Dr Carrie Hall
Don’t do Drugs or Die
Every day, a lot of people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. “The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious crisis in the United States that affects everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total cost of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States was 1 trillion dollars since 2001 including the costs of healthcare, addiction treatment, and criminals”. Before the 80s-90s this wasn’t even happening and everybody was fine, So what happened?
How did all of this began? “Well In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder”. Based on the text you can see that drug overdoses are a huge problem in the United States, you can easily get addicted to it, Most of the drugs mentioned can easily be accessed by going to the doctor and getting prescriptions for it even if your not in pain(this can quickly be abused in a way to get more of the drug you want), while doing so they also recommend more than the safe dose you’re suppose to get so that is another unfortunate cause, Another is how potent the drug is. Some drugs are stronger than others and can make you develop cravings for it which prevents people from having a normal life without the drug(which they are addicted to). Biologically most drugs affect the brain’s circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. Surges of dopamine in your brain circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy activities, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.Which what causes addiction in the first place (Learned in Psychology).
Before,the government overall is not doing a lot to help prevent this epidemic from getting worse but instead chooses to do other unimportant things like getting involved in another war that has nothing to do with us, increasing taxes, and increasing the military budget which is more than the 7 next countries budget combined . The amount of people getting killed by overdoses of certain drugs just keep increasing and there seems to be nothing being done to help prevent this tragedy.
Now, Donald Trump(our current president) has shed some light on the opioid crisis happening in the United States and has declared the opioid addiction as a national emergency in 2017. One year later he signed a bill to promote the development of non-addictive pain medications. It’s a right direction towards ending this crisis but there still needs to be a lot of work done in order to make a dent on the staggering statistics of drug overdoses
Also drug addiction isn’t just a problem , it’s also a proven disease like cancer, diabetes etc, and if left untreated(like any other disease) it could be fatal and cause death. But unlike other diseases having mostly physical health symptoms, drug addiction is all mostly emotional and social based. This drug addiction can destroy friendships, family, maybe lose their jobs and harm themselves physically also or harm others since they end up crazy or turn into a “crackhead”.
Also these days, one big influence that is probably increasing the amount of drug use leading to the increase of drug addicts and drug related deaths is music. Since the 80’s there has been a lot of music that has been growing popularity and mention drugs and during that time was the, which helped fuel substance abuse since people thought it was “cool” to use drugs and it killed a lot of people in mostly poor neighborhoods.Crack was one of them, it is basically a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked.This drug was cheaper than regular cocaine, so this was bought and distributed to mostly low income neighborhoods in cities in the United States. One rap artist was 50 cent. 50 Cent actually wrote his experience selling drugs into his songs. In the song “Corner Bodega,” he raps about his young years of being a drug trafficker, and he spoke about being a cocaine dealer in his other song “Ghetto Qu’ran.”. Another could be depression, ironically crack can give you depression after the effects wear away, but depression can make you take drugs as a way to cope with it, or maybe being around drugs make you do it. Let’s say you in a party filled with delicious fried food and everyone’s eating it.This makes you want to eat that too. It is sorda the same with drugs, but drugs have more consequences that will impact your life in many ways negatively. Another could be a way to deal with their personal problems that deal in family,school,job etc.
But some people don’t know how to treat drug addiction and they end up dying. The first way to prevent overdose when it comes to prescription drugs, like opiate painkillers, is to follow prescription dose described by the doctor exactly. This alone can make it less likely that addiction will develop in the first place.
For people who are already addicted to drugs, the best way prevent overdose is to get into and complete a rehab program to achieve recovery from addiction, Even though the recovery rate for rehab is low there is still a chance that you should go to it in order to straighten out your life and get it back into the right path like Macaulay Culkin( kid from Home Alone).
Overall, please know what you’re doing when taking prescription. Measure the right dose, be sure it’s the right amount, Afterall please be a regular working person instead of a statistic of a great drug epidemic killing lots of people who made mistakes using drugs and abusing them in the first place.