Thursday, January 23, 2014

"IWINS" – Our New Video Project to Prevent Opiate Abuse

Peter R. Coleman, M.D.

One of the most exciting things we are doing at the moment is our new project to help educate and prevent opiate drug abuse. The project is called IWINS – which stands for “I Wish I Never Started”. IWINS is a nonprofit endeavor. We are producing short videos and offering them for free. Each video is about a minute long and tells a real story from a real patient who has recently detoxed off opiates. The patient tells the story of how and why they started opiates, and how quickly their life went downhill. The idea and our goal is to educate young adults and to help them make the decision never to start. We already have 7 videos and will soon announce a new web site where everyone can view the videos and educational material.

The US is in the midst of an opiate epidemic. Recent figures from the CDC reveal that over 100 people are dying every day from drug overdoses. Part of the problem is that young people today don’t understand just how dangerous it is to use opiates. Many teenagers and young adults think opiates are just other drugs. They think opiates are like marijuana – they can be tried and given up at any time. Young people have no idea how quickly the physical dependence begins, how quickly tolerance builds up, and how painful it is to experience opiate withdrawal. They don’t realize just how low the success rate of treatment for opiate addiction is, and how dangerous and fatal the use of opiates can be.

I am the Medical Director of an Opiate Detoxification program, so every day I see young people who have become drug addicts. They are usually good kids who came from good homes with loving parents. Day after day, I hear parents ask what they did wrong. I frequently hear that the kids were doing well all through their childhood, but all of a sudden they changed. They experimented and tried opiates and they quickly became addicted to the drugs. Once they became drug addicts, everything in their life went downhill.

I have two teenagers myself and I worry that they could easily fall into the same trap as many other teenagers. I figured that if my children could just sit in my office for a couple of weeks, and hear my patients tell their story, my children would be so shocked they would never try opiates.  It was then that  I realized I needed to capture these stories so that all teenagers and young adults can hear just how horrible and dangerous these drugs are.

A new web site is in development and will be a source of educational information including our video stories.  We now have 7 videos completed and we intend to produce a new one every week.  Then, We intend send them out to schools, churches, and any other group who wants to help stop this drug epidemic. The stories are very powerful…. real people who have recently experienced the horrors of drug addiction,….and who are passionate about warning others. They all wish they never started.

I will be sure to let you know when the web site is completed.  In the meantime, if you know any groups who would be interested in receiving these videos, please let me know.
Thank You.

At The Coleman Institute, we love to help people get better from drug and alcohol addiction!  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869.  

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