‘Just Say No’ To Trump’s Short-Sighted Anti-Drug Stance, Florida Addiction Recovery Center Says

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In a scattershot approach to the opioid crisis in the U.S., the Trump administration is simultaneously supporting a “Just Say No” approach while recognizing the current problem as a profound one. Brittany Ringersen, CEO of Lighthouse Recovery Institute, says you can’t have it both ways.

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I’m a person who publicly went through addiction … Addiction is very powerful. It rules and reigns over our life; it did for mine for many years.

If there’s a place where the “Just Say No” mentality intersects with heartfelt stories about substance abuse struggles, would someone please point it out to us? The Trump administration is parroting former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s tired approach to avoiding drugs. Meanwhile, the White House is asking people to submit their personal trials and tribulations to a government-funded website. In the eyes of Lighthouse Recovery Institute, something is deeply wrong here.

“You can’t have it both ways. We’ve got scare tactics at play alongside video snippers of people pouring their heart out [on CrisisNextDoor.gov],” says Lighthouse CEO Brittany Ringersen. “‘Just Say No’ was outdated and ineffective when it was debuted in the 1980s.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 115 Americans die daily due to opioid overdoses. These people rarely start off with needles. Rather, their battle with opioid addiction begins with painkillers prescribed by a doctor following routine surgery. The pills run out, the pain persists and the patient must turn somewhere else. As Time magazine states, “Just Say No” was the product of the crack cocaine epidemic; the White House’s own website describes the ongoing heroin abuse issue as “The Crisis Next Door.” According to Time, there are “still concerns about the balance between saying no and providing funding.” Freeing up of federal funds to address opioid abuse is encouraging, Ringersen says, but Time points out that it won’t be enough to cover the $60 billion bill coming due over the next decade.

At CrisisNextDoor.gov, Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry is one of those who submits a personal tale of struggle and recovery. “I’m a person who publicly went through addiction … Addiction is very powerful. It rules and reigns over our life; it did for mine for many years,” says Strawberry. To Ringersen, the way to reach those suffering from addiction is approaching at an individual level. No two people have the same needs and blanket rehabilitation isn’t going to get to the source of the problem. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, programs for men, women and families are in place. Self-esteem and understanding emotions are part of the male program while women will be taught about restoring a healthy body image and families will form a chain of support. Rather than saying “no,” say “yes” to a road to recovery that puts lives back on track.

About Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Lighthouse Recovery Institute is a licensed and accredited drug and alcohol treatment center that offers a therapeutic environment for those recovering from drug or alcohol addictions. CEO Brittany Ringersen, whose own struggle with addiction started with painkillers prescribed after a dental surgery, will mark nine years in recovery come spring 2018. To learn more about her and this respected community resource, visit lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com.

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