Addiction recovery expert speaks to community

Al J. Mooney, a medical doctor and internationally-recognized expert in the field of addiction and recovery, stopped by Barbourville on November 14 to share his expertise and answer questions at the UNITE Coalition’s monthly meeting.

“There’s some urgency and passion in which I bring my message and I know you all are here to continue the same thing in support of recovery. In America alone, every day at least 140 people die from opium related overdoses. That’s a huge problem,” said Mooney. “Thank goodness there is a spotlight on the opioid overdose now because that is bringing attention to the addiction issues.”

Mooney also shed light on those suffering from addiction who often get dismissed or overlooked: alcohol addiction.

“It seems like nobody cares about the alcohol issues even though somebody is dying every ten seconds,” continued Mooney.

While it is controversial to those in the addiction recovery community, Mooney stressed that providing addicts in the early stages of their recovery with their drug of choice has proven successful.

“If you had appendicitis and somebody outlawed operating rooms, you wouldn’t do too well,” explained Mooney. “One of the important things about getting people help is getting them through the door with medications…Addicts need their drug.”

Regardless of what form of recovery each addict chooses, Mooney pointed out recovery is not only important, it is lifesaving.

“People are going to die if they don’t get recovery and unfortunately, I’m seeing young people die faster than I ever have before,” said Mooney. “If people have an opportunity to get help, they recover. Not everybody has all the opportunities but we can all help with that.”