THE FIRST RESPONDER
Misty Swaim 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.
Misty is learning to deal with opioid users as a professional, but she's spent the past six years learning about the opioid crisis on a personal level, through her daughter’s addiction.
When her daughter first started using, Misty 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,” she said.
One of the biggest issues Misty 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.
“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.
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.