In recent years the opioid epidemic has grown so much that it’s overshadowed the more lethal scourge of alcoholism, which claims its victims through a wider range of methods.
It’s the holiday season and festivities abound. Many of those festivities include alcohol or sometimes other substances that can make relapse easy.
Human nature makes us want to postpone what we know might be uncomfortable, or something that we are a little afraid of. It always seems that it will be easier in the future, but the truth is that the best time isn’t in the future, it’s right now.
Opioid deaths have increased steadily over the past several years. Reports of the opioid crisis or the opioid epidemic appear in the media on an almost daily basis. Overdose deaths from another source have been steadily rising as well but have received very little media attention. Benzodiazepines, once considered an extremely safe medication, are resulting in higher rates of drug addiction and are being implicated in overdose deaths, especially when used in conjunction with opioids.
When Mitzi and Brad met and started dating, Brad was sober, but he shared with Mitzi that although he had a history of addiction, he had been sober for quite a while.
Celebrity deaths due to drugs or alcohol, or a mixture of substances often make shocking headlines and happen all too frequently. The list is long: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Lil Peep, Mac Miller, Tom Petty, Prince, and Chyna, to name just a few. People who seemed to have it all have died, proving that they are fighting their own battles with addiction – and sometimes losing the battle.
When we talk about addiction, the last thing that may pop into our heads is Sesame Street. But the makers of the enormously popular children’s educational show recognized an issue most of us don’t think about—the impact of opioid addiction on the children of addicts.
In the United States, over six-million women become pregnant every year. Approximately 9 out of 10 of those pregnant women take medication. About five percent of pregnant women use one or more substance that is addictive. Almost ten percent of pregnant women have smoked tobacco within the past month.
Of all the substances that people abuse, only one fits into ALL the following criteria: socially acceptable, over-the-counter accessible, the cost is not prohibitive, legal for adults to purchase in all 50 states, and often viewed as harmless or a normal rite of passage into adulthood. This magic elixir is alcohol.
While the lead headline from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) touted “Marijuana use at historic highs among college-age adults,” the institute could have also released some positive headlines.