We’ve all heard facts and statistics about addiction — they are harrowing. What’s even more devastating is realizing that these numbers are not just numbers. These numbers are attached to real people. These real people go through real events. These real events translate into the real statistics we find all too shocking. Society has the habit of sitting on their thrones and speaking these statistics into a crowd. The crowd is shaken — who are these people who are addicted to substances, overdose, and very often die? ‘They can’t be one of us’ is often the murmur heard throughout the crowd. Except, they are. The person addicted is your friend, your coworker, your family member who you do not suspect struggles with addiction. Addictions are everywhere and each life they claim is one too many. Time Magazine quotes the following:
“In 2015, drug overdoses claimed more lives than car accidents and gun violence and rivaled the HIV/AIDS crisis at its peak. The toll, as the White House commission on the crisis put it, is the equivalent of a new 9/11 attack every three weeks.”
Drug overdoses claim so many lives. Every day, almost 100 people die of a drug overdose. Every day, thousands more are left devastated by the impacts of those 100 deaths. Addiction is not just a disease anymore — it’s an epidemic. So much so that the president declared a national public health emergency in 2017. Time describes this move by the president as a “Call to action,” but states that it failed in doing what it was supposed to do. This national public health emergency was supposed to “[Provide] more dollars for the epidemic while calling for measures such as tightening regulations on opioid prescriptions, expanding the use of drug courts as an alternative to incarcerations, and enhancing access to addiction treatments and overdose medications like naloxone.” These things are all just well wishes until the money is actually put forth and allocated toward this epidemic. Pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS are taking matters into their own hands, however. They have begun to “Dispense only short-acting opioids and not long-acting versions to first-time users.” They have also begun to sell Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug, over the counter. These may seem like small steps, but they are steps in the right direction.
Along with these steps, stigma must be reduced so that people struggling with addictions will reach out for treatment. Access to treatment is essential for recovery. Pinnacle Recovery offers addiction treatment, as well as dual-diagnosis programs for individuals with other mental illnesses. We want to help you reach out for recovery today. Call us at 1-866-301-0573. We can’t wait to help you take that first step. You won’t regret it.