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3rd Mahoning County opioid summit examines whether addiction is a choice

By Jordyn Grzelewski

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

PHOTO CREDIT: Vindicator

Whether addiction is a choice or a disease was the focus of the third community opioid summit organized by the Mahoning County Juvenile Court and Mental Health and Recovery Board on Friday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel social hall. More than 150 were in attendance.

Duane Piccirilli, executive director of the mental health and recovery board, said the topic was selected after officials received numerous questions about whether addiction is a choice after two previous forums.

The event featured several speakers, including medical professionals, a law enforcement officer, and people in recovery, such as Jeremy, identified at the event by his first name.

Dr. Daniel Brown, chief medical officer at local treatment provider Meridian HealthCare, spoke about what addiction is. An important point, he said, is that it is not interchangeable with dependence.

“Dependence is a normal physical adaptation to the chronic exposure to a substance,” he said.

Addiction, on the other hand, is a chronic, relapsing brain disease.

Brown explained that addiction occurs within the brain’s reward system.

Full Article posted on Vindy.com – http://www.vindy.com/news/2018/may/12/mahoning-county-opioid-summit-examines-i/