With Oregon being the first state to decriminalize all drugs, it's time to look at how decriminalization can—or can't—be done in a way that does NOT increase deaths resulting from drug abuse. Part one of a two-part series.
If three Boeing 737 planes crashed every week from 1999 to the present, the entire country would sit up and take notice. Drastic actions would be taken to prevent further crashes. But that's how many people we've lost to overdoses and our efforts seem half-hearted.
Forty-seven U.S. States have filed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, requesting a total of $2.2 trillion dollars as compensation for Purdue's contributions to the opioid epidemic. Is this a fair number?
A dozen states are suing a drug manufacturer and three drug distributors for more than $26 billion. Why? So they can restore the lives and mop up the wreckage left by the opioid epidemic.
It's possible while our attention has been riveted elsewhere, our drug overdose deaths are escalating out of control. This isn't a problem we can ignore for long. Or at all.
Treatment of classroom and behavior problems with stimulants has had a very widespread and dangerous side effect: the diversion of these stimulants to illicit use. This is mostly due to the myth that they enhance a person's ability to succeed academically.
Loss of life skills is part and parcel of being addicted. So it stands to reason that regaining those skills is an essential part of recovery. The more thoroughly these skills are rebuilt (or built for the first time), the more likely it is that sobriety will last.
People who are addicted to drugs lie for a number of reasons. Some want to hide the truth from their loved ones to protect them, others hide in shame.
In September 2019, I wrote a perhaps overly optimistic piece about the fact that America was finally seeing a downturn in overdose deaths. In the more than ten years I’d been writing about this topic, I had only seen the steadiest of climbs in these numbers. I had no idea—and neither did anyone else—how much worse things would get.
It's NEVER a good time to be addicted. But the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic ups the stakes considerably. If ever there was a time to reach out to a loved one—or reach out yourself—for sobriety, it's right now.