In some severe cases, mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and psychotic symptoms (hallucinations & delusions) can best be helped by inpatient psychiatric treatment. Try to find out what type of mental health treatment is available to your loved one, and what steps you can take during a crisis before the crisis occurs, if possible.
Did You Know?
One of the resources available to individuals in Western New York is BryLin Hospital, a short-term psychiatric hospital offering inpatient mental health treatment in Buffalo, NY. Psychiatric assessment and treatment is available for any mental health disorder. Treatment for depression, bipolar disorder, ptsd, anxiety disorder, as well as a multitude of addiction support and substance use disorder treatment is available for children, adolescents and adults in the Buffalo and Western New York region.
Here are some signs of crisis that show inpatient mental health treatment at BryLin Hospital might be needed.
People may need to go to the hospital if they:
Threaten or try to take their lives or hurt themselves or others
See or hear things (hallucinations)
Believe things that aren’t true (delusions)
Need special treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy
Have not eaten or slept for several days
Are unable to care for themselves or their families, e.g., getting out of bed, bathing, dressing
Have tried treatment with therapy, medication and support and still have a lot of trouble with symptoms
Need to make a significant switch in treatment or medication under the close supervision of their doctor
Have any symptom of mania or depression that significantly interferes with life
BryLin Hospital: Inpatient Mental Health Care
In some severe cases, mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and psychotic symptoms (hallucinations & delusions) can best be treated in an inpatient psychiatric environment. If you know someone who is suicidal or in emotional distress, call BryLin Hospital, a psychiatric hospital providing short-term, crisis stabilization for children, adolescents, and adults.
BryLin Hospital will accept voluntary patients 7 days a week, 24 hours a day by calling our admissions department at (716) 886-8200 ext. 2264. You can speak with a psychiatric registered nurse who can can help determine what level of care might best meet the needs of the individual, which may or may not include hospitalization.
Why BryLin Hospital?
Most people in a psychiatric crisis go where they are told to go, which usually is the nearest psychiatric emergency room (CPEP). In many instances, a trip to the psychiatric emergency room, and the inconveniences that are associated, can be avoided. Why would you want to call BryLin Hospital as opposed to going to the nearest CPEP? See below:
Avoid long waits in crowded Emergency Rooms
No physician referral needed.
Avoid long waits in an emergency room.
Insurance benefits are checked for you.
Innovative and individualized care.
Diverse, evidence-based treatment options.
Alternative Therapies (art therapy, pet therapy, music therapy, & yoga)
*** IMPORTANT: PLEASE CALL FIRST *** BryLin Hospital DOES NOT have a psychiatric emergency room and CAN NOT provide emergency psychiatric evaluations. Call the admissions department to speak with a psychiatric registered nurse.
For more information on how BryLin Hospital could be a treatment resource for you, a friend or a family member, please call the BryLin Hospital admissions department today at (716) 886-8200 ext 2264.
Earlier this week, I found a scrap of paper while cleaning that stopped me in my tracks. On it, I had written “take a year off” followed by a short list of commitments in my personal and professional life. The list included things I had entered into with excitement—like training other people in my profession and organizing community events—but didn’t have the time or energy needed to continue.
At the time I wrote the list, exhaustion was my norm. I was living with episodic and unpredictable pain, and my work was suffering. I didn’t have the energy to do all the things I normally do. I was keeping my commitments but performing poorly, which made me feel miserable.
What I didn’t know when I wrote that list was that depression would soon be a part of my life. I missed some of the early signs, but eventually it became clear that I was not well. The first clear sign came when I felt no joy during the Night to Shine Prom, an event my friends and I had spent months planning. It’s something we always consider to be “the happiest night of the year.” I thought something might have been “off” with the event, but as I saw joy on everyone’s face except my own, I realized something was “off” with me.
It was then I realized I needed a period of rest for my mental health. And along the way of implementing that rest, I learned a few helpful tips:
It Can Take A While
Some commitments are easy to take a break from, while others require more planning. After the Night to Shine Prom, I let the planning committee know that I wouldn’t be able to help plan the next prom. It was emotionally difficult, but it was quick. However, some of my other commitments took time to transition away from, as I had to identify and train a replacement before I could step down. It took months to fully cross off everything on my list, but each time, I felt a weight lift.
You May Second-Guess Yourself
Each person will face different challenges when preparing for a period of rest. I felt like I would be judged, I felt guilty for being less involved, I worried that important things would be left undone, and I didn’t want my relationships to suffer. These thoughts were common in the beginning, and I had to keep reminding myself how important it was for me to rest and recover.
