THE FIRST RESPONDER
Misty Swaim has worked in the medical field for most of her career. She’s also spent the past six years learning about the opioid crisis from the other side, through her daughter’s addiction.
Misty is training to be an EMT, and she can tell if a patient is an addict from the moment she arrives on the scene. “They have the lines in their hands, their arms, their pupils are dilated. I mean I know what the signs are of a person that's using. Or if they're withdrawing,” Misty said.
She wasn’t always that way though. When her daughter first started using she couldn’t spot the signs. Her spoons and aluminum foil started to go missing, and she found cut up straws all over the house. “I had no freaking clue,” Misty said.
Misty got into the medical field because of her desire to help people. Now she helps people like her daughter.
“I would love for our facility out here at Hocking Valley to have a floor where it's just a detox floor… we can do a three-day detox, we can get you into a Vivitrol program, we can get you in a rehabilitation program,” Misty said.
One of the biggest issues she sees with addicts that are trying to get clean is a lack of planning and support for their rehabilitation. People often return to the groups and places where they spent time before, which can trigger a relapse. When their tolerance has decreased, those relapses can be fatal.
Misty wants everyone going through recovery to have a treatment plan. “You just can't go to 90 days and say okay, you're done. It don't work like that,” she said.