Seeking recovery during the holidays

Some will struggle in the coming weeks with families, holiday expectations and substance use disorders
FILE. Misuse of prescription drugs accounts for part of the problem with substance use disorder.
FILE. Misuse of prescription drugs accounts for part of the problem with substance use disorder.(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:23 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Right now, many are gathered with family, giving gifts and eating home-cooked food.

But, for some – it can still feel like something is missing.

“Somebody who is struggling with substance use disorder, somebody who is struggling with mental health issues,” said Gail Ploe, Western UP Health Department programs coordinator. “It’s even tougher, because they feel even more a pressure, to do and be better than they are.”

Prescriptions drug misuse is a contributing factor to the problem.

“There’s occasions several times throughout the year we receive complaints of thefts of prescription drugs throughout the county,” said Houghton County Sheriff Joshua Saaranen. “Sometimes the suspects are people that you know, sometimes there’s illegal entries and breaking and enterings if suspects know there’s prescription drugs in the house.”

Saaranen recommends keeping your prescriptions in a safe and secure place. People can also drop off any unused prescriptions at the sheriff’s office in Houghton 24/7, 365 days a year.

And, for those who personally struggle – Ploe encourages them to stay strong this holiday season.

“It’s really difficult because you’re navigating family relationships, you might be navigating new recovery on your own,” said Ploe. “People feel a little disconnected because they’ve had to give up maybe some of their old friends. Maybe even family members they’ve had to distance themselves from.”

Remember to stay open-minded if someone confides in you about their substance use disorder.

Recovery is possible with the right support system.

For questions about the Houghton County Sheriff drug drop-off program, give them a call.

If you or someone you know needs help recovering from substance use disorder, Dial Help has many resources for people.

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