Can our communities manage this epidemic effectively?

The Opioid Epidemic

The Opioid Epidemic continues to spread rapidly across the country, and with it, come more pain, misery and death every day in our communities. Many communities have seen a frightening increase in opioid deaths, and resulting costs created by the epidemic, such as supplying Narcan to first responders, caring for children whose parents have died or become chronically debilitated by their opiate addiction, or providing treatment services, have skyrocketed. Unfortunately, there seem to be lines drawn in many communities when citizens readily accept and perpetuate the stigma so often associated with addiction and aimed at addicts in society. This stigma is often illustrated with the argument that addicts are not victims, but rather have chosen their addictive behaviors and therefore, they are responsible for their own pain, misery, and frequently death, due to opioid addiction/overdose – NOT the community. Thus, the community has no obligations to help them.

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In a post of at least 175 words, discuss your thoughts on this topic. Does the community have a responsibility to provide emergency care, treatment, resources to opioid addicts? What about small communities that are expanding much of their community’s budget and resources responding to opioid-induced emergencies. Is there a solution? Can our communities manage this epidemic effectively?

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