Over 3,200 people in the state of New York faced a fatal opioid overdose in 2017, and 20% of those deaths occurred among Long Island residents, according to the National Safety Council. It’s time we face the reality that the opioid epidemic is hitting close to home. In fact, Long Island Interventions says nearly 70% of Long Island opioid deaths in 2017 took place in Suffolk county.
Each year, statistics on substance abuse get worse, yet many individuals believe it could never happen to them. Long Island Health Collaborative, along with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependance (LICADD), want to educate our residents on the serious pull substance abuse has in our communities, and how to prevent deaths and addiction to alcohol and drugs.
From Opioids to Alcohol: Substance Abuse Takes Many Forms
Substances can include a wide variety of content - people can misuse alcohol, opioids, tobacco and other drugs (some illegal and some not). Many people think of opioids and drugs, but alcohol is another substance that can be abused and often lead to death. Alcohol is usually the most accessible substance and is widely accepted in many cultures. However, when it’s abused it can be detrimental. On average, about 30 Americans die daily in an alcohol-related car accident, and six Americans die from alcohol poisoning each day, according to addictioncenter.com.
In Long Island, our community members can see the effects of alcohol abuse within our communities, as drug and alcohol abuse was a top health concern in a 2018 survey conducted by Long Island Health Collaborative. In the same survey, 17.4% of adults in the Nassau/Suffolk region self-reported an incidence of binge drinking at least once in the last month; which was the lowest percentage reported in the last 6 years among Long Island residents.
Substance Abuse Programs in Long Island
Substance abuse and misuse is when a substance is taken more than it’s prescribed or in a way that’s not recommended. Abusing any substance can have very serious short-term and long-term effects on your body, mood and mental health. Addictioncenter.com says about 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder suffer from a substance use disorder as well, which is known as a co-occuring disorder.
Many treatment centers in Long Island recognize that having one type of disorder can sometimes lead to another disorder, and they should set up a treatment plan accordingly. Everyone’s journey with substance abuse is unique, so we want those affected to find a facility that will treat their individual needs.
LIHC’s Partnership with LICADD
Both the Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) and the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) have a mission to educate our local residents about making healthy choices and work towards a better Long Island community. We applaud the LICADD’s message in this video showing how oftentimes addiction is likely to occur among teens and young adults, how substance abuse can affect families unexpectedly and how it can sometimes end in tragedy.
By spreading awareness and giving Long Island community members more information about the seriousness of this topic, our organizations hope to lower the number of deaths caused by substance abuse.
Find a Local Substance Abuse Program in Long Island
The first step to overcoming substance abuse is recognizing that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed. Oftentimes, treatment is not successful unless the individual experiencing substance abuse or addiction is ready to fight it. If you’re looking for resources near you, LIHC has a list of local Long Island resources to help community members facing substance abuse.