2002-09-14 / Letters

It Seems Like Yesterday….

It Seems Like Yesterday....

Dear Editor;

A devastating tragedy brought to the forefront the need to quickly inform the public that services are available to assist individuals with a variety of needs in every community. Last September 11 marked a time of change, renewed relationships and a deeper commitment among all to reach out and support one another. Substance abuse and Mental Health Programs have been helping New Yorkers recover since the day of the attacks; doctors, counselors and others are working closely with the State of New York Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). A statewide Hope and Recovery Campaign is in place and the message to communities and individuals is clear; help is here and abusing alcohol or drugs to cope with their feelings is never the answer.

We know that the trauma of September 11 may lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in some individuals and has a strong correlation to problem drinking and substance abuse. It is important that individuals recognize the symptoms of trauma and know where to go to get the specialized assistance they need.

Now that we have reached the one year mark of the tragic events of September 11, there is an even greater need to educate individuals on how to recognize the warning signs of High Risk Behaviors, such as self-medicating with alcohol or drugs to escape their pain. Past experience has shown that after a traumatic event, such as a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, it may take one to two years before people are actually in need of substance abuse services. Each person reacts differently to stressful situations and requires unique assistance. Dr. Philip Gianelli, M.D. has been helping New Yorkers recover since the very first day of the attacks as well, working with EMS (Emergency Medical Services/FDNY) as part of the Critical Incident and Stress Debriefing (CISD) unit. If you have any questions about yourself or your loved ones, please call for information on the Hope & Recovery Program and others services available.


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