People May Not Support You
Your colleagues, friends and family probably aren’t fully aware of the reasons rest is necessary for you. If their initial responses aren’t as supportive as you’d hoped for, it might mean they’re just surprised, or they rely on you and will miss your contributions. You may find it helpful to explain why you need to take a break. In some instances, though, the best thing you may be able to do is to quietly try to understand things from their perspective.
Stepping Away Is A Surprisingly Positive Process
Maybe you realize how important it is for you to cut back and have fewer responsibilities. What you may not realize is how positive it can be for other people. During the process of transitioning my responsibilities, I got to see people step up who were just as passionate about these roles as I had been. Almost immediately, the energy they brought to the roles resulted in growth and improvement I hadn’t been able to fully offer for a long time.
Rest Is Hard…
Rest is not accomplished by simply taking time off and then going back to your busy schedule. Rest occurs when you allow yourself to be fully inactive. A period of stillness and rest may be a necessary precursor to a more active mental health recovery. After a period of rest, you may find that you are more motivated to engage in activities like exercise, reading, crafting, praying, journaling or spending time with loved ones. You will be more likely to benefit from those wellness-promoting activities if you have taken time to rest first.
But The Results Are Worth It
When you’re rested, you’ll have energy to enjoy the things you love again. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your response to your personal and professional opportunities changes from “Oh no” to “Heck yes!” Even before I considered myself fully rested, I found I had more energy to be a mom, to be a wife and to commit to my work. After resting for a month, I was thrilled with the quality of my work. I even had energy left over to spend on myself and the things I enjoy.
You May Not Have All The Resources You Need To Rest
I am blessed to have the support of family and friends—and access to paid sick leave. I know these are not resources everyone has and sometimes paying the bills, getting your kids to school or taking care of your loved ones may not be things you can readily disengage from. My advice if you cannot commit several days—or, dare I say, weeks—to rest is to take advantage of whatever opportunities you can. Do what you absolutely have to do and then rest the remainder of the time. Maybe instead of committing a month to complete rest, you start by committing a month to only doing the things you need to, letting non-essential projects wait and accepting help from others when it’s offered.
I am grateful to have experienced firsthand the profound impact rest can have on mental health and work. Its positive impact has influenced me to incorporate continued rest into my regular schedule. I feel great, and I am proud of the work I am doing. I know if I want things to stay this way, I will need to intentionally make time for rest.
Coming across the slip of paper that started my journey toward rest was a shock. As soon as I saw it, memories of how physically and emotionally exhausted I was rushed in. I cried as I recalled all the moments and days I lost to pain and depression. Then I realized how much better I feel now and the role that rest played in me getting to a better place. Seeing that slip of paper strengthened my resolve to rest when I need it.
Jennifer Adkins is a wife, a mom, and a psychologist. Her professional interests include treatment of anxiety disorders, improving family relationships, and reducing stigma associated with mental illness.
Being a teenager these days isn’t easy – nor is it easy being the parent of a teenager. And with illicit substance use becoming more prevalent, the challenge has become even greater. Fortunately, according to the American Association for Family Therapy (AAFT), most adolescents who experiment with drugs do not progress to become adult drug abusers or addicts. However, adolescent substance use (alcohol, marijuana, opiates, and inhalants), even in small quantities, can have extremely negative consequences.
Adolescence can be a time of experimentation and risk-taking. As parents and caregivers, it can be difficult to discern what normal adolescent behavior is and what is becoming problematic.
What signs should call a parent’s attention to the fact that there is a problem? Common signs pointing to a problem include evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia in your teen’s possession; behavioral problems and poor grades; emotional distancing and lying; isolation and depression; changes in their circle of friendships; hostile, irritable behavior; lack of interest in personal appearance; changes in eating and sleeping patterns; and dizziness and memory problems. More serious signs are more frequent use of alcohol or drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, prescription opiates or heroin – which requires immediate attention and intervention.
When should a parent seek help? The simple answer is – the earlier the better, because the good news is that treatment works, especially when parents and guardians are involved.
One place that parents can seek outpatient treatment is BryLin’s Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Clinicin Williamsville. The Clinic offers specialized adolescent programming that is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the adolescent client and their family. As part of the Adolescent Substance Use Treatment team, BryLin employs Masters Level Qualified Health Professionals who are dedicated to adolescent addiction treatment.
BryLin’s Adolescent Recovery Treatment Track has been specifically developed for the adolescent who presents with a Substance Use Disorder. This program provides support, intense treatment, education, and awareness for the adolescent client and their family.
