“Addiction is a choice not a disease”, is a common phrase that stigmatizes drug addiction in our everyday language. The lack of public knowledge about this social problem causes widespread stigmatization and discrimination of the ill. As a result, many individuals who seriously need professional help feel isolated and hopeless, making it harder for them to recover.
For some people, the use of alcohol and drugs can lead to a chronic disease or long-term illness that has serious medical and social consequences. Are you feeling down, left out, trying to fit in? Addiction begins, so easily and takes over without any warning. It can begin with a bad day, consequences, peer pressure, or a teen trying to find a way to fit in. According to results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), “an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day”. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In 2014, 47,055 people died from drug overdoses. Since 2000, opioid drug
Heroin addiction is one of the leading killers of adolescents and adults in the United States. In recent years, addiction has skyrocketed, and “the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths increased by 286 percent between 2002 and 2013.” In 2002, “100 people per 100,000 were addicted to heroin, and that number has doubled by 2013” (The National Institute on Drug Abuse 2013). The most affected populations include low income males, adolescents, and those who have a family history of addiction, due to their increased susceptibility and crime-ridden environment. While it may seem as though heroin addiction is “just another drug problem” in the U.S., it is actually a problem of major public health importance because there are numerous physical, economic, and social risks associated with heroin dependence. Heroin dependence in the United States accounts for brain damage, increased homelessness, crime, and incarceration rates, as well as economic decline.
Getting help for drug addiction is often such an intimidating idea that many addicts continue to use rather than expose themselves to the embarrassment or pain that they have associated with reaching out to someone for help. This is in large part due to the fact that television, books and movies have portrayed drug rehab centers in such a negative light that the reality is actually quite incomprehensibly different than these depictions. Millions of people have gotten help for addiction and gone on to lead productive and fulfilling lives free from the bonds of substance abuse. However, there are plenty still who delayed treatment for one reason or another and suffered severe consequences by doing so. Because addiction is a progressive and
There is a lot of shame surrounding addiction, and this may deter people from seeking treatment. It is common for one to face rejection from friends or family when they become open about their addiction and because of this fear, they often feel too ashamed to seek help. The person who is addicted will then continue to hide their addiction, often resulting in disastrous consequences. A 2015 study showed that only 20% of current opioid addicts receive treatment for their addiction, and a lot of this is attributed to stigma. By stigmatizing drug addiction and discouraging addicts from seeking treatment, we are allowing the life-ruining effects of addiction to continue
Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is a complex chronic disease that causes impairment with the mind to express emotion, engage into physical activities and simply being one’s self. In fact, through scientific research, people understand more about how drugs work in the brain more than ever, and they also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated with some help from those who want change in the death rates amongst drug addict Americans. No one will ever truly understand why a person performs such deadly behaviors, but this is their way of crying out for help. It is time to take a stand and help those in need of escape from drugs and
The rate of death due to prescription drug abuse in the U.S. has escalated 313 percent over the past decade. According to the Congressional Quarterly Transcription’s article "Rep. Joe Pitt Holds a Hearing on Prescription Drug Abuse," opioid prescription drugs were involved in 16,650 overdose-caused deaths in 2010, accounting for more deaths than from overdoses of heroin and cocaine. Prescribed drugs or painkillers sometimes "condemn a patient to lifelong addiction," according to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This problem not only affects the lives of those who overdose but it affects the communities as well due to the convenience of being able to find these items in drug stores and such.
In Nolan and Amico’s article, “How Bad is the Opioid Epidemic?” they argue the opioid epidemic has become the worst drug crisis in American history. Heroin and other opioids overdose kill more than 47,055 people a year. Deaths caused from drug overdose has outnumber as much as 40 percent compared to the death caused from car crashes in 2014 (Nolan and Amico 3). Furthermore, in 1999 there were only 15000 people died from drug overdose. This number has tripled in 15 years. Also, in his article, “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse” Volkow also presents the fact that “with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise. For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has
The United States currently faces an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. This includes painkillers, heroin, and other drugs made from the same base chemical. In the couple of years, approximately one out of twenty Americans reported misuse or abuse of prescriptions painkillers. Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise and are the leading cause of injury deaths, surpassing car accidents and gun shots. The current problem differs from the opioid addiction outbreaks of the past in that it is also predominant in the middle and affluent classes. Ultimately, anyone can be fighting a battle with addiction and it is important for family members and loved ones to know the signs. The cause for this epidemic is that the current spike of opioid abuse can be traced to two decades of increased prescription rates for painkillers by well-meaning physicians.
There has been an increase in heroin and opioid abuse in america. It has been affecting everyone and the incoming generation greatly. The use of pain reliever drugs is often the leading cause to abusing opioids and/or heroin. These pain relievers are often addictive and once people are addicted and cut off from them they begin searching for other ways to satisfy their cravings. The prescription drugs are often easily dispensed to people so it’s easier to access. This easy access makes it easier for people to get a prescription, leading to a higher risk of addiction.
The drug epidemic in America is a growing problem and continuing to take hundreds of lives everyday, particularly opioids. These highly addictive drugs are taking the world by storm and claiming thousands of life with no remorse. The pharmaceutical industry is making millions off the addiction and pain of the American people causing a widespread of drug overdoses and deaths all across the United States. According to The New York Times, “Public Health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,00 people in 2015.” (Scott Morgan) Addiction, money, and the vulnerability all play a part in the opioid widespread epidemic.
The word “epidemic” itself spreads fear throughout society, however fluctuations in drug use are considered epidemics, which may not instill fear into the general public. Due to the fact that the CDC considers opioid overdose as a national epidemic, it may be confused to what this “epidemic” entails. This is not saying that the misuse and rising overdoses due to opioid painkillers is not a serious problem, it just may render the severity of the problem. In addition, because the CDC does consider the rise of overdoses due to painkillers an epidemic, the access to treatment needs to be more widely available. Through one of the interactions I had during my time at the NA meeting, I was able to understand that many people feel as though they do not or did not have access to help. Dan Mangan (2016), writes, “[a] survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that a large majority of Americans believe that lack of access to care for people suffering from substance abuse is a problem in the United States.” In this, those who work in medicine should take from my supporting observations and numerous studies’ that access to recovery programs need to become more widely available. If the United States is going to consider the use of opioid painkillers as an epidemic, action needs to be taken to assist addicts and educate the nation on the effects of these
America is in the midst of yet another drug-related epidemic only this time it is the worst opioid overdose epidemic the world has seen since the late 1990’s. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2016), “since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled.” Opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. (Rudd, Seth, David, School, 2015). With overdoses from heroin, prescription drugs, and opioid pain relievers surpassing car accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in America, it became clear that swift and comprehensive legislation was needed for treatment, recovery support and prevention education in communities
Drug use in America is one of the major issues we face and the problem has skyrocketed over the past three decades. Heroin and painkiller addictions exceed all other countries. It is important that we address some of the causes that lead to the abuse, how to treat the abuse, and how to prevent the distribution of illegal prescription drugs.
Prescription opioid misuse has emerged as a significant public health issue in the United States. Since the late 1990s, nationwide sales of prescription opioids have risen 4-fold, and with this, the rate of admissions for substance use treatment and the rate of death from opioid overdose have grown proportionately.1