For some time now we have known that our nation’s drug crisis will not resolve with only government action alone. It’s become apparent, now twenty years into the largest addiction epidemic that our country has likely ever seen, that curbing drug addiction within our communities will take community action, as well as federal and state support.
In an age where the legality and use of drugs are heatedly debated, it’s big news when new data comes out regarding a popular drug and the real risks that its use carries. Case in point, there is a new development in the works regarding kratom, a natural, plant-based drug native to Southeast Asia.
Is marijuana addictive? That query is easily one of the most frequently asked questions in the addiction and behavioral health space. I hear it on an almost daily basis. And as for its answer… well, there are as many opinions and viewpoints on that subject as there are people who have them.
In a nation where drug and alcohol addiction has become commonplace, it is not that surprising that addiction would make its way into the workplace. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2017 about 19.7 million people in the U.S. struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.
Innovated, funded, and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Alcohol Awareness Month was first established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma associated with alcohol addiction. The driving force behind Alcohol Awareness Month was to encourage communities to reach out to the American public every April, for the duration of the month, with information and resources on alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery.
The importance of parents talking to their kids about drugs and alcohol is pretty well-known. But how do we do this? I know for a fact that plenty of experts stress the importance of having these conversations. But few say how to actually have these conversations.
Few challenges are more difficult than when we face the prospect of talking to a family member or loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. These issues are some of the hardest. Someone you care about very much is using a substance that will eventually kill them if they don’t stop.
When we think about drug and alcohol addiction and the drug crisis in general, odds are our thoughts and minds go instantly to the death toll of drug use and the families harmed by such losses. And that makes sense. Drug use cannot do more significant harm than claim the lives of those who struggle with such habits.
No one wants to undergo surgery, but it is sometimes necessary or desirable. Anything from a simple wisdom teeth removal to an appendectomy for a ruptured appendix or a C-Section for a pregnancy complication, all of these count as surgeries.
By now it is no new story that the United States is struggling with a pretty severe drug overdose problem. At this time, tens of thousands of people are dying from drug overdoses every year. Though statistics have not yet been tabulated for 2018, more than 70,200 people died from overdoses in 2017.