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Opioid Abuse Epidemic Featured in HBO Special

Opioid Abuse Epidemic - The Bergand Group

To bring light to the opioid abuse epidemic, HBO has put out a documentary called “Warning: This Drug May Kill You.” This is a great step along the road to bringing attention to the issue and increasing education around it, both of which are necessary steps in finally bringing it to an end.

A Spotlight on the Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Overdose-related deaths from these drugs are said to take place by “producing respiratory arrest and death when too much is consumed,” though the users don’t often intentionally consume too much. This just goes to show the enormity of the danger of this situation, not only since the facts are lost on much of the population, but also because the “safe” way to take these pills doesn’t, in fact, exist.

The documentary puts a bright spotlight on the opioid abuse epidemic, bringing it to a wider audience. However uncomfortable  or tragic the subject, this kind of content is absolutely necessary in allowing the families of these victims to speak up. “The epidemic is at all of our doorsteps,” so it is a good thing that the media is bringing it to everyone’s attention in a very real and startling way.

Many people, if asked, would likely not know how this particular cycle of addiction even begins. For many, it’s the same, standard formula: surgery or chronic pain, prescription, dependence, cravings, withdrawal, and so on. The problem typically begins in the amount of painkillers that are given to the patient: “more than needed for acute pain yet more than enough to foster tolerance and dependence.” Though medical professionals now are wiser to the strict methods needed to control this over-prescription, for many, it’s past that point and they are already in later, more gripping stages.

Everyone is affected by the opioid abuse epidemic and everyone is vulnerable to their hold, from unknown teens to big celebrities. The recent death of the musical icon Prince, in particular, has contributed to a more widespread knowledge of this situation. Families within HBO’s production mourn their children, some of whom have overdosed and some of whom are still struggling with their addictions. The bottom line of the entire scenario is tragedy, and one that desperately needs to be turned around as soon as possible.

That, of course, is easier said than done. Sadly, the epidemic doesn’t stop at pills and most on, for many, to using heroin, which delivers a similar result more easily and for less money. It’s incredibly dangerous, naturally, but those who have already developed addictions are often beyond the point of being able to (safely) withdrawal on their own and seek out other means of chasing the feeling. “Addiction does not stop with the person using, it consumes every member of a family, and can take over a community.” It isn’t the problem of the addict alone, or even just of his or her family and friends. This issue belongs to all of us and is everyone’s responsibility.

There are a lot of theories and methods as to the best way to offer help to those already suffering from an addiction and to those with, say, chronic pain who are at risk. There doesn’t seem to be one “right” answer, but developments have to continue to be made in order to stop this opioid abuse epidemic once and for all. If you or someone you care about is suffering from an addiction to prescription pills and needs help, then 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 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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