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Opioid Addiction Epidemic Still Taking Its Toll

Opioid Addiction Epidemic - The Bergand Group

This isn’t the first time that the Surgeon General has spoken about the opioid addiction epidemic within the country and it won’t be the last. Dr. Vivek Murthy is pleading with healthcare professionals across America to reconsider allotting dangerously addictive prescriptions to their patients.

The Surgeon General Speaks Against the Opioid Addiction Epidemic

Dr. Murthy has come out and said that he views “substance use disorders as a disease the nation can address.” He isn’t shy about explaining the state of the nation’s drug crisis and the types of efforts he believes can make a difference. Some such suggestions have been “evidence-based early interventions… expanding treatment programs… and investing in substance use prevention and treatment research.”

The message may not be a new one, but that hardly makes it unimportant. The more he says it and the more it is echoed down the line of doctors and other health professionals, the more it will have an effect. Changes need to be made as quickly as they can be to prevent future addictions from developing and to help those who are currently suffering as a result of these prior prescriptions.

The opioid addiction epidemic is still raging, but steps like these are crucial. Having such an important figurehead speak out regularly, too, is another important factor, considering his position and influence over others in the field. Settings such as hospitals and schools are key to change as the former is the place where the prescriptions are given out and the latter is where education and awareness can really be cultivated.

One of the most important points made by Dr. Murthy is that addiction is a medical issue, something real and tangible and physical as well as mental. His message is “a cultural call to action” in an effort to reduce the enormous stigma against those who struggle with addictions of any kind. “For far too long people have thought about addiction as a character flaw or a moral failing,” he said, and it’s true. Until this way of thinking is cut out from our society, we won’t truly be able to end the opioid addiction epidemic.

Addiction is not a flaw within the individual. They are born of circumstances and, in this case, misplaced intentions by those writing prescriptions. The numbers are enormous, with “more than 20 million Americans who have a substance use disorder and 12.5 million who reported misusing prescription painkillers in the last year,” and yet there doesn’t seem to be a slowing down of the amount of people suffering. How many statements does the Surgeon General have to put out before the effects start appearing down the line?

Part of the issue is that those who have a substance use disorder are often afraid to speak up about it because of the cultural stigma. They don’t admit it to their doctors or seek out care, let alone discuss it with family and friends. If this is part of what is keeping people from starting down the road to recovery, then this is a roadblock that has to be removed immediately before there can be any lessening of the opioid addition epidemic.

“The logical next step is integrating substance use disorder care into mainstream health care,” but this is something we as a society will have to continue to work hard on over time. Unfortunately, a change like this can’t happen overnight. In the meantime, contact The Bergand Group if you or someone you care about is suffering from an addiction. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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