Name: Shannon Tewell
From: Tempe, Arizona
The Addiction Crisis
The Addiction Crisis
2,231 what does this number stand for? This number represents the total of cases reported in
2017 as drug overdoses according to the “IDPA Division of Health Data” for the state of Illinois.
This disease has become a worldwide epidemic and it is heartbreaking. Let this paper reflect the causes, the consequences of, treatment options and what we as a nation can do to remedy the
crisis for those battling addiction.
The actual cause of addiction is controversial, some say addiction is a choice and some suggest addiction is a disease. I was once a firm believer that addiction was a choice and because of my unwillingness to not see it any other way it almost cost me my child, yes, I am a mother of an addict. It wasn’t until she overdosed that I learned what addiction truly was and how it consumes your life. You may choose to try a drug, but you don’t choose to be an addict. In my daughters’ case she had been in a car accident and was prescribed painkillers and eventually it led to heroin, which also contributed to the cause of her addiction. She is not alone, many doctors wrote more than 191 million prescriptions for moderate to severe pain to their patients in 2017 (Choose,
2010). Just as there are some individuals that suffer from mental illness, there are those who suffer with an addictive personality, and both can be genetic. Therefore, linking genetics to play a role in an individual’s addiction. Many use drugs to self-medicate by suppressing their traumatic events. For many people who are addicted to drugs or know someone who is, knows
that the outcome and consequences of addiction are negative.
The negative consequences of being addicted affect not only the individual but society as well. The consequences for individuals vary but include, depleted physical and mental health, poor decision making, impulsivity, increased risk for trauma, violence, and communicable diseases.
On a broader note negative outcomes may be identified with loss of one’s employment, and relationships, and may include police involvement due to criminal activity and behavior. Let’s not forget the worst consequence, death. In 2018 the “National Center for Health Statistics” reported 67,300 Americans died from drug related overdoses” (NIDA, 2020). The saying is true when they said, “Addiction is not just a spectator sport eventually the whole family gets to play”, meaning it affects everyone around you such as your family and friends and further affecting society by those being victimized due to crime.
We as a nation can remedy the crisis by increasing drug awareness to individuals by having school pep rallies, fundraisers and through seminars and social media. Pharmaceutical companies are now being held accountable for pushing many doctors to prescribe opioid pain medications to patients claiming that opiates weren’t addicting and therefore won’t be misused. At the federal level, Barack Obama signed into law the “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act” which authorized millions of dollars for funding towards opioid research and treatments and expands the availability of naloxone to police officers and first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives (CARA, 2016). A problem we addressed is that many treatment centers are at max capacity and there are limited beds open for people depending on their insurance coverage, leading to a lengthy waiting list and time is of the essence, in most cases. Until 2018, they amended “The Substance Use-disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and
Treatment for Patients and Communities Act”, which included Medicare and Medicaid reforms to improve options for treatment, recovery, and for better prevention efforts” (Thompson, 2018).
At the State and local government agencies, the States began passing legislation laws to stifle high-risk practices such as, Doctors prescription monitoring, and new PDMP query laws. Some States are now charging civilians with drug-induced homicide to those known to have supplied
an individual the drugs that resulted in his or her death.
There are treatment options available to work with patients including medication assisted treatments and prescription monitoring programs. Counseling and other behavioral therapies are commonly used along with treatment for co-occurring mental health issues. Effective treatment
addresses the patients’ needs not just the drug use (NIDA, 2019).
Addiction is not an easy battle to win but it can be done with awareness, determination and the willingness to quit. There are many treatment options to assist you along the way. I want to say to the teachers, friends, and parents, addiction cannot be ignored because if left untreated its results are detrimental, I am blessed my child didn’t die or she would have been one of those numbers in the statistics I shared at the beginning of this paper so let’s stop increasing numbers
for statistics and increase the number of success stories.
(2020) Retrieved from https://www.choosept.com
(July 23, 2016) National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. President Obama Signs CARA. Retrieved from https://www.naatp.org
(March 10, 2020) National Institute of Drug Abuse. Overdose Rate . Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov Thompson, Cheryl
(Oct. 25, 2018) Trump Signs Legislation to Combat Opioid Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.ashp.org