Monday, September 22, 2008

Understanding Addictions

CAMDEN (Sep 22): “Understanding Addictions” will be the subject of a free evening program open to anyone in the Midcoast area and presented by the First Congregational Church, Camden, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 25.

“’Understanding Addictions” is intended both for people who may be suffering from an addiction and for individuals who would like to be more helpful to a family member or a friend who is struggling with addiction,” said program leader, Mary Ellen Ostherr who works as a substance abuse therapist for Mid-Coast Mental Health and also has a private practice. She has worked in the field helping individuals and families with substance abuse and recovery for 15 years.

“Part of the program will be about how to understand the signs of addiction and what you can do about it as a friend or family member. The program will also cover how to recognize enabling behaviors and what to do to help stop those behaviors that can contribute to someone’s addiction,” she said. “An important part of the program will cover how we can reach out and help others.”

Denial—how to recognize it and how to deal with it as a friend or family member will also be covered, Ostherr said.

Maine currently leads the nation in per capita addiction to opiates and the state is number two in alcohol addiction. Factors that make the problem worse for the people of Maine, she said, include the long winters, the ready availability of drugs and alcohol, and the high risk nature of some jobs in Maine.

It is easy to get hurt and take prescription drugs as part of the rehabilitation, she said. Good people can find that weeks later they may develop an addiction. Another factor is the Internet. There are now websites that make it all too easy to get prescription medications. Some of these websites have doctors standing by who will write the prescription.

“Understanding Addictions” is offered through the “Live and Learn” series of free seminars and workshops presented for residents of the Midcoast area by the First Congregational Church, Camden.

“Understanding Addictions” will be held in the Mayflower Room of the church at 55 Elm Street in Camden. Participants should park in the Church parking lot behind the Church and enter through the door on the parking lot side. The Church is handicapped accessible.

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