The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on America

October 17, 2016

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America's Opioid Epidemic

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction and substance abuse, in general, has been growing and increasing all across the nation.  All substances have been increasing in popularity.  All ages, sexes, ethnicities, demographics, and income levels of Americans in all geographic areas of the nation are experiencing this increase.  However, no drug is skyrocketing in popularity and prevalence quite like opiates are, and no type of American is being affected as drastically as the middle class is. The ever-growing statistics on America’s opioid epidemic are constantly showing the increasing need for proper rehabilitation and treatment.

Following the economic recession of 2008, drug dealers, traffickers, pushers, cartels, and gangs could no longer get as much business out of lower class and poverty class Americans.  At the same time though, the American middle class had just gone through the most depressing economic slap in the face since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  They were ripe for the pickings as far as opiate drug dealing criminals were concerned.  Starting with the young adults and progressing into financially struggling and depressed parents, opiate abuse crept into middle-class America almost overnight.  The effect?  Rampant addiction.  Rampant death.  Rampant grief and sadness.  America’s opioid epidemic is a killer without a conscience.

The Grim Facts on America’s Opioid Epidemic

To find evidence of these issues, all one needs to do is look to the authorities on the matter.  There are several governmental and nonprofit organizations alike which have been tasked with getting to the bottom of addiction once and for all and finding out the real truth about it.

The following data is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • The Midwest has the worst opiate problem in the nation.  Coincidentally, it is the middle class of the Midwest that suffers the most.  According to a study published recently, Illinois dropped from the 28th in the nation for providing state-funded treatment for addiction to the 44th in just five years, and at the same time opiate abuse among families that made $50,000-$100,000 a year skyrocketed. Middle-class Americans are targeted the most for opiate trafficking because they can afford the somewhat expensive drugs.
  • The middle class has also been duped into a deadly back-and-forth addiction crisis between heroin and opiate pills.  Young people from middle-class families often become addicted to pain pills and progress to heroin too, (which provides the same euphoric high as heroin does), when pills end up being hard to come by.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths in the United States are actually caused by drugs (both illicit and prescribed), and roughly seventy percent of all overdoses in the nation occur in individuals from middle class families.  True enough, between 2001 and 2010, drug poisoning deaths in the U.S. almost doubled to now measure nearly 17,000 deaths in 2010, and then over twenty-five thousand in 2015.  Moreover, opioid analgesic pain relievers were involved in more drug poisoning deaths than any other drug at all, including heroin and cocaine both.

A Resolution

What can be done when the backbone of America is becoming addicted to opiates?  America’s opioid epidemic must be met with a solution of a similar magnitude.  This is speaking of course of large scale rehabilitation.  Only effective, inpatient rehabilitation can address a problem of this size, and only rehabilitation of an inpatient nature can provide the necessary detoxification to address the physical aspects of opiate addiction and also provide the necessary counseling and therapy to address the mental and psychological aspects of opiate addiction.  With rehabilitation and with only rehabilitation, the American middle class can beat this crisis once and for all.

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