It’s No Longer a Drug Crisis: It’s an Overdose Crisis

Person on stretcher being taken into an ambulance

What started off as a massive opioid problem, the current drug epidemic has changed gears yet again. When the opioid crisis started, we had a new group of addicts; those addicted to prescription painkillers. Once a big enough tolerance was built up to those medications, drug users found themselves hopelessly addicted to heroin, which just so happened to show up on streets nationwide. As if heroin wasn’t bad enough, fentanyl suddenly began being mixed with the already super-strong opiate, which resulted in record numbers of overdoses. As the years trudged on, methamphetamine and benzos joined the party, so to speak. What we eventually had was a nationwide drug pandemic. This issue has affected almost every household in one way, shape, or form across America. It got so bad, that drug abuse was found to be happening in upscale, suburban areas, not just in depressed and impoverished neighborhoods. What we have now, over 20 years from the beginning of this scourge, isn’t even a drug problem at this point—it’s an overdose problem.

Drugs have been around for millennia and nowhere in recorded history has mankind seen such a problem with fatal drug overdoses. That’s the scary thing about our world’s drug problem; it keeps changing, evolving, and each time an evolution occurs, it creates something far worse than what we had before. More and more people are losing their lives to fatal overdoses and in the last 3 years, even well-known celebrities have succumbed to their deadly habits.

This reminds me of when I noticed that we no longer had a pill problem in this country and instead, we had a heroin problem. The heroin problem soon turned into a fentanyl problem and now it seems the fentanyl problem has just turned into an overall overdose problem.

The drugs out there are so strong and being mixed with each other that survival rates seem to be dwindling in those who partake of these substances. There are counterfeit pharmaceuticals circulating around that look just like a legit medication but are actually fakes that are filled with fentanyl and other drugs. You never quite know what you’re going to get on your next trip to your local “street doctor.” After recently reading about developments a year after rap artist Mac Miller’s death, it really hit me that the drug problem is so far out of control that literally no one is safe and we’re losing celebrities, friends, and family members every day.

What really bugs me is that so much work, funding, blood, sweat, and tears have gone into fighting the drug problem to get where? Now we have a worse problem spun off by the drug issue. Now, I do believe things can get worse right before they get better, so I hope this is as worse as it gets. I can’t see how it can possibly worsen from this point, but I’ve said that each time it does.

Now is the time to really make workable treatment options available to anyone who needs them, not just the 1% who can afford private care treatment or have decent enough insurance policies. There are literally millions of addicts in this country who need help—so why not make it available to everyone?

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 11 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.