This a 2.5 minute read. In it, we will detail the problem opioids present in the United States, how it concerns you, and, briefly, what our upcoming workshop will cover.
What are opioids? For most of you, opioids are simply pain relievers prescribed by physicians to manage pain. These include oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, etc. Opioids also include a class of drugs that are illegal, such as heroin and fentanyl.
However, BOTH sets, both the legal and illegal, have a potential for dependence, also called addiction. What makes the opioid epidemic unique is that often, people are first introduced to them in a perfectly legal way - a doctors prescription. However, because of the nature of this class of drugs, the bridge to dependence and ultimately addiction can be short.
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
Unfortunately, the chances of you knowing someone affected by opioids is higher than ever. In 2017, 1.7 million people suffered from substance abuse explicitly related to opioids, and 47,000 people died from overdoses. That’s about 10,000 MORE than the total number of students that attend Texas Tech University.
HOW IT CONCERNS YOU
AWARENESS: Knowing and being aware that this is a problem is the first step in spotting and stopping it. Social media has allowed us to maintain vast networks of connections with old and new friends, family, and acquaintances. Additionally, even with its troubles, the beauty of social media is that it’s easier than ever to connect with those people quickly and share information.
Part of combating a problem like the opioid epidemic is arming those you know with good information about the existence of the problem, how to help and how to get help. A problem that people don’t know about is a lot harder to solve, wouldn’t you say?
KNOWLEDGE: Just knowing about a problem is half the battle - being aware that it could be an issue for you or someone you know. But what’s the next step? Part of the goal of the workshop is to arm YOU with useful information so that as you maintain your daily connections, you’re ready and equipped to help inform and direct those precious to you and, help you make better decisions for yourself and your family.
Do you have addiction in your family
Is there an environment for abuse (being alone, mental state, prescription access)
THE ACTION PLAN
A problem like this can seem overwhelming. However, the first step for you is simple. Attend our workshop.
Come and learn more in-depth about the current opioid and synthetic drug problem. Grow in your awareness and knowledge. Get connected to others who care about this same problem as well as get connected to professionals who are working hard to combat it.
The workshop is conducted by the NEIDS team from UMC. We’ve partnered with them to hold this special 2-hour workshop at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers as a way to serve you! It’s FREE, and anyone from the community is invited to attend.
The bottom line is, we’re just asking you to come and learn. Even if you can’t see an immediate need that concerns you, knowledge is power. The more people know and spread CORRECT information, the better chance we have of helping someone we know.
What questions do you have about this workshop? You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (806) 698-8085