Name: DEVEN T BROWN
From: West Chester , Ohio
A sudden strength to speak
Seasons in Malibu
A Sudden Strength to speak
Hello, my name is Deven Brown and I attend butlertech bioscience center in West Chester ohio. I attended this school my junior and now my current senior year. I plan to graduate Highschool with my pharmacy technician license. A nation that is like no other where medicine is constantly changing, advancing and reevaluating. Although the FDA (food and drug administration) is one of the best administrations out there, there are dangers and long term effects from opiates that are not or cannot be for seen when first released to the public. Patients usually get handed the potentially life destroying drug straight from their physician however, this is not always the case. Since I’ve been in a medical setting questions such as the first one you’re asking me, I have answered statistically as well as on fact-based data. However, this specific topic is a lot more personal. I think that the U.S. as a nations struggles with addiction for two reasons, those being how easy it is to get ahold of addicting products, and the fact that we struggle also with unresolved health issues.
All though there are many different types of addictions this specific essay is going to be more focused on the opioid epidemic. It blows my mind that an operation, and or injury can cause so much as a life long addiction. From a medical standpoint, most doctors usually prescribe an opioid when the operation or injury causes pain. Unfortunately pain is what’s called a subjective symptom meaning that it is unobservable to the human eye, I say this in an aspect of measurement because when some one Cannot walk or cannot stop crying you can see objectively that there is pain present. Medical professionals know measuring pain is incredibly important when prescribing an analgesic also known as a pain relieving drug. If a patient is having mild- moderate pain it is possible that the drug prescribed should be a non opioid. So the first question is should an opioid or a non opioid analgesic be prescribed to the patient in the first place. When an opioid is needed do to intensity of pain now the question is how strong should the opioid be. Needless to say there is room for error. According to the CDC (center of disease control) In 2010 opioid rates hit an all time high, out of every 100 people 81.2% of them were being prescribed an opioid. If this doesn’t scream over use I don’t know what does. The latest data from 2018 the CDC states that he percentage has now dropped to 51.4% per hundred persons but I feel like we can continue to do better as a nation and as a field, considering doctors must be a big distributor of opioids and play a role on how easy they are to get ahold of.
The other part of the opioid epidemic includes the use of synthetic opioid. Man made opioids according to NIH ( National Institute of Health) synthetic drugs such as Fentanyl are now the most common drugs involved in drug overdose deaths. In 2010 as I previously mentioned that opioid prescription rates were at an all time high, meanwhile synthetic opioid abuse was at an all time low when only 14.3 percent of over dose deaths were caused by synthetic opioids. As the prescription rates fell over the years the overdose deaths caused by counterfeit pills or other SYNTHETIC opioids rose to a high of 59.8% in 2017. Seems like the rolls switched from prescription to synthetic instead of getting better all together. The CDC also says “ The total number of drug overdose deaths decreased by 4% from 2017 to 2018, but the number of drug overdose deaths was still four times higher in 2018 then in 1999.” when the opioid epidemic first hit the US. In 2018 with the 4% decrease still nearly 70% of US deaths involved in opioid overdose. Along with the synthetic opioid involved death rate (excluding methadone) increasing by 10%.
On a Sunday night in august of 2018 my grandmother walked into her grandsons room to say goodnight. Little did she know that her heart was going to be shattered. There she found my cousin on the floor limp. My grandmother was a nurse that worked for NIH ( National Institute of health) for 15+ years so she immediately knew what had happened. She ran to get her Narcan kit as quick as she could, but sadly as she applied the medicine there was no response. He was dead. The price of synthetic drug abuse has costed me my family member, a family member who I grew up with and learned from. Someone who I admired as a person as a soul some one who I would never imagine to leave earth the way that he did. I was angry, after the tears of shock stopped time slowed and my emotions numbed. I traveled back home to West Virginia to be with my family. I sat down next to my grandma to comfort her. I gave her a hug but the room was silent. I quietly said to her “I would like to speak at his funeral if that’s possible.” She looked up at me and said “okay honey” as tears filled her eyes again. Overcome with anger I felt no other emotion. why would some one with such a bright future choose an ever so dark ending? Drugs were the only answer to that question. Two more weeks he would be enlisted in the army. Two months he would be a father of a baby boy. Two more years he would’ve been graduated from college. Two more seconds of thought could’ve saved his life. Numb of the pain until the day of the funeral when I saw him there blue and swollen from the drug overdose the blood in my body be an to boil, all of the emotions came at once. And there I was crumbling quicker than ever still. Angry that every holiday was now going to feel like something was missing. Angry that my grandparents who did nothing but to care for him are heartbroken at the loss of their oldest grandson. Angry that his two younger siblings had lost one of their own. Angry that his mother now only has two kids and not three. Angry that my whole family was heartbroken, not only them, his friends, his teachers, and his coaches we’re all devastated and heartbroken. I felt like I was living a nightmare and if I felt that way I know everyone else had to also. Then I heard the pastor say one of his family members would now like to speak. My anxiety smacked me in the face, but my anger smacked it back. I stood up shaking and walked to the podium looking faces of sorrow My first sentence was. “Do you know this feeling? This feeling of heartbreak and despair you were feeling right in this very moment it could’ve been avoided.” The anger that was running through my blood at him and at his so-called friends that got high with him or introduced him to drugs. “ it could’ve been avoided. I hope this is a wake up call for all of you. I hope that all of you start realizing that that high you wanted, the high he wanted, that high that you got with him put him here in his casket blue and lifeless. I hope that you never let these words come from beneath your skin and I hope that all of you pay a little bit more attention to your choices when it comes to drugs, to your families, your Friends choices when it comes to drugs. Change! This is real life Louis is never coming back and they will forever be a hole in mine and all of your hearts because of drugs.” I kept talking but I don’t remember much of what I said for my mind was not the one speaking it was straight from my heart my memory played no part and the other words spoken to the damn dark room of sad people I had no speech cards. I wanted no praise. I wanted no comments. I just wanted them to listen.
A person who does drugs has no sense of reality their reality only happens while
they are high. Almost nothing matters to them other than getting high no ethics, no morals, just want to get high again. If we educate recognize and stop drug abuse we can take the US and possible the world a long way. I believe the first step in fighting opioid addiction is to educate. Educate on statistics, on prevention, on red flags or signs, and on help and resources. After we educated our population, we can move on to being actively able to recognize the red flags, if we can recognize red flags the next step would be to get help. As a nation I feel as if the help part is mostly secure with thousands of resources to help with addiction. However, I do feel that we could do more to halt adult addiction as quickly as possible. The only way we really could execute immediate rehabilitation would be through laws. At the end of the day adults over 18 do not have to comply to rehabilitation unless mandated in a court of law. Which still gives them a choice to choose prison over help. What if rehab is the only way they could get better? I feel as though laws should be implemented to get immediate help to adults base on addiction status. To push for more power through laws to crack down on not only opioids but also limiting chance of overdose through mandated rehabilitation and returning value to ones mind other than drugs. Over all helping with the epidemic is definitely now on my life agenda. I plan to attend college to study biomedical engineering and medicine to create solutions to problems inside of the medical field, such as medical devices and medicine. I am also considering continuing my education into law later going in to health law, but that all starts here with the money to pay for college. I will be 100% independently paying for college, I would be so grateful to earn this scholarship. Sincerely,
Deven Brown future Biomedical Engineer.