The opioid crisis of today is not the first, as reported by The New York Times, but this one is the deadliest to date. Yet despite having its own Wikipedia page, this issue is one of those topics that only the ones directly affected or involved talk about. Even those who have suffered from opioid addiction personally often try to get this awful experience out of their minds. On one hand, that’s a wise thing to do as it helps one to move on. On the other, the lack of public’s attention to this extremely pressing matter is one of the reasons why this crisis exists.
The epidemics of opioid addiction and the overdose deaths caused by it affects every member of society. Not only does it spread so rapidly, but puts you at risk. It also makes the crisis everyone’s responsibility to become proactive in helping to stop the problem that’s threatening to cripple our society.
How to Stop the Opioid Crisis in America?
While the answer to this question is extremely complex as there is a great number of things that have to be done, one of them stands out like a beacon. The biggest step towards solving the problem of opioid crisis is making addiction treatments more readily available.
A report from Surgeon General states that only about 1 in 10 Americans with an addiction problem receives any specialized treatment. Compare this to the data from France, which experienced its own opioid crisis between the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1995, every doctor in France was granted a right to prescribe anti-addiction medications. This made it possible for people suffering from substance abuse to obtain necessary treatment from their primary-care doctor. Within 5 years this resulted in the reduction of overdose deaths by 79% (Vox). Today France’s opioid crisis is past, and isn’t that success an inspiration that America can use?
There are excellent addiction treatment facilities in the US that offer top-quality care and personalized treatments like The Recovery Village in Ohio. The problem is making them as well as anti-addiction medications and therapy affordable and available. And even when that is achieved, one has to understand that addiction is a brain disease. This means that a person suffering from it might not be able to seek treatment on their own. That’s why the help from a loved one is a major factor in the successful treatment of addiction.
How to Help Your Loved Ones Not to Fall Victims to the Opioid Crisis
- Stage an intervention.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to simply sit down with the friend/lover/relative who is suffering from substance abuse and talk to them. Having unconditional support they can trust in is often the one thing that an addicted person needs most.
- Set boundaries.
One of the biggest issues people have when dealing with a loved one who is also an addict is saying ‘stop’. That’s why it’s essential to set clear boundaries right from the start. First of all, this means banning all addictive substances from the house. Before staging an intervention, decide what exactly you aren’t willing to accept any longer, including your own enabling behaviors, like lying to the person about how bad their problem really is affecting you.
- Get help with treatment.
Addiction is a disease and it requires professional treatment and specialized medication. Be sure to get suitable treatment for your loved one if you want any chance of success.