No single path, no lone solution offers an answer to the issue of substance addiction plaguing Lenawee County and the nation.
Just ask an addict.
“Between communities, between families, friends, each other, talk about it,” said M.M., 59, of Brooklyn and a recovering addict. “Continue to talk about it. Ask questions, find answers, participate anyway you can. Lives can be spared and saved. Maybe someone you love or care about, or that loves and cares about you. Unfortunately there are no easy fixes, no easy answers, no one cure-all for every situation or for everybody, but there are things that can be done, there is help available. Find it, use it and do whatever it takes. Because we’re all important. No matter what the problem, there is a solution.”
The answer to the problem of addiction, which has grown with the increased use of opioids, unprescribed prescription pills and heroin, is as different as the addicts and how they became addicted.
A bipolar disorder that surfaced in his teen years led Derek Howe, 55, of Adrian into addiction. It was never addressed as a teen and led him to self-medicating with prescription pills. In time, it grew into major addiction problems.
While there were times when he tried or had to address the problem, it wasn’t until he overdosed last summer that he faced the truth.
“I had to find help,” he said.
He found a support system at Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority (CMH) and with his family. But the biggest factor, he said, was Victory Clinical Services. The Jackson County agency helped dull the daily desire to use through its methadone program.
It is not the answer for everyone, he said, but “it’s changed my life.”
In addition to methadone, the clinic also has a treatment plan based on a holistic, problem-solving model, where each client is treated as a unique individual with the potential to resolve substance abuse problems in a positive manner.
“I support what they are doing for many addicts,” he said. “I’m doing a lot better.”