It may seem unbelievable at first, but the title is no exaggeration. America’s addiction epidemic has become so widespread that the United States now loses the population equivalent of an entire city each year to fatal drug overdoses.
As long as I have been working in the field of addiction recovery, the entire industry from the top to the bottom has been playing a massive game of whack-a-mole. That’s the carnival game where a mechanical animal head pokes out of a panel with multiple holes in it.
While America has been preoccupied with other situations, our drug overdose losses have kept mounting. Using statistics published by the CDC we can calculate the date on which America passed a horrific milestone: 100,000 overdoses losses in one twelve-month period.
We know that families suffer terrible losses as a result of drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. But how does this situation affect our nation's health as a whole? We will catalog some of the impacts of this social problem.
Truly understanding our losses to drug overdoses means taking a longer look at the numbers. That’s where the tragedy becomes crystal clear, along with the necessity to take more immediate action.
Public health experts usually agree that preventive efforts should be used as a front-line defense against health problems. In the case of drug and alcohol addiction, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are useful preventive tools that states can use to reduce the diversion of pharmaceuticals into the hands of addicts.
The destructive nature of drug addiction has never been more apparent than it is right now. Recently, the CDC recorded the highest death toll from drug overdoses for any 12-month period. What will it take to curb the rise of drug deaths in America?
It may seem unrealistic to consider a world where addiction to drugs and alcohol does not exist. Is it even possible? Or is addiction too much an intrinsic part of human nature?
For some time, the U.S. drug problem has seemed entirely unique. But now, similar problems are beginning to develop in Europe. How will European countries tackle their drug problems?
Within the opioid addiction epidemic in this country, several types of drugs play a role. But opiates take the lead for causing the most harm, for taking the most lives, and for creating the largest public health burden.