some of my family members. Some members of my family have mental health issues and abuse opioids. It has happened my whole life and I have seen what it does to not only themselves but to friends and family as well. Some of my family members went to jail because they were not getting help for their mental health. So they used opioids. That’s why I love being apart of APA because I know what it is to have no one help you when you need it the most.

My mother has been struggling with chronic pain for over 20 yrs. At the beginning, opioids where given to her instead of trying to get to the bottom of what was causing this pain. This caused her to become dependent on opioids instead of other healthy solutions.

My cousin has had mental health issues since an early age. It caused problems with his imitate family so he started living with a family member that was taking opioids for there chronic illness. Therefore he had easy access to them. It got to the point that he started spiraling and taking harder drugs that led to being arrest and jail time.

It makes me mad I couldn’t help. It makes me mad that no one took the time to really help them. There was no resources or information on how to help without Opioids. Opioids have taken some of my family members away from me. We need to pay more attention to Mental health and how to help them without Opioids.

I am so glad that Christina DiArcangelo made this non profit so we can help as many people as we can to get the help they need. I wish there was something like this when my family so desperately needed it. Maybe things would have been better.

We can’t change the past but we definitely can make the future a much better place. I am really looking forward to being apart of that.

The substantial prison population in the United States is strongly connected to drug- related offences. While the exact rates of inmates with substance use disorders (SUDs) is difficult to measure, some research shows that an estimated 65% percent of the United States prison population has an active SUD. Another 20% percent did not meet the official criteria for an SUD, but were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their crime.

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