Why It’s Time to Take the Opioid Epidemic Seriously

The conversation around opioid use and overdoses has long been mounting, but the availability and permanence of the drugs demands that we no longer drag our feet regarding the issue.

From Codeine to Percocet, prescription drug medication has infiltrated nearly as aspects of modern culture. Serving as stand-in muses for many musicians and artists, albums have been highlighting the problem faced by prescription drugs for years on end – but it’s gone far beyond the limits of what it ever should have.

Being some of the hardest-hitting and most effective drugs out on the market, opioids – in all their various forms – have found their way into the hands of individuals of all age ranges and backgrounds. The most frightening aspect, their availability, is what makes them one of the most insidious plagues to modern society.

With prescription drugs, we’re not dealing with cartels and drug wars that involve illicit activities and the wholesale slaughter of rival gangs for territory and manufacturing processes, we’re dealing with an overabundance of these drugs being prescribed by doctors, physicians, and healthcare specialist.

These opioids are not only being mass-produced, they’re being doled out like candies to the populace with nary a care other than to hit a quota in prescriptions. Although there have been moves made to lessen their distribution, there is a worrying amount of prescription drug medication still being issued in cases where a much milder pain suppressant – or none – could have been issues.

And that brings us the crux of the argument: the reason so many turn to such debilitating pain relievers to begin with. On one hand, it can be attributed to nothing more than the eon-old human yearning for stimulus and an ever-rising bar to match it. On the other, is the utter inability to process mental and physical pain – and living within the midst of a society that abhors pestilence.

No one ever made a compelling case for why we should love being sick, but we must be aware at the way many modern societies treat mental and physical illnesses. Have a prolonged physical injury? Guess that means you won’t have your job for much longer. Feel yourself bogged