By Arden O'Connor
During the entirety of the Vietnam War, less Americans died than have died in the last two years of available data in the opioid crisis. In 2015, more than 50,000 lost their lives to opioid overdose. In 2016, what was hoped to be a decrease in lives lost became a startling reality as nearly 64,000 overdoses were reported. More than 100,000 people have lost their lives to the opioid crisis in just a few years. These numbers don’t include other drug overdoses or alcohol related deaths. Though the numbers may seem comparatively low positioned against the greater population of the United States, the far reach of these individuals who have lost their lives is dramatic. NPR reports on The Federal Reserve report which concluded that one out of five Americans “personally know someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers”.
For a country where drug addiction lives with tremendous shame and stigma, it has now become commonplace to know someone who has died as a result of addiction or abuse. The opioid crisis has made it apparent that addiction itself does not discriminate. According to the article, the study “also found that exposure to opioid addiction was twice as likely among whites, regardless of education level, as among African-Americans.”
Interestingly, the study also found that for those who personally know someone addicted to opioids, there was a change in their outlook on certain topics. Americans who personally know someone who has struggled with opioid addiction have a more bleak outlook on the national economy. These individuals were less likely to rate the national economy or their local economy with favor, the article explains.
Addiction used to be something that was easily “othered”; meaning, addiction happened to other people in other places. Opioid addiction has brought the reality of addiction into our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces, and our homes. Since we have been forced to look at addiction differently, it is little coincidence that those of us who have seen the effects of opioid addiction are seeing other parts of our world differently. The relationship between personal relation to opioid addiction and personal relation to the economy is unclear, thusly there is no causation.
We can work together to continue changing the way we see addiction and the individuals who are struggling with addiction by promoting recovery and seeking treatment for help. If you or someone you know is actively struggling with opioid addiction, O’Connor Professional Group is available to plan the best course of treatment possible to fit your needs.
Let the O’Connor Professional Group take the guesswork out of putting a treatment plan together. Our combined personal and professional experience empowers us to empower you with a private consultation and customized plan of action for getting the help you need. Call us today for information: 617 910-3940