When we try to think of ways to contribute to reducing the opioid crisis, it’s hard to figure out where to begin. Where should we apply our efforts to achieve the best results? Can only one person do anything that will genuinely make a difference? Here’s the thing. If you can influence just one person to avoid drug use or to give up drugs, you’ve made a huge contribution. We can win the battle against drug abuse, one person at a time if necessary.
If you want to get involved in reducing the opioid crisis, we have a few suggestions that will help you get started.
Begin by Sharing the Knowledge About the Dangers of Drugs
More likely than not, you’ve heard someone say, “It’s safe; everyone’s using it.” Or, “One won’t hurt you.” Or, “It’s a prescription pill, so it’s not dangerous.” These misconceptions have led many people to become addicted to these dangerous substances and had their lives and health disrupted. There’s no such thing as innocent experimentation. Some drugs can be deadly, with only one dose.
You can help spread the word about the dangers of drugs in a variety of ways. Here are a few organizations that encourage public involvement in their campaigns:
Also, each month of the year, nationwide education and awareness organizations sponsor a variety of events such as:
- August –National Overdose Awareness Day
- September –National Recovery Month
- October – International Drug Take-Back Day, Red Ribbon Week
- November –Drug Awareness Month
- January –National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week
- February – SAMSHAs Children of Alcoholics Week
- March – International Day of Drug Checking
- April –Alcohol Awareness Month
- May –National Prevention Week
These are only a small portion of the many organizations and events that need your support. Millions of people are involved daily in doing whatever they can to prevent drug abuse. Many lives have been saved, but there are still more that need saving.
How Bad is the Prevalence of Drug Abuse and Addiction?
More than 70,200 people died from drug overdoses last year. About 17,029 of those deaths involved prescription opioids.
It’s far too easy to obtain addictive substances today. Look in any bathroom medicine cabinet, and you’ll see a variety of pain pills, sleep aids, depression meds, and more. Even over-the-counter drugs are abused to get high, and every household has these drugs stashed somewhere.
In 2018, over 214 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed by retail pharmacies. Nine out of ten of these individuals reported not finishing all of their medications. That means there are millions of these unused pills sitting around waiting to get into the wrong hands. Many of these drugs end up at “skittles parties” or being handed out to friends at school.
If you find some of these unused prescriptions, check out this infographic to learn the best ways to dispose of them.
Other Ways to Contribute to Reducing the Opioid Crisis
One of the best ways to help reduce the opioid epidemic is to serve as an example to your friends. Let them know you won’t tolerate drugs in your presence. Encourage your friends to find ways to have fun without getting high.
Talk to your parents and relatives about the dangers of leaving unused medications in the home. Show them the above infographic on how to dispose of those drugs.
If you would like more information about reducing the opioid crisis, please contact us today. We’ll also be happy to talk to you about our treatment program if you know someone who needs help overcoming addiction.