If you follow Sunflower Effect you know the major impact that the addiction epidemic is having on lives in our country. I was questioned recently when I stated that this is a “Health Crisis”, I responded with the number of lives that are being lost as well as news articles and reports from leading journals, organizations and the medical community.
“This is the biggest health crisis of our time,” state physician general Dr. Rachel Levine said. “The numbers are staggering.” Read more.
The above quote is from the Pennsylvania State Physician General, the article goes into more details and is worth the read.
There was a 37% increase in deaths from 2015 to 2016 and even more lives are being lost in 2017.
Nationwide and in Pennsylvania, opioids – prescription and illicit – are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Pennsylvania saw 4,642 fatal drug overdoses in 2016 – a 37 percent increase over 2015. Read more.
To put another perspective on this health crisis, the article quoted below is from AARP.
Nearly 14,000 people age 45-plus died from an opioid overdose in 2015 — 42 percent of all such deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more.
These are the people that so many people are saying to let die. People who are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandmothers, grandfathers and so many loved ones. Each of these people have people who love them and have been fighting to help them. Addiction is a disease that alters your mind and creates a craving so powerful and in the opioids case physically dependent. Withdrawal of from these substances are powerful and horrible, many people lose their battle during withdrawal or early recovery.
We need to do more. One step is to end the stigma. But, that is not enough. The entire system of recovery needs to be looked at and evaluated, but not just by medical professionals. People in recovery hold many of the keys to help and are willing to help. Part of recovery that I have witness is the drive to give back and help others.