From: Tucson, AZ
In the late 1990’s pharmaceutical companies assured medical communities and patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relivers. Health care providers began to prescribe opioids which became a widespread diversion of misuse of medications before it came clear that they were highly addicted. (drugabuse.gov). In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses. The overdose includes prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. (drugabuse.gov).
I believe our nation is dealing with an addiction crisis for a couple of main reasons aside from genetic addiction and “Trying it for a loved one”. The first reason I feel our nation is dealing with an addiction crisis is because doctors are over prescribing. People are unknowingly becoming addicted and aren’t aware they are addicted until they go through withdrawal (At least this is what happened to my sister). Another main factor is many people are uneducated about addiction.
The consequences of addiction for an individual who is addicted to drugs are life changing outcomes such as low quality of life, Paranoia, dependance on a substance, and loss of friendship and trust. Consequences of addiction for society is what we have occurring now, mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and can possibly be diagnosed with a mental disorder.
The way we can remedy the crisis on societal level is to start with the primary and secondary approach method. We can start with communicating to the community of the crisis that has grown in the past two years about substance misuse. Prevention is key. We can educate individuals before they are introduced to any substance substance. It’s like the upstream down stream prevention. The upstream strategy is prevention strategies for the whole community with a focus on the vulnerable, whereas, the downstream strategy is individual treatment. We need to focus on the community to potentially help and reach out to the individual in need.
National institute on drug abuse, March 11 2021, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis