The rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioids in the United States is known as the opioid crisis. The epidemic was largely a result of the over-prescription of opiates, as well as insufficient risk education surrounding these pain medications. Many people found themselves addicted to opiates as a result of an injury or accident, at which point they were given these medications by a doctor. Unfortunately, these individuals were largely unprepared for the detoxification process and withdrawal symptoms they would soon experience. Often, the shock of dependency leads to stronger, more deadly illegal street drugs. Regardless of the source, opioids are highly addictive and extremely dangerous. The overdoses and deaths that have taken place, as a result, have led to a decreased life expectancy overall for the average American citizen.
Opioid Overdoses Decreasing Life Expectancy
The unfortunate truth in America presently is that the average life expectancy is decreasing. People are dying young due to reasons that could have been easily avoided given the proper precautionary measures. While in the past, death was commonly caused by poor health and/or old age, one of the current leading causes of death today in the U.S. is opioid overdose. Since the beginnings of the opioid crisis, thousands of people have lost their lives. Even more heartbreaking, those presenting the highest risk are between the ages of just 25-54. The great fear of so many Americans – that more people are losing their lives because of opioids – has come true.
Steps Towards a Solution
The government has taken several steps towards addressing the issue of drug addiction, including expanded healthcare. Still, there is much more that can be done as a whole. Most importantly, we must come together and support one another. Education on opioids, addiction, treatment resources, and proactive measures should be prioritized. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to addiction. Many people categorize individuals struggling with addiction as bad or criminal. In fact, people suffering from addiction are sick and, as with any other health issue or disease, they need treatment. Too often, people don’t realize that substance use disorders are not a choice or decision, but a mental health issue. Reframing the way we relate to these issues is of great importance if we are ever to create real positive change.
Looking for Support?
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. It’s never too late to take the steps necessary to create a life free from addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. If you are ready to seek treatment towards developing the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992.