The eerie scythe that is the opioid crisis in the United States continues to reap the lives of our loved ones, has a body number increased over the Vietnam War, and remains largely uncontrolled, if not by laws in the interest of personal enrichment, our collective naivety in respect of the subject and the inhumane, but popular public opinion that those who drug Take no help.
If you go to bed tonight, [115,500,000] 115 people will lose their lives because of an opioid overdose . This amazing statistic will be repeated daily. This means that enough people filling a small airliner will die every day until something can be done to reduce or change it. However, to address this as a society, we need to understand our slanted perspective on the question and its origins.
From an early age, we are swamped with audiovisual content that aims to paint a picture of drug users in our heads. On television, the vile, sneaky, drug addicted criminal or high school friend turned into an enemy as they took drugs and became "evil." Antagonist after antagonist is thrown in our way until we get the image that drugs are bad and the people who use them get worse. If this marketing approach was not enough to convince you, the D.A.R.E. Program could fill in the gaps. It teaches the importance of avoiding "bad" choices and "bad" people so as not to ruin your life, but avoids lessons on how your self-esteem is not influenced by your choices so you do not lose hope of yourself or not alienating but compassionate they help a family member or a friend who has converted to drugs.
These approaches to educating our youth to keep children away from drugs unfortunately leave them with the chemical changes in the brain that occur and how severe is not addiction. In addition, they leave a harmful misunderstanding of the drug user that not only affects their self-esteem when they start making decisions, but also makes them an alienating force rather than a useful one when their friends make decisions and the problem persists. When my children were drugged as a child, it was very difficult to reconcile what I believed with the drug users to the brothers I loved.
Most associate overdose with needles, heroine and a skinny stranger who has not gotten used to drugs. For this reason, it would be surprising that about 80% of cases of overdose were persons with a legal prescription of analgesics.
In the late '90s, a new kind of drug dealer hit the streets, dressed in a lab coat and a repressive pad. Since large pharmaceutical companies convinced the congress and the doctors that the risk of addiction and death was not a problem with this new "magic magic drug", the number of prescribed prescriptions exploded. Years passed before we started realizing what was going on, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) began cracking written prescriptions. This allowed those who were already addicted and had no guidance to choose between buying these pills on the black market for double or switching to the much cheaper and stronger heroin.
That was two decades ago and the crisis just grew from there. Nevertheless, Congress still passes laws that can only make matters worse. In 2016, after millions of dollars in donations for certain members' campaigns Congress passed a bill that would essentially prevent DEA from stopping suspicious shipments of pharmaceutical companies, an effective means of preventing large amounts of drugs from being sold Beat streets. The attitude of this government towards the crisis is also not helpful.
While our President went through the motions to make it look as if he and our government were taking this issue seriously, his actions say something different. Trump has given a speech twice pointing out that this crisis is now a national emergency, but he has neither requested nor allocated additional funds to improve the situation. He has not started the right paperwork that would allow state governments to access emergency aid to tackle the problem. Instead, he used this theme to emphasize his campaign that emphasizes the importance of a border and sought to lift the Affordable Care Act, which provides millions of people with mental health and dependence.
When I woke up to how my mother lost her sleep and spent years of her life giving my brothers the help they needed, it was hard. She called several treatment centers and begged them to accept them or cover the costs, as was the case in the thousands. She heard the same frustrating response from each one of them: "We can not take her to a detox clinic if she does not pass a drug test," or "we can only take her when she's bottomed out." Not only is an addict almost impossible to pass a drug test, but for most, death is death. When my eldest brother died in 2014, two days before his 33rd birthday, due to complications related to drug use, I stopped believing that the problem was not personal and that millions of deaths did not reach my garden could] This crisis is growing and fast. We have to start taking this issue seriously as a society. We have to exercise compassion in our daily lives when we connect with those affected. We need to stand up as a nation and contact our local and federal government officials to ask them to open up resources for treatment centers and health care, to create an effective and new curriculum at the elementary, middle and high school level and to make naloxone, a drug, reversing an overdose, widely used by drug users to help with overdose so it will not kill.
We must confront this problem with the understanding that these people are not low living beings are one's mother, brother or son. Just because they are plagued with a disease that is more taboo does not mean that they do not deserve help. These are people, our fellow citizens. With mortality rates soaring, it's only a matter of time until there's no one left to say that has nothing to do with me.