Opioid Use Disorder
Individuals who experience chronic pain often turn to opioids as a prescribed method of treatment; however, opioids are highly addictive substances, and the opportunities for misuse of the drugs abound. When opioid use becomes problematic - either to a person's overall health or to their ability to function in society - it is clear that steps to address the problem before it becomes too significant need to be taken. For some individuals who struggle with addiction, the mere act of being present during a time when they had to admit their problems to friends and/or family, for example, can display immense strength. It is this kind of support - not the rejection of someone as a mere addict, not the mentality of "you got yourself into this" - that will allow this country to more accurately reflect our shared values in an increasingly complex society.
Drugs like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone are all examples of some of the opioids that patients have abused in the past. Individuals who engage in drug-seeking behavior, who are clearly experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and who only seem to be getting worse are examples of those individuals that need the greatest support from others as they struggle with opioid use disorder. Others have to resort to taking up temporary residence on the corner of streets or in the lobby of buildings.
Through a concerted effort by civilians, the government, and private organizations, not only will we as a society be capable of addressing the needs of individuals suffering from opioid use disorder, but also ensure best practices are used appropriately to enhance overall quality of life.