The Clinic’s comprehensive group programming for adolescents and adults include: Recovery from opiates, Introduction to recovery, Early recovery, Relapse prevention, Specialized adolescent groups, Young adult (18-25yoa) groups, Women’s and men’s groups, Meditation & relaxation in recovery, Co-occurring groups, Professionals groups, DWI Assessments and more.
Unique to BryLin’s Substance Use Disorder Clinic are the FREE Family Group sessions. The setting for these groups is designed to be educational and supportive for adult family members, and concerned others (18+), who have a loved one dealing with addiction. The group is run by a licensed professional, held every Monday from 6-7pm, and it’s tailored to the needs of those in attendance.
To learn more about BryLin’s Outpatient Adolescent Substance Use Disorder treatment or the free family group, please call (716) 633-1927.
A candlelight memorial service to commemorate the lives lost to opioid addiction is scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at LaSalle Park in Buffalo.
As part of International Overdose Awareness Day, loved ones of people who died from opioid overdoses are invited to bring an 8-by-10 inch photo, a pair of the person’s shoes and empty pill bottles to the gathering. The names will be read aloud at the ceremony and a bell will be rung in their honor. Participants can email a photo as an attachment, along with the name and dates of birth and death, to be printed for the event. The photos and information can be sent to to Debra Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This memorial provides the opportunity for participants to engage in a reading of names of those we have lost, share reflections, gather information on overdose prevention, addiction/recovery and family resources, and learn about advocacy efforts,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.
Everyone is welcome to attend; especially those touched personally by the loss of a loved one or are currently dealing with the active opiate addiction of a loved one.
Invited or expected guests include:
Patrick Burke, Erie County Legislator, District 7
Lynne Dixon, Erie County Legislator, District 9
Joel Feroleto, Delaware District, Buffalo Common Council Member
Christopher Jacobs, NY State Senator, 60th Senate District
James McHugh, Group Supervisor,U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Cheryll Moore, Medical Care Administrator, Erie County Department of Health
Ted Morton, Erie County Legislator, District 8
Michael Ranney, Commissioner of Mental Health, Erie County
Daniel Rinaldo, Drug Intelligence Officer, New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
The event will be held at the pavilion bandshell in LaSalle Park. It is sponsored by the Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force’s Family and Consumer Support and Advocacy group.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol or drug related issue, you may need to seek help from a substance use disorder professional at the Behavioral Health Center in Williamsville, NY.
Please contact the Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Clinic, for adolescents and adults, at (716) 633-1927 to schedule an initial appointment or to attend the FREE Family Group on Monday nights. You might also need to call Crisis Service’s 24-hour Addiction Hotline at 716-831-7007.
Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness at the time of their death. Depression is the most common of those mental illnesses. Although most people who are depressed do not kill themselves, untreated depression can increase the risk for possible suicide.
Major depression is a serious medical illness affecting 9.9 million American adults, or approximately 5 percent of the adult population, in a given year. Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, major depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with an individual’s thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health.
Major depression can occur at any age and it has no prejudices affecting all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups. The symptoms of major depression characteristically represent a significant change from how a person functioned before the illness, including: persistently sad or irritable mood; changes in sleep, appetite, and energy; difficulty concentrating; agitation; lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and emptiness; and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Suicides are frequently found in association with mental illness, particularly with individuals diagnosed with major depression, other mood disorders and substance abuse. According to a May 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) press release, there were 38,364 reported deaths by suicide in 2010. The number of completed suicides in the US is equivalent to one death by suicide every 16 minutes. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death for all ages and is the second leading cause of death among 25–34 year olds.
There are many types of treatment options available for major depression including exercise, psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. What works for one person might not work for another. The type chosen depends on the individual and the severity and patterns of his or her illness. Although depression can be a devastating illness, it is highly treatable. Between 80 and 90 percent of those suffering from serious depression can be effectively treated and return to their normal daily activities and functioning.
Connect With Others and Save Lives
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
The Out of the Darkness Walks are proof that when people work together, they can make big changes in our world. These walks take place in hundreds of cities each fall to raise awareness for this important cause.
Number of Community Walks: 24
Number of Community Walks: 385
Number of Walkers:
Number of Walkers
BUFFALO WALK – Event Details
Walk Date: 09/09/2017
Walk Location: Delaware Park – Buffalo, NY
Check-in/Registration Time: 09/09/2017 at8:30 am
Walk Begins: 10:30 am
Walk Ends: 1:00 pm
For more information, please contact:
Contact Name: Carissa Uschold
Contact Phone: 585-202-2783
Contact Email: email@example.com
When you walk in the Out of the Darkness Walks, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.
