With recent calls from those in power for severe punishment for drug dealers, we are forced to examine more heavily who is “most culpable” for the state of the opioid crisis.
Wrong Steps Toward Opioid Crisis Relief
People are quick to lay blame on others, but the patterns of addiction, when it comes to prescription pills, are clear. The majority of people who obtain these drugs receive them as lawful prescriptions given to them by their doctor for one reason or another. Though this practice has come under much greater scrutiny, there’s no denying that this is the origin of many of these substance abuse stories. If the individual isn’t the one who had a prescription, then many are still given some of these pills by the family member or friend who does have a rightful prescription.
How do we even bring drug dealers into this situation? The “progression happens when tolerance for prescription drugs increases and even larger doses are required to get the same effect.” If a person is given too large a quantity of the pills, then they may slowly become abusive of their taking of the opioids, and then the above takes place. Once those pills aren’t enough, or once they’re cut off from that supply, they may be compelled to seek out other sources. “In 2015, 92 million people were prescribed opioids; of that 92 million, about 11 million became addicted. The other 81 million avoided addiction, but that’s still a lot of opioids potentially floating around in people’s medicine cabinets.” Even if they aren’t being taken, so many opioids are still ‘lying around’ for someone to pick up, and that is dangerous.
The most important thing here, and the bottom line, is that there isn’t a single party “responsible” for the opioid crisis, and at the top of that chain is not “drug dealers.” Unfortunately, this over-simplification is the result of our country’s leadership trying to appear to take action in a situation that badly needs action to be taken (though, not this action). What this signals is that we all need to become more educated – our government included – about the reality of the situation. Unless we can really understand how this problem began and continues on, we can’t properly address it.
“As a medical community, we can’t enable the development of addictions through over-prescription and wide availability of drugs and then harshly judge the addict. We need to change how we use and prescribe opioids, and we need to place far more focus on treatment rather than on punishment.”
Dr. Sherry Benton is right, here. What needs to be done is not what is currently being planned. A strong plan toward bringing awareness to the real issues and culpable parties is necessary, as is the coming together of the nation in order to aid the people who are suffering now from the opioid crisis. To learn more about how to heroin addiction, contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and 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]