The opioid crisis is a problem U.S. citizens often get to hear about in the media today, but for some it isn’t just a news story, it’s reality.
According to the U.S Department of Health and Services, about 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder. These addictions are affecting us all. With the problems in both Seattle and our nation seemingly getting worse, it’s evident that the solutions we as a nation are currently implementing are not as effective as we’d hoped they’d be.
A way we can help is awareness. We can raise more awareness at a young age, not only in what opioids are, but their effects and how to spot addiction in others. By doing this, we could prevent more kids entering adulthood from trying these dangerous substances. This could decrease the amount of addicts further down the road as well. For a more short term solution, the government could invest in research dedicated to finding alternative painkillers that aren’t addictive.
By doing this, we wouldn’t be risking people falling into addictions while they’re trying to treat an ailment. For those who are already addicted, the government should be putting more addicts into rehab instead of jail. Many addicts are arrested over and over for the same crimes, but don’t receive any help with their addiction.
While it does typically take more than one visit for rehab to truly be effective, giving addicts the opportunity to detox in a safe place with people alongside to help them might prove to be much more beneficial than what we’re doing right now.
The government should be preventing overdose deaths in anyway they can, starting with naloxone. Naloxone’s a medication that’s used on those who have experienced narcotic overdose and could save many lives.
“Require states, as a condition of receiving federal funding, to mandate that every first responder be trained to administer naloxone and provided with a supply of the medication,” said The Conviction and Sentencing Alternatives Program.
The government could help drive down prices of naloxone to make it more accessible to those in need. According to the U.S Department of Health and Services, one in three people know someone who’s battling addiction. This is a growing crisis that needs to be addressed. Our government isn’t doing enough right now and that’s hurting everyone.
The only way we can effectively fight the opioid crisis is if we change our tactics. These changes might not completely fix everything, but they’re a step in the right direction. It should be our number one priority to help those who are burdened with addiction.
These people have families and friends. This is something that we tend to forget, because when talking addicts, society tends to forget one thing: addicts are people too.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost