As a country we are facing a growing epidemic. It’s an epidemic that plays no favorites: both genders and every race is affected. It can ruin a person from the interior to exterior, tears apart families and can often end in death, and what is worse is there very little help for those who suffer. It is the opioid epidemic.
We have seen the headlines of overdose again and again, most recently in the death of famous pop star Prince who died from an overdose of opioid fentanyl.
Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, stated to the U.S. Senate,
[….] An estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 [….] Several factors are likely to have contributed to the severity of the current prescription drug abuse problem. They include drastic increases in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed, greater social acceptability for using medications for different purposes, and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies. These factors together have helped create the broad “environmental availability” of prescription medications in general and opioid analgesics in particular.
The United States is being called to attention to not only solve and treat these addictions before they happen, but to change the way we view those that suffer.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy addressed this issue with Arizonans recently,
“There are, in fact, many communities that don’t want medication assisted treatment facilities in their neighborhoods because they worry that it’s going to bring bad people.”
It’s time to think of addiction as a chronic illness rather than a moral failure, he said. (azhha)
This change in mindset may be a step in the right direction to change the direction of opioid related addictions and deaths. To view more on the subject along with statistics be sure to view these insightful articles: