Addiction Epidemic: What Can be Done?
A problem is defined as a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. A solution would be the thing which remedied that problem.
Given the opioid addiction sweeping the country with no visible signs of slowing down, the fact there is no viable solution hints that current efforts to solve the problem are missing the mark. And when I say no viable solution, I am referring to effectiveness, not attempts.
Is there a viable undercut which would not only address but solve the problem?
- More funding? (President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers estimated that in 2015, the opioid drug epidemic cost the country $504 billion in terms of lost lives, lost productivity, health care, treatment, criminal justice and other costs.)
- Harm reduction? (Harm reduction is a public health philosophy that holds the belief that there has never been and never will be a drug-free society. This is somewhat of an admission that we cannot defeat the juggernaut and so must yield to it. )
- Drug education and prevention? Prevention, which is provided prior to the beginning of drug abuse to deter the use—while this is a very important component to prevent further abuse, it does not address current users.
Since opioid addiction has reached pandemic proportions, doing the above actions might make it appear that it’s too late—as though we have gone in too many different directions, spreading resources in terms of manpower, finances, and steadfastness too thin.
This is not to oversimplify addiction. Of course, there are many different reasons WHY each individual addict abuses drugs or alcohol. This fact, however, does not mean each person’s WHY requires a different handling.
“I use because I let my daughter down again and drugs make me forget what a failure I am.”
“I use because I feel like a coward.“
“I use because I like feeling like everything is going to be okay, even when I know it’s not.”
“I keep using because I gave up.”
Each of these scenarios can be traced to a point that the person went off their steadying course. At some point, they crossed over from living life to “I no longer wish to cope or push through the tough, unpleasant or difficult situations.”
What’s the most basic thing to address? An undercut would be to address the ability (or better yet inability) to communicate. Communication is a universal solvent which can clear up confusions, clarify intentions, sort out disagreements. But you have to USE it. You have to communicate.
Review the difficulties you have had in your life against whether you communicated or not—the truth, how you felt or the difficulties you were running into. It matters to some degree if you were heard and understood but not as much as whether you communicated.
Truth is simple, although sometimes difficult to uncover. But don’t forget it’s simple.
Communicate. Tell your loved one you refuse to lose them and get them into a treatment facility. It can be as simple as that.