If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone who is, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help. You can speak with a psychiatric registered nurse at BryLin Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in Buffalo, NY, by calling 716-886-8200. Another option is calling the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to talk to a trained counselor.
Untreated depression can increase the risk for suicide. Reach out for help. Treatment works. Speak with a health care or mental health professional to discuss your treatment options and what might be the best option for you. Contact BryLin Behavioral Health System at (716) 886-8200 for more information on depression treatment.
Suicide causes more deaths each year than war, murder, and natural disaster combined. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for suicide prevention. AFSP has set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate by 20% by 2025.
Whether you know someone personally who has committed suicide, struggled yourself, or just want to support the cause, participating in Out of the Darkness helps AFSP to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.
Anyone who participates at the Out of the Darkness Community Walk and has been touched by suicide or mental illness will wear honor beads of all different colors. This helps to connect everyone and let them know how they personally connect with the cause, and each other.
It’s a great opportunity to bring the whole family, and even dogs are welcome! With a $10 donation, you’ll receive an AFSP Paws for Prevention bandana.
Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. Here are some facts about the prevalence and impact of mental illness.
Prevalence of Mental Illness
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1
Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3
1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.4
2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.5
6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6
18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7
Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.8
An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.9
Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.10
70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.11
Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.8
Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.12
African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.13
Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.14
Consequences of Lack of Treatment
Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15
Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16
Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17 Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.18
Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.19
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.,20 the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–2421 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.22
More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.23
Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.24
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call Crisis Services of Erie County at 716-834-3131 or the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.
Call BryLin at 716-886-8200 for more information on suicide prevention, crisis prevention, and mental health treatment in Buffalo.
Glaze, L.E. & James, D.J. (2006). Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Washington, D.C. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/mhppji.pdf
Colton, C.W. & Manderscheid, R.W. (2006). Congruencies in Increased Mortality Rates, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Causes of Death Among Public Mental Health Clients in Eight States. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 3(2), 1–14. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1563985/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/NNBBJC.pdf
Carrie Fisher may be most well-known for playing Star Wars’ Princess Leia, but she was a superheroine in real life too. The actress and author, who died Tuesday at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest, battled relentlessly against the stigma, and to raise awareness for the need for treatment.
Fisher was diagnosed at age 29 with bipolar disorder, an illness characterized by episodes of depression and mania. Throughout her life, she used her trademark humor and candor to shed light on the condition, and convey the powerful, life-changing message that there is no shame in a mental health diagnosis.
In honor of Fisher’s legacy, here are just a few of the times she spoke out and inspired us all.
On owning your diagnosis
“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.” —December 2000, in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Prime Time Thursday
On the courage that mental illness requires
“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” — Wishful Drinking, her 2008 memoir about her mental illness andprescription drug addiction
On finding the humor
“I thought I would inaugurate a Bipolar Pride Day. You know, with floats and parades and stuff! On the floats we would get the depressives, and they wouldn’t even have to leave their beds—we’d just roll their beds out of their houses, and they could continue staring off miserably into space. And then for the manics, we’d have the manic marching band, with manics laughing and talking and shopping and f***ing and making bad judgment calls.” — Wishful Drinking
On surviving a severe manic episode
“I don’t really remember what I did. I haven’t watched the videos that people took. I know it got bad. I was in a very severe manic state, which bordered on psychosis. Certainly delusional. I wasn’t clear what was going on. I was just trying to survive. There are different versions of a manic state, and normally they’re not as extreme as this became. I’ve only had this happen one other time, 15 years ago, so I didn’t have a plan of action.” —September 2013, in an interview with People about the bipolar episode she had while headlining a Caribbean cruise
On chasing your dreams, despite your diagnosis
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ―April 2013, in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
On why getting help is crucial
“Without medication I would not be able to function in this world. Medication has made me a good mother, a good friend, a good daughter.” —February 2001, at a rally in Indianapolis for increased state funding for mental illness and addiction treatment
On how to help a loved one with bipolar
“If you feel like your child or friend or spouse is showing signs of this illness, if you can get them in touch with somebody else they can talk to and share their experience with and not just feel like they’re being told they’re ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or ‘stupid,’ then they can relate somehow.” —November 2004, in an interview withbp Magazine
On summoning courage
“We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges. Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic—not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder.” —November 2016, in her Guardian advice column, “Ask Carrie Fisher“
A Hopeful Solution…But not a Saving Grace-Narcan: “Not a Morning After Pill”
The usage of Naloxone, or Narcan, an injectable opiate antagonist has risen with the rise in opiate related overdoses and substance abuse in Buffalo and WNY. Training on how to administer the reactionary measure to avoid death in the event of an overdose has been being offered to those beyond first responders such as EMTs, Police, and firefighters.
