Lunch and Learn Program Focuses on Addiction

Addictions councilor, Leo Smith of Porter-Starke Services, presented a Lunch and Learn program yesterday on distinguishing drug and alcohol abuse from drug and alcohol addiction.

“We talked about the difference between social usage of drugs or alcohol, abuse of drugs and alcohol and dependence and addiction,” said Smith of the presentation. “We really tried to separate what the differences are and the importance of knowing the differences.”

During the lecture, Smith used an interesting statistic.

“The number I gave was that 70 percent of the people that drink in the United States of America drink 10 percent of the alcohol consumed. If you flip that around, you recognize that 30 percent of the people drink 90 percent of the alcohol consumed in America. What that says is that most people are social users. It’s just a small number that are heavy users.”

We have noticed a number of drug busts over the past month, especially concerning methamphetamine. Smith was asked if there is an increase in drug use and abuse in Starke County.

“I think we’ve been in an epidemic for a long time and it’s just not the meth. The meth is getting the attention right now. We’ve had an epidemic of drugs, pills, methamphetamine and overdoses and just drug use in general. Plus, alcoholism is rampant. I’m not judging the community, but we’re just seeing these things. The meth use has always been here. At one time, it was a little more complicated to produce and my understanding now is that’s it’s a whole lot easier to produce and they’ve refined their ways. The feel I get is that most of the use and the making of it is for personal use. I’m sure that there’s some selling, dealing and manufacturing going on, but from what I’m hearing is that they’re making it for their use. What I hear from recovering meth addicts and active meth addicts is that they’re just as addicted to cooking methamphetamine as they are to using it.”

If you are having trouble with alcohol or drug abuse, you can call Addictions Counselor, Leo Smith, at 772-4040.