Help available for substance-use disorder

Individuals with a mental health and/or substance use disorder often times feel isolated, alone and shunned. Yet every year, approximately 21 million people in the United States live with these conditions.

In the tri-county area of Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties, it is estimated there are 12,000 individuals who have a substance-use disorder and are in need of help and support. The stigma associated with a substance-use disorder is a major barrier to people seeking treatment.

At a time when individuals need the support of their family, friends, co-workers and community, often times they get ridiculed and shamed. That is counterproductive and actually exacerbates the situation leading to individuals using more of the substances to cope with the feelings of shame, isolation and hopelessness.

September has been declared Recovery Month both nationally and in South Carolina. We know that people can and do recover from substance-use disorders. Many get their start in recovery by entering professional treatment and sustaining it through self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.

In the tri-county area, we have a strong professional treatment program, the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and a strong self-help community. With offices in Orangeburg, Santee, Bamberg and St. Matthews, we can provide quality treatment in our communities. But we cannot do it alone. Individuals struggling with a substance-use disorder need their families, friends, co-workers and the community to rally around them to support their engagement in treatment and their quest for a healthier life. We need to help them understand that recovery is possible, treatment does work and there is hope.

As a professional in the field for the past 27 years, I personally have seen countless individuals come in with little to no hope as they battle their addiction. Through treatment and support, they realized a better life. A life of recovery that leads to better health; improved relationships with family and friends; stable and fulfilling employment; and a serenity that allows them to move forward each day with hope and positivity. Please join me in supporting those who struggle with a substance-use disorder. Reach out to them and let them know you care and are willing to assist them in any way possible.

For more information about or to schedule and assessment, call our office at 803-536-4900 or log on to www.tccada.com. To learn more about Recovery Month, go to https://www.recoverymonth.gov/home

Mike Dennis

Executive Director

Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

William J. McCord Adolescent Treatment Facility

Orangeburg

Demand protection of media

Regarding the letter to the editor of Aug. 31, “Media not allies of people,” please don’t disregard the media just because they do not represent your narrow world view. If all news is labeled “false news,” then there is NO news.

The Dalai Lama says, “When you talk, you are only representing what you already know, but, if you listen, you may learn something new.”

The first thing totalitarians do is silence the media. Beware of this and demand protection of the media.

Larry Barwick, Cameron

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