This is part of a fourteen-week series highlighting many aspects of drug use, enforcement of drug laws and treatment that community members and authorities in Hancock County face.
Understanding tolerance levels, how the human body can handle drug and alcohol consumption and abuse, as well as drug treatment medications were discussed in the third week of the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy Community Learning Series Seminars on Addiction in Hancock County. Mark Vehre from the Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio spoke on alcohol consumption and several misconceptions associated with it.
“So often you see ‘Drink Responsibly’ well no one knows what that means so we try to give some kind of guideline as to what a standard drink is and what the drinking guidelines are.” said Vehre.
Using a 0, 1, 2, 3 standard, Vehre noted that for many people, especially young kids, they shouldn’t be drinking simply because their bodies cannot handle it. But Vehre also noted that the same guidelines are applied to adults for the same reasons.
“Many adults don’t know what the guidelines are. You still hear them talk about going out over the weekend and partying. I don’t during the week so I’m ok. They don’t understand that when you’re drinking five drinks, six drinks or more it’s a risk to you. It’s a high-risk choice.”
Vehre notes that progress is being made in spite of popular opinion. Citing his years spent working in education he said that if even one kid successfully learns the risks associated with alcohol consumption and drug use, the program is a success. And if they take that knowledge back to their friends, the success grows. The Family Resource Center participates in youth outreach to encourage kids to get involved in preventative teaching.
“We have a youth advisory board that we get kids involved in. We’re trying to get them to take that message that you don’t have to have alcohol present or drugs to have fun or have a party. The more the youth buy into that message, it’s progress.” said Vehre.
Dr. Mike Milks from the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy also spoke on drug addiction treatments. Milks discussed several drugs on the market today which are used to counteract the effects of heroin and other addictive drugs. While the treatments are successful, Dr. Milks notes that it takes more than clinical therapy for addicts to recover from addiction.
“It really does take not JUST drugs but then cognitive behavioral therapy or some other lifestyle changes. It takes a change in the environment. They need to break old habits because those habits trigger the craving that drugs can blunt but never totally remove it.” said Milks.
Many drug addiction treatments can be expensive, which is part of the issue in getting them to addicts that want to recover. But Milks notes that the cost of larger societal issues stemming from drug use outpace the price for treatment drugs.
“They’re expensive but not nearly as expensive as the loss of life or repeated emergency room visits, incarceration and then lack of productivity.” said Milks
Originally, the week three seminar was to feature Just Reginald Routson from the Hancock County Common Pleas Court. That was rescheduled for later in October. Next week will feature a debate on State Issue 3 which is the Marijuana legalization law proposed for the November ballot. The debate will feature proponents on both sides of the issue. The seminar will be in Davis 2225 at the University of Findlay next Wednesday night at 6pm.
The seminars are sponsored by The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy, Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services, Hancock County Community Partnership and the Hancock County Opiate Task Force.
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