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Opinion: Acceptance is the answer with addiciton

As this series draws to a close some important final thoughts come to mind. Whether you think you might have addiction or are worried about a friend or family member it is important to remember that acceptance is the answer. Accepting that there is a problem, accepting that perhaps the loved one does not want help, and accepting that when ready there is treatment available right here in Addison County.
Prevention is the key to ending this disease. Please start talking about substance use, abuse and addiction in your home and with friends. Recognize that opiates damage the brain, and that recovery is a serious life-long task. Talk about it with your doctor and ask about medications. We will end the stigma around this disease when we start talking about it like any other disease. Most people know someone who has addiction; it is very normal in our culture and yet the stigma continues. The stigma ends as we educate, accept and work toward change.
We hope you leave this series of articles feeling as though you understand a bit more about what addiction is and what it is not. We hope you recognize some of the early warning signs that it can seriously happen to anyone (for example pain medications) and that there is help. The treatment options in this area and in Vermont are some of the best.
I will leave you with this final thought, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of life — unacceptable to me… I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to change in me and my attitudes.” — Alcoholics Anonymous, “The Big Book.”
The Addison County Committee on Opiate Addiction accepts that addiction is an issue in our community; we accept that it can be prevented and treated and we hope that you’ll reach out for support when you need it. Thank you for reading!
This week’s writer is Jessi de Boer, who wrote this in coordination with the Addison County Committee on Opiate Addiction. DeBoer, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and a licensed clinical mental health counselor, is coordinator of Adult Recovery Services at Counseling Service of Addison County.

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