In 2016, more than 20,000 deaths in the United States were caused by an overdose of prescription opioids, and another 13,000 deaths resulted from heroin overdose. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death in U.S. adults under age 50, and opioids account for more than half of all drug overdose deaths.
Within the past year, we have heard stories from social media, news outlets, and ongoing conversations around the rise of the opioid crisis. Reading through the various commentary, there is a noticeable trend of individuals caught up in emotional responses. Yet, as a society, do we fully comprehend the nature of addiction and how individuals [...]
What we do know is this: Substance use disorder creates a stronghold that prevents individuals from living productive and healthy lives. For this reason, "Substance misuse is a major public health challenge and priority for our nation" (Sylvia Matthews Burwell - Secretary US Department of Health and Human Services). Since this has become a major public health challenge, there is overwhelming evidence that supports policies and programs that focus on prevention, treatment, and sustained recovery (Burwell). What is leading this evidence is our advanced "...understanding of substance use..." as a "...chronic neurological disorder" (Burwell). A focused goal comes out of the report as the aligning of mainstream health care and substance use disorder treatment in order to address the overall health and wellness of an individual.