BLANCHESTER — A local addiction awareness group hopes to start a conversation about how there’s much more to addiction than some may think.
Blanchester Hope Warriors have started a campaign with signs saying, “Addicting is a Brain Disease. Be Brain Smart.”
Hope Warriors President Lisa Haynes and member Tari Gregory want people to know that drug addiction is a complex drug disease, citing the National Institution on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
“Addiction is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking and use that persist despite potentially devastating consequences,” according to NIDA. “When addiction takes hold in the brain, it disrupts a person’s ability to exert control over behavior-reflecting the compulsive nature of this disease.”
“The biggest thing we want to get across is we need to start educating our communities and have conversations about addiction,” said Haynes. “Especially educating our children on healthy boundaries and emotional responses to stress and chaotic situations.”
Gregory told the News Journal that this disrupts the person’s normal hierarchy of needs and substitutes new priorities.
“Food, family, and friends aren’t as important to an addict when this happens,” said Gregory.
The campaign is also meant to bring awareness to two other elements that can lead to addiction — genetics and environment — and that these elements, along with mental health, could have an effect on people and can start when they’re a child.
“Eighty percent of Clinton County Children Services cases are drug-related,” said Gregory. “They’ve been exposed to traumatic events and they can have an effect on them. They may think using a dollar bill is to snort something.”
She said it’s important to prevent these mental developments during the adolescent years, since the part of the brain that makes sound decisions hasn’t matured yet.
“That’s huge. We need education on how to deal with our emotions and making sound decisions,” she said. “It’s more than just saying ‘no’.”
For more information or to get a sign, contact the Blanchester Hope Warriors on their Facebook homepage or call Haynes at 513-518-6011.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574