Name: Meg Ryane Beo
From: Spokane , WA
An Analysis of the Addiction Crisis
To whom it may concern,
Our nation has faced the issue of an addiction crisis every day for years and even decades now. There are a variety of reasons that point towards the explanation of why we as a nation are facing this, and hope to be able to discuss this and the consequences of an addiction crisis and the steps we as a society can take towards solving such an immense issue. When we look at addiction, more often than not, people think of the opioid crisis. This crisis is reaching a different level than we have ever seen before. Many people think of those on drugs as those who are in poverty; however, now we are seeing those in both the middle and upper classes of our society getting hooked on pain medications that they receive following treatments and surgeries. From this we can see that the opioid crisis, and overall an addiction crisis is affecting each and every variety of individual within our society. This is an ever growing issue that is continually affecting more and more people every day, whether it be the individual with an addiction themselves or their family members and friends. As we look at the consequences of an addiction crisis both towards the individual and our society there is quite an extensive list. Personally, the first consequence of an addiction that comes to my mind is the possibility of losing one’s family and/or friends and the trust that they have in that given individual. Furthermore, while having an addiction one may see that an individual can easily lose their financial stability, for they may constantly be trying to get their “fix” in order to keep them going. Examining the societal consequences, within the healthcare field it is affecting the way in which providers and nurses are supposed to treat those who have an addiction. For example, many providers and nurses become stuck between not being aggressive enough with pain managements or giving too much medication and increasing the risk for addiction or further accelerating an addiction that may already be in place. Another societal consequence occurs when individuals who are dealing with an addiction try to work the health care system and come into providers offices or hospitals complaining of phantom pain. By doing so this only clogs up our emergency departments and urgent cares that are supposed to be utilized for people who are truly in need. Within my own life I have seen the effects that addiction can have on an individual and those surrounding them, my own aunt got involved with opioids, cocaine, as well as methamphetamine. Through this experience of seeing the effects an addiction can have on an individual, I saw my aunt lose her focus, direction, purpose, and her health rapidly declined. Each of these are personal consequences of an addiction. Within this situation, the societal consequences included distorted family connections and communication as well as a loss of trust between her and our family. Furthermore, my aunt lost her job and could no longer financially support herself or her children and subsequently her children began to follow in her footsteps and eventually landed themselves in jail. Remedies for an addiction crisis are not an easy one, nor is it a one step process to solve the entirety of the issue. However, we can take steps towards eradicating this issue by educating our societies and providing awareness of the issue that is at hand. Furthermore, since pain medications can be highly addictive I would suggest that those within the healthcare field and those within our society support non-pharmacological pain treatments. As a result this could expand present pain treatment into preventative pain management and even serve as a self care measure, which in turn will decrease this risk for addiction and provide assistance in eradicating the addiction crisis.