The United States just passed a grim milestone, the first time in recorded history when over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in one year. It’s a painful wake-up call, and a call to action that something must be done about the drug addiction epidemic.
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.
When people think of America’s addiction epidemic, they almost always think of opioids. And while opioids have certainly played a huge role in the crisis, opioids are not the only drugs that kill—cocaine and methamphetamines are claiming lives as well.
One of my colleagues is a veteran nurse who works in a hospital in Baton Rouge. He was born and raised in a sparsely populated, underserved area of Louisiana which is now being devastated by the opioid epidemic...
One of the challenges that we face when addressing our country's drug problem is a lack of relevant and current data about the drug problem. It seems that every time we research the drug crisis, we find that the majority of published data on the subject is somewhat dated. Granted, the data might only be five to ten years old. But when examining a severe health issue which changes rapidly and which is also a life or death matter for millions of Americans, not having current data creates a stumbling block for us when we then try to resolve the problem.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to hear something mentioned that is negative or discouraging about the day-to-day lives of millennials. They’re up to their ears in student debt. They’re having a harder time finding jobs which can support a comfortable lifestyle…
As concerned as I am about the 19.7 million people in our country who struggle with addiction, I keep my ear close to the ground on all issues drug-related. So when I saw a report from last year in the Golden State Sentinel that presented one representative’s efforts to change opioid pharmaceutical prescribing, I was instantly interested.
If you’ve had your eye on health news, you’ve probably heard “fentanyl” mentioned more than once in the last year. And why is that? Fentanyl is a powerful and potent opioid pain reliever first introduced into the medical pain-relief sector for treating cancer patients.
It seems like every year we hear about another adverse side effect of pharmaceutical opioid drugs. Yes, there is the rampant death toll from these drugs. The fact that pills are supposed to help people and instead end up killing them is a frequent headliner in news and media.
When we think of drug addiction and alcoholism, our thoughts almost always turn to the addiction itself, the unbreakable habit, the lifestyle, the strained familial ties, the legal troubles, the difficult day-to-day living situations, and so on.