Vanessa Rus: Grand County is in denial about substance abuse
To the Editor:
I wanted to comment about the wonderful article placed in the Sky-Hi News about creating a facility for substance abuse users.
One of the thoughts and concerns I had when I moved out here almost two years ago was the amount of denial when it came to mental health and substance abuse alike. The issue that I have the most problem with is those who use substances also suffer from an underlying psychiatric condition that either they are unaware of or have been led to believe (through generations of denial in one’s environment) that drinking or drugging will help alleviate the issues that are causing them to self-medicate to begin with.
“Dual-Diagnosis” is a serious issue that many with a substance abuse problem and a psychiatric one know nothing about. What I see as incredibly important may seem far fetched by many. Having a rehab for substance abuse is one thing, but having a facility where one can be placed as an in-patient to treat their conditions would be an incredibly important facility to have in Grand County. One’s only option is in Grand Junction or on the Front Range, and I find that to be a bit reprehensible. So many individuals out here cover up their pain with substances, but some face it by getting the proper help that they need. Many learn from their environment that denial is something that can be taken care of by a few beers, and the possibility of driving home and endangering themselves or, even worse, an innocent bystander.
Many need to be taught that no matter how much they drink or drug, the same underlying psychiatric issue will continue to exist, UNLESS they seek proper psychiatric help. Also, we have enough liquor stores in this county to send anyone into a downward spiral. Did anyone ever think or use common sense to put two and two together? You have enough stores for the psychiatric issues to go unnoticed. You also have people who will use vouchers on gas, and use the other 10 bucks they have on liquor. This is a very serious issue that should be brought OUT INTO THE OPEN and no longer swim in the sea of DENIAL.
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