Radford alumnus published
Radford Alumnus Michael Love was published in the fall 2016 issue of the “Journal of Rural Mental Health” (JRMH).
JRMH is an interdisciplinary journal that accepts submissions from members of all mental health professions.
Love’s article is an abridged version of his dissertation that was completed while at Radford University. His dissertation covered the topic of prescription opioid abuse in the New River Valley.
“My interest in prescription opioid abuse comes from my first few years of clinical experience, where I worked in a variety of community mental health settings in the New River Valley,” said Love. “I noticed quickly that a lot of my clients struggled with very complicated issues of addiction around prescription drugs, especially opioid painkillers.”
Love’s article covers how opioid abuse evolves over time, and, in some cases, to include more dangerous methods of administration.
“Many people who become addicted to painkillers started receiving a prescription for a very legitimate pain problem, but the very nature of the medication is that it can cause dependency - even in those who are attempting to use them responsibly,” Love said. “There are also a lot of folks who use prescription medications to ‘self-medicate’ for various mental health issues, often because mental health resources are scarce or hard to access for those in rural communities.
“The research says that prescription drug abuse often goes undetected because the drugs can be legally acquired from a pharmacy, and those that aren't prescribed them are often able to acquire them through family or friends,” Love continued.
Love believes that it “is important to communicate about rural mental health issues in publications that are likely to reach an interdisciplinary audience.”
“I found some suggestions that rural individuals who use opiates for nonmedical reasons may have higher rates of injection than individuals from urban and suburban communities,” Love said. “No one had yet used a national sample to compare rural and non-rural residents, so this became the focus of our study. We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to compare trends in rural and non-rural communities between 1994 and 2008.”
While at Radford University, Love was trained as a generalist practitioner in the Psy.D. program with an emphasis on multicultural competence, social justice advocacy and rural mental health.
Love currently works as generalist practitioner at the Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech.