In the recent the New Yorker piece, The Addicts Next Door, Margaret Talbot highlights the opioid crisis in a small community in West Virginia. She writes in the piece that whenever someone dies below the age of 60, most of the residents will consider it a drug overdose.
She continues by saying whenever an ambulance is in front of a house, the same thought goes through every mind in the community. It is the default explanation. It is a sad reality.
If you felt uneasy reading this passage, wait until you learn the nationwide statistics on drug abuse.
- More than 20 million adult Americans suffer from drug addiction.
- Every day there are 100 deaths related to drug overdose.
To say there is a health epidemic in our midst is accurate. To say the situation is hopeless is defeatist. There is still a lot you can do by way of preemptive education. You can start by knowing the life-threatening effects of drug abuse and by sharing them generously and accurately to your community.
Effects of Drug Abuse
Substance abuse manifests both physically and psychologically. Physical effects of extreme drug dependence include irregular heart rates, respiratory problems, heart attack, abdominal pain, liver and kidney damage, seizures, brain damage, and stroke, among others.
Meanwhile,behavioral/psychological effects include increased aggression, depression, lethargy, financial problems, and chronic involvement in criminal activities, to name a few.
Rehabilitation Is the Way
Joining a drug addiction recovery program here in Orem is a drug dependent’s most reliable shot at getting better. If you wish to commit entirely to the healing process, there is inpatient program for that. If you cannot leave behind your work or your usual routine, there are outpatient programs you may consider.
Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) also exist to guide participants through the 12-step recovery process.