Most people know that overdoses of opioids like heroin, oxycodone or fentanyl can kill on the spot. But the use of these drugs, especially injecting them, can cause many other deadly conditions. Understanding the risk an addicted person faces every day should include knowing about these less obvious risks.
Overdoses are probably the most discussed and the most focused-on effect of drug use, particularly when it comes to opioid drugs. We see news headlines about drug overdoses all the time.
The ravages created by fentanyl may not be obvious to you as you walk down the main street of your town. But factually, in some strata of life in America, fentanyl is creating unprecedented devastation. This drug (actually a family of drugs) is taking as many as 78 lives every day.
“How do we talk to our kids, even young kids, about drugs and alcohol?” “And should we do so?” “What is the right age to start talking to my child about drugs and alcohol?” “How do I communicate to a nine-year-old what drugs are and why they’re bad?” These questions and many others like them are at the forefront of parents’ minds. As we continue to live through what might be the worst drug addiction epidemic that this country has ever seen, such questions are becoming even more prominent.
Addiction is the health crisis of the century for millions of Americans and their families. A cursory examination of the addiction epidemic timeline reveals that pharmaceutical opioids played a huge role in the creation of the epidemic.
A healthy lifestyle is always preferred over an unhealthy one. As we go through life, we try to be as healthy as we can. Those intentions are, of course, strongly affected by a wide variety of factors. These include socioeconomic condition, genetic endowment, upbringing, geographic location, peer environment, available resources, etc. Still, we do the best that we can with the resources available.
We see this often with people who are self-medicating on anabolic steroids. The misuse of anabolic steroids is harmful enough by itself. When we add another drug habit into the mix, for example, self-medication on opioid pain relievers, the drug habit becomes far more severe.
A headline in U.S. News caught my eye. It read, “Teens’ Opioid Abuse May Be Gateway to Heroin.” Written by U.S. News contributor Robert Preidt, the article talks about how one type of drug use can lead to another type of drug use.
Drug and alcohol addiction is tearing our society apart, creating a severe struggle and hardship for millions of American families. While teens and young adults as a demographic do not experiment with hard drugs to the same degree that grown adults do, when this does happen, the effect is devastating. Short of a death in the family, I think it would be hard to find a familial crisis or event that would cause as much grief and trauma as that of a son or daughter succumbing to drug and alcohol addiction.
It’s no coincidence that the strides towards the legalization of psychedelics fit right into the footsteps left by recent efforts to legalize marijuana. It seems that our country is edging closer to drug legalization being more broadly accepted. But we know how harmful drugs are, so why is this new wave of legalization expanding the potentially harmful effects of an ever increasing cornucopia of substances.