Due to the opiate epidemic in our region and nationwide, those working in substance abuse treatment and addiction help, nurses, medical professionals, and even the general interested public are being made aware of how to successfully prevent death in the event of overdose.
Awareness of Naloxone is rising, and so is success. Narcan has brought positive attention to a very grim situation. Overdose revivals and saves are becoming more prevalent, but unfortunately the root of the problem sometimes overpowers the solution. A local Buffalo NY firefighter and first responder was sad to say how there is a certain misconception about Narcan that needs to be avoided.
“It’s not a morning after pill.”
Because time is so precious in the moments following an opiate overdose, Narcan is only successful if administered in a timely response. In some scenarios, emergency services are not contacted fast enough. Narcan can save someone from dying, but it doesn’t solve the problem at its source.
Drug Abuse Prevention and Addiction support are the most important factors in helping to solve this problem. If you or someone you know in Buffalo or WNY suspects a problem with addiction or substance abuse, please contact BryLin Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic at (716) 633-1927 for information on addiction treatment and help with opiate addiction.
Opiate Epidemic in All Communities Across Western New York
You can’t turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing something about the opiate epidemic. According to county health officials, Erie County was on pace to record twice as many opiate related deaths in 2015 compared to 2014 data, when there were 128 fatal overdoses.
The Buffalo News reported back on February 9th that there was a deadly batch of heroin that had killed 23 people over an 11 day period. At that time, opiate-related deaths in Erie County for 2015 were expected to hit 264, possibly 300, when all of the toxicology tests were completed for the year.
In the first 10 days of March of this year, heroin and other opiates are believed to have claimed as many as 10 lives in Buffalo. “We are at epidemic levels and there is no end in sight,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said Thursday. “Sadly, it is probably going to get much worse before it gets better.”
I think everyone would agree that something needs to be done to help these people who are struggling, many of whom are very young, from overdosing and dying. What can be done? Where can these people go for help? Unfortunately, one of the biggest barriers to people getting the treatment they need is themselves.
How do you get a loved one into treatment during this opiate epidemic?
When people are in the throes of addiction, especially opiate addiction, their world view becomes very small. Their world becomes surrounded by using, thinking about using, obtaining means to be able to use, going to buy the drugs to use, and how to avoid withdrawal, pain, and emotions at all costs. When all of your time and energy is consumed with this world, the world of addiction, you lose sight of all the other things that are right there in front of you like a supportive family/friends, treatment, help and hope. The new normal becomes darkness without the ability to see light.
Here is some perspective from the addicted person’s point of view. When we tell someone that they need to get help, what are we really saying? We are telling them to give up the world they know; the world where they feel “normal”. We are telling them to give up every facet of how they spend their day and to do it while being very uncomfortable and experiencing physical and emotional pain.
Think about that for a moment. Let’s look at our own day-to-day life and how we spend our time. Now, imagine someone is telling you, ‘everything you have been doing is wrong and you can’t do any of those things anymore, just stop it’. Do you feel you would be able to do that? Would it be easy? Of course not! When we tell someone who is addicted that they have to stop doing the only thing they know, is it any surprise that they are resistant and scared?
The reality is, we cannot force anyone to accept treatment and recovery. The addicted person needs to make that challenging and scary decision themselves. That decision is to give up their way of life, as they know it, in the hopes that there is a better life waiting for them.
Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment In the Heart of Williamsville
When that addicted person is ready to accept help, BryLin’s Behavioral Health Center has an Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinic that offers outpatient treatment for adolescents and adults at 531 Farber Lakes Drive in Williamsville. One of the unique programs offered at the clinic is free. It’s our FREE Family Group which run every Monday from 6-7pm. The setting is designed to be educational and supportive for adult family members, and concerned others, who may have a loved one dealing with addiction. This is a group run by a licensed professional and is tailored to the needs of those in attendance. Please contact us for more information.
So how do you help someone make the decision to give treatment and recovery a try? Help them to see that their new “normal” is not their normal; that their lives were much different before their addiction and that world is still there. Help them to see beyond their small world view and show them hope. Don’t shield them from the consequences caused by their addiction. Don’t enter the world of addiction with them. Stay in your world and keep reaching out to them, show them the path back to join you and a life free of addiction.