Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Opiates and painkillers: the silent killer

Name: isaac ri...
From: Palmer, AK
School: colony high school
Votes: 1 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Opiates and painkillers: the silent killer

Opiates and painkillers: the silent killer

Opiate
abuse: the silent killer

By:
Isaac Richardson

Heroin
and Opioid Addiction Is a growing epidemic that festers around our
communities and can very much be a silent killer.
According
to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, overdose deaths in 2017 increased by almost 10 percent
from 2016. The real challenge That our communities will face in the
future being in a new decade is how we will deal with this blooming
epidemic.

During
my Sophomore year of high school, I was apart of a Film class and I
was assigned to a project on opioid abuse. I asked one of my friends
to interview for the project and he was keen on the idea. As I began
the interview I noticed something was off, he seemed a little on edge
and slightly flustered. As we began the Interview my first question
was “Have you had a personal encounter with someone you know who
struggles with opioid abuse. He didn’t hesitate to answer that his
mother had been struggling with opioid abuse since he was an infant.
Due to complications after birth, she was on Percocet and developed a
dependence on the drug. He started to break down into tears after
explaining his situation in his life.

In
2017, there were 102 overdose deaths­­­ involving opioids
in Alaska —a rate of 13.9 deaths per 100,000 persons. The Issue
comes from the excessive prescriptions of painkillers after surgery
or for chronic pain. An estimated 215 million opioid prescriptions
were dispensed by retail pharmacies in 2016. When you drive through
most cities you are bound to see somebody plagued by Opiate
addiction. It is not even just the homeless people who are addicted
it could be people who are genuinely successful and live generally
good lives can be plagued with a dependence on prescription
painkillers. In my senior year, I tore my ACL and they prescribed me
Percocet after my surgery. I had to make an intention as soon as
possible to not be using Percocet so I did not become dependent
myself. Chances are most people will be prescribed an opiate once in
there life and I believe that raising awareness on the use of these
painkillers should be enacted through doctors.

Going
back to this interview I had with my friend He told me how His mother
became more and more dependent on painkillers. This addiction started
to tear his family apart, he told me how at age four he went to live
with his grandparents In Pennsylvania for three years. Being so young
he did not understand why his mom was not around. As she continued to
fall deeper into dependancy she started using heroin as an
alternative. At this time his father became his primary caretaker
separated from his mother without knowing that this was the last time
he would ever see her. 5 years later he found out that she had passed
away from a heroin overdose.

I
kept his identity disclosed out of respect for his family as it is
not my place to give out his name.

As
I have stated several times in this essay and cannot stress enough is
that Heroin and Opioid Addiction Is a growing epidemic That through
activism and pushing for restrictions on doctors prescribing
painkillers. These drugs can very much be a silent killer. Just
because these drugs are legal and can be prescribed does not mean it
is safe for consumption. These painkiller manufacturers are not
considerate of the people’s lives they are destroying, the families
they tear apart and dreams they kill. If we come together to fight
these production companies we can help prevent opioid abuse and it
really will benefit not just society, but the economy as fewer and
fewer people will continue to be great members of society. Crime
rates will drop significantly because high rates of crime are
drug-related.
We
need to act soon and fast to pass legislation for this and we can
make Opiate dependency a thing of the past.



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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 - Opiates and painkillers: the silent killer
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