Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
The heroin and opiate epidemic is real, if you didn’t notice, addiction is everywhere in our current day and age. Everyone, in every path of life is somehow affected by this drug epidemic. We see the news daily talking about parents overdosing while their children are in the back seats, the grasp drugs have on our nation is devastating. The new face of heroin is a white male in their mid to late 20s, most coming from a suburban setting. The drug problem is moving out of the slums of the cities into the white picket fenced neighborhoods and destroying communities one family at a time.
Addiction is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine as, “A chronic disease of the brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.” It has also been defined as a compulsive psychological need for a habit forming substance, characterized by tolerance and if use is discontinued it results in a physical withdrawal that is unpleasant, thus causing users to continue use to ease the pain.
One of the trends we are seeing from the heroin epidemic, is that addiction is commonly stemming from a prescription opiate addiction. Prescription opiates and heroin have the same effect on the user. Heroin is often more intense of a feeling, substantially cheaper to obtain, and more available. We are seeing heroin replace prescription opiates in drug abuse statistics and this is where the real issues come into play. Prescription opiates are regulated by the FDA, so it is known what the ingredients of each pill contains, and also how much. No one really ever knows every single ingredient that is in heroin because it is often cut with other substances. This is where the real dangers of the drug are seen.
In most overdose cases, we hear the term “bad batch.” These batches of heroin are mixed too potent for the user and often result in overdose. Where we see these bad batches, there are usually a number of overdoses in a certain geographic location in a short time period. There has been numerous examples of this nationwide, a common drug cut that is responsible has been fentanyl. There have been reports of these incidents nationwide, the headlines are screaming tragedy.
The nation is in a crisis when it comes to the opioid drug epidemic. The stories are disturbing: children are accidentally overdosing on unknown opioid based substances
This is the nationwide crisis we are fighting when it comes to the opioid drug epidemic. All the news stories are disturbing on their own levels, children being neglected, multiple overdoses in small towns that are causing police to be on high alert, and so much more.
The only revival drug? Narcan, and this is a whole other story. Narcan is a nasal spray that revives opiate overdose, it has recently been approved to have in a number of middle and high schools nationwide. The fact alone that this is now in suburban middle and high schools shows that school boards are aware that there are possibilities of students under the influence of opioids during school hours.
In some counties in Ohio, if Narcan has been used, they are keeping a record of how many times. Due to the expenses these drugs carry, they are considering limiting how many revivals an individual can receive. If this is made a law, people who are overdosing will be left to die if they have been revived by Narcan too many times. This proposal is said to save a city financially because of the expenses that come with overdoses.
Drastic measures are taking place and we can see various forms of opinion when it comes to battling this drug epidemic. It is hitting our homes harder than ever, so the next time you see the headlines in the media about heroin overdoses, keep in mind the next addict could be behind you in line at the grocery store or sitting next to you in that doctor’s office. “No state has been spared, and no demographic group has been untouched,” Kellyanne Conway said at an August 2017 briefing from President Trump addressing the opioid crisis in the nation.
The best way to fight the drug war on the home-front? Keep an open discussion about addiction with your family and friends. It is important to let your loved ones know it is not something to be ashamed about. Drug addiction is sickness where people need to get the proper treatment in order to live a full life. The only way to battle back against drugs is understanding the nature of the disease and treating it.
At The Beaches Treatment Center, we dedicate our lives to battling this deadly disease. We have a number of different drug and alcohol treatment care programs to make sure each individual has therapy that is specific to their needs.