Opioid Epidemic – Part 1

“The worst thing about prescription medication is that  sometimes it works too well.”

“A doctor was arrested for writing X number of prescriptions.”

In the past month alone, I’ve read about twelve or thirteen such headlines in the news.

I’ve also read countless accounts of people going bankrupt to fulfill the need of an addiction.

All of the above stems directly or indirectly from a topic that has everyone buzzing these days:

The opioid epidemic.

What’s causing it? Is it because doctors are all too eager to earn an extra buck or two, regardless of the consequences? Have illnesses and diseases become more severe over the years?

The truth, in my opinion, is two primary factors.

Firstly, time has become more valuable than ever. We as a nation, are always looking for a quick-fix solution when faced with an ailment.

There are ways to press or pinch certain nerves that will get rid of a headache. But it takes much longer than aspirin so we pop a pill instead. Inhaling steam can clear up sinuses. But warming up water to make it boil and then sitting there can take a while so it’s easier to take alka seltzer.

To quote a famous book, we’re a “fast food nation.”

The second reason does not suggest a rise in opioid sales but rather, a rise of exposure of those sales.

We have more information on the subject than we did before due to social media and the internet in general.

It’s not as if there wasn’t a dependacy on chemical based drugs thirty years ago. We just didn’t know about it as much as we do today due to the availability of infinite resources literally at our fingertips.

But of course, the purpose of this post is not just to be a news report. To relate it specifically to this site and it’s members, this opioid epidemic is effecting people with mental health issues more than people with other common ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis.

Particularly because no matter what mental health issue a person is dealing with, the effect of any medication prescribed for it is essentially the same; it numbs the brain.

So is there no hope? Is it possible to treat a mental illness at the rate that a chemical drug does without the actual drug?

In my opinion there is. In the past year or so, I’ve gotten to know and interact with a number of people dealing mental health issues that have successfully gotten off or significantly lowered their medication dosage with optimistic results.

On a side note, ironically enough, the dependency on opiods coincides with a rise in natural and herbal supplements sales.

In the second part of this article, I’d like to share specific examples of how people got off opioids.

How do you feel about the opioid epidemic? Do you find it alarming? Have you ever had a friend or a family member be a victim of it by becoming addicted? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

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