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.
The drug problem is no longer a “big city“ problem—it's in every city across the US. How did this happen? Growing up in rural, farmland Michigan, I would never have thought that drug addiction would become a problem for those of us accustomed to country living.
After working with hundreds of people who struggled with addiction over the last eight years, I’ve often wondered if our country’s drug problem has an end in sight. I’ve seen addiction in my fellow man in one form or another all my life.
In my years as an addiction counselor, one thing I’ve learned is that while addiction does not see color, the ethnicity, age, gender, income level, background and geographic location of the addict can certainly affect their access to care and ultimately the outcome of treatment.
A March 21st edition in the Washington Post caught my eye for its leading article by Allyson Chiu. The article was titled, “Americans Are The Unhappiest They’ve Ever Been, U.N. Report Finds.” An interesting topic certainly, but what really caught my eye was the subheading: “An ’Epidemic of Addictions’ Could be to Blame.” Now that had my attention.
In light of what may be the country’s worst substance abuse epidemic, the American people look high and low for answers on how they can do their part to resolve the addiction crisis. This is especially true if they had addiction touch their own life or the life of someone they cared about.
What if I told you that the United States has been experiencing a drug addiction epidemic? You’d probably tell me, “Old news.” But what if I told you that, if we all work together, we could quite literally remove this epidemic from our society?