Addiction can cost the user everything — their family, their job, their home, even their life.

But it doesn’t have to end there.

“Recovery is possible,” said Mircea Handru, executive director of the  Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky &  Wyandot Counties.

Handru said it is usually a catastrophic event that makes addicts decide they want to quit using substances.

“They are either in the midst of losing their children, financially  maybe they are bankrupt, they lost their job, they lost their house. It  could be they have been incarcerated. They have broke the law so many  times they are now in jail and at their lowest point. It may even be  that their best friend just overdosed and died.”

For those who want to quit, the first step is easy.

“Call me,” Handru said. “If they call our office first, we do services to match their needs.”

He said when it comes to treatment, one size does not fit all.  Factors that can influence how a treatment plan is designed include what  an addict has been using, how long they have been using, whether the  user has access to transportation, and how motivated they are.

“If you have a daily user, the first thing is we got to send them to  detox so we can get the drugs out of their system. Just as important is  what we do with them after seven days,” he said, adding that now the  former user has to return to regular life.

“Do they have the right structure around them, do they have a healthy  environment, do they have family support, or do I have to look at  moving them away (from their previous environment)?”

He said although relapses are possible when quitting drugs, relapses are also dangerous.

“The drugs today are so powerful that the second or third (relapse)  they might overdose and die. We see so many synthetic drugs that are  extremely powerful, even way more powerful than heroin, that these  people don’t have a second chance. While we understand that is part of  the recovery process to relapse, sometimes the drugs are so powerful  that they relapse and they don’t make it any further. And that’s the  scary thing that I think people need to realize.”

Handru said the cost of recovery should not prevent anyone from  seeking treatment, as Medicaid or private insurance will cover the cost.  While many users may not have insurance and have not bothered to go  through the process to receive Medicaid, that is not a problem.

“We help with that. Anybody who is Medicaid-eligible, we help them  enroll in Medicaid. But we start services immediately,” he explained. “I  don’t worry about when Medicaid is going to kick in. We’re going to  start treatment right away.”

He said county levies for the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board ensure that nobody goes untreated because of income.

Handru said one thing family members of users can do to help their  loved one is to encourage them to seek treatment and to understand that  recovery is possible.

“Life is better without drugs,” he said.

He said letting the user know that their loved one will be there for them is also important.

“Let them know there are resources available to help them. Give them  our phone number. Educate them that oftentimes you might not have a  second or third chance.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of  Seneca, Sandusky & Wyandot Counties’ 24/7 crisis hotline is  1-800-826-1306.