Trinity Health is a great sponsor of our work and we're thankful for their support. Today, we're excited and proud to announce that in the Trinity Health Grand Haven Campus, they are opening an inpatient care center for the safe and supervised assistance of those who are addicted to substances like alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, prescriptions, and combined addictions. New Vision Withdrawal Management is a partner in this incredibly needed service for the Lakeshore.
We're going to begin with a very personal side to this story. I am a very thankful and humble recovering alcoholic. I am no different than any other addict. It was just over 20 years ago that my life hit the bottom. I was a highly functional alcoholic which is an addiction that began with prescription meds for ADHD when I was 10 or 11. By the time I was 12 the prescriptions kept me from sleeping, so I would drink half a beer at night to get groggy. I overdosed on the prescriptions when I was 13. It was a 3 day hospital stay after I had 3 grand maul seizures on 120 milligrams of Ritalin. I drank until I was 33 and in the end, I was drinking 2.5 gallons of whiskey a week or thereabouts. I survived a suicide attempt on my 30th BD. I failed miserably at a marriage. I moved to Muskegon to drink myself to death as I figured I wouldn't be noticed. When I got to the recovery hospital, I didn't even realize that I had a pint of booze in the bag of clothes I brought. I should have been sent out on the spot. Night one, it was all that was expected to be in withdrawal. It's not easy. Night two...I was hit by a bolt of lightning and knew it was over. From there, the work began.
It's the detox that is so vital. The addict needs to be stabilized. To an addict, the ease of getting the substance is literally no more than stopping into a corner store or texting their hook up. Addiction takes over every system in your body. From your nervous system to your pulmonary system, mindset, habits etc....substances that create dependency pull them all in. It's not an easy or comfortable day or two, but with the inability to leave and the supervision of a medical staff, it's possible. It's also essential to remember that only one thing has to change. Everything. This is important because when you get out, you can't repeat what you knew. This is the moment when insanity, by the truest definition of the word begins to be removed from life. Insanity, is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
Trinity Health and New Vision are all about healing the body, mind and spirit. To begin with the help of the Trinity Health doctors is a great start. From there, New Vision is actively working to find other community partners to help those who need to change their surroundings and circles. Healing groups, counselling sessions, one on one help. It's a combination of efforts once that physical desire is gone to keep people from a relapse. Alcoholics Anonymous was a huge part of my recovery and it's in seeing that I wasn't alone in my illness.
I met with the President of Trinity Health Grand Haven Shelleye Yankin and Ryan Westerhouse to detail the program and get the word out. Grand Haven is an ideal location on the Lakeshore because it's centered between Muskegon and Holland and those in need of this incredible chance to begin anew don't have to go much more than 30 minutes from home to begin. This is a blessing for the entire West Coast of Michigan and we're so fortunate to be here to share the beginnings.
Some statistics - In 2014, the death rate per 100,000 population was 18. In 2019, this number went to 24.4 per 100,000 population.
In 2021 (the most recent number for Michigan) the death rate was 31.5 per 100,000
Death from drug overdoses per 100k has almost doubled in the past decade and continues to grow.
In Michigan, 19.93% of people reported using illicit drugs in the last month.
The percentage of people in Michigan using illicit drugs was higher than the percentage in the United States.
Historically, post pandemic(s) we tend to see a drastic uprise in health disparities
impacting underserved communities. Pandemics also tend to create poor
economic conditions, typically across all demographics. Maladaptive coping skills,
generational learned traits, and pre-genetic dispositions are a causation to an
increase in substance use.
In 2022, there were more than 3,000 deaths by overdose in Michigan. There were 312 in West Michigan alone.
The 2023 numbers haven’t been released yet, but all projections show this number to continue to increase.
If you or someone you love is ready to make a life altering change, in a safe environment and have the support after that's needed, it begins with a phone call. 616-358-4877. You can visit TRINITYHEALTHMICHIGAN.ORG/NEWVISION online as well.