From The Executive Director by Kevin Rich
As we enter into the festive holiday season, I, along with the Oklahoma Pharmacists Helping Pharmacists (OPHP) board of directors would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.
During this busy cough, cold and flu season, I hope everyone stays healthy both mentally and physically. If you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to OPHP for help that is readily available. If you know someone struggling, I hope you will be available for them. If you are a pharmacist or student pharmacist and you are struggling personally with the disease of chemical dependency or other mental health issues, I encourage you to call OPHP today and self-report your issues now. The advantages of self-reporting your own issues are that you are able to get well or get in recovery, and if there are no legal issues or complaints the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy does not get involved.
This is a tremendous opportunity, so don’t let it slip away. Call OPHP before it is too late.
In this issue of “Prescription” the focus will be on healing the addicted family and the intervention on the chemically addicted individual. I would like to thank Enterhealth a treatment center based in Dallas for providing the articles.
The disease of chemical dependency is a family disease. The addict’s unpredictable behavior places great stress on the family, which may develop unhealthy coping skills. This creates the need for the whole family to get well and recover. Sometimes, an intervention is necessary as a first step getting the addict to treatment. As always if you have any questions in regard to an intervention, please don’t hesitate to contact OPHP.
Many people don’t realize how difficult the holidays are for a person with a drug or alcohol addiction, not to mention their families. The individual’s unpredictable behavior inadvertently makes the holidays a time that family members dread, putting a damper on the quality time they have to spend together.
Although a majority of families tend to delay drug and alcohol interventions until after the holidays, seeking an intervention before the holidays can prevent a substantial amount of heartache, sadness and anger.
Addiction grows more serious over time, so prolonging an alcohol and drug intervention can cause the individual to experience a progressive downward spiral. With time, the chronic brain disease becomes harder to treat, and family trust and patience decrease. The sooner an individual seeks treatment the better, and helping a friend or family member begin that treatment can provide a future full of happy holidays.
Some individuals attempt to avoid holiday triggers by avoiding the people and situations that may set them off. However, they will learn that it’s not only impractical but impossible. Instead, trying to identify and deactivate your triggers, could not only be beneficial for your day-to-day life, but could make for a smooth holiday season. Be aware of these common holiday triggers.
· Alcoholic drinks at holiday parties
· The stress of shopping
· Anxiety/pressure of being around the family
· Old drinking buddies may tempt the sober individual to revisit the good old days
· Media coverage promoting alcohol
· If a recovered addict is estranged from their family, holidays can promote loneliness
In this issue I have also included an article “Identifying the Problem” Often family members or friends or colleagues realize something is wrong with the chemically dependent pharmacist, or student pharmacists, but just can’t identify the issue. I hope this will help and always remember to trust your instincts and call OPHP immediately. This could be one of the best gift you can provide someone who is suffering from chemical dependency.
I encourage any pharmacist or student pharmacist that may be struggling with chemical dependency or any other mental health issue, or if you know a pharmacist or student pharmacist you think may be struggling, to call the OPHP Help Line now.
All calls are confidential and OPHP is readily available for help. I assure you it is the best thing you could do for a family member, friend, colleague or yourself. If there is no legal action, the pharmacist or student pharmacist can get the help and treatment they need for their disease and remain anonymous to the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy as long as they comply with the recovery recommendations of OPHP.
I assure you it is the best thing you could do for a family member, friend, colleague or yourself. If there is no legal action the pharmacist or student pharmacist can get the help and treatment they need for their disease and remain anonymous to the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy as long as they comply with the recovery recommendations of OPHP.
If you haven’t already contributed to OPHP this year, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution. These contributions help OPHP continue to assist pharmacists/pharmacy students with the recovery process. To make a donation, please use the form below or click here to make a donation online. For those who have made a contribution this year, please accept our sincere thanks.