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Substance Abuse Event Highlights Opioid Addiction

Sunshine Karns, Centurion Staff

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A team of men from the
Avenues Recovery Drug Rehab
Center in Jamison visited Bucks
on March 8 to spread substance
abuse awareness and reach out to
those in need.
Joe Sass, the clinical director
at Avenues and Stas Botsaris, a
recovering addict and community
outreach liaison, took turns in
speaking out about drug abuse
facts and what a struggling drug
abuser or alcoholic can do to
receive the help they need.
A major topic they highlighted
was prescription drug abuse.
“More people die of overdoses
from prescription opioids than
from all other drugs combined,”
stated Sass. As it becomes easier
to obtain prescription opioids,
America has shifted from street
narcotic abuse to the abuse of
drugs they can get from the pharmacy
with the right prescription.
“They took drug dealers off the
streets and called them doctors,”
said Botsaris.
Botsaris went on to talk about
his own struggle with drug addiction.
He spoke out about his past,
“I would do anything to get my
next fix. I believe I was always an
addict before I even put a drug in
my body,” he stated. He continued
to speak out about his reasons
for addiction, adding that “Drugs
removed the fear and replaced it
with a new sense of confidence.”
Botsaris is now on call 24
hours a day for those who need
help with their addictions. He
works with recovering addicts at
Avenues and works with people to
ensure they attend meetings and
stay clean.
“It doesn’t matter who you are,
the disease of addiction doesn’t
care, but Alcohol Anonymous,
Cocaine Anonymous, and Narcotics
Anonymous do,” he stated,
urging anyone who needs help to
go to a meeting. All AA, NA and
CA meetings are free and can be
held in churches or other public
places.
23.5 mil Americans are addicted
to alcohol and drugs. “What’s surprising,”
said Sass, “is that only
11% of those with an addiction
receive treatment. That’s why we
are here.”
Speaking about the stigma
around drug addiction, they urged
the understanding that drug addiction
is a disease, not a choice. According
to the National Institute
on Drug Abuse, “drug addiction
is a complex disease, and quitting
usually takes more than good
intentions or a strong will. Drugs
change the brain in ways that
make quitting hard, even for those
who want to.”
The Avenues Recovery Drug
Rehab Center is non- judgmental
recovery center that focuses on
open conversation and gaining
trustworthy relationships with
those seeking help. “Our goal is
to empower navigation through
recovery with individualized
programs.”
They are a program that takes
pride in their code of ethical
care. With doctors on staff those
in need can immediately receive
medical treatment. When
speaking on finances, “Don’t let
money be the reason you don’t
get the help you need,” said Sass,
“Avenues accepts many different
insurance plans and grants scholarships
to those who still need
help financially.”
Avenues Recovery Drug Rehab
Center is located at 1753 Kendarbren
Dr, Suite 612, in Jamison
PA. Those seeking more information
can visit their website, or call
their 24 hour hotline at 1-(855)
200-8585.

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
Substance Abuse Event Highlights Opioid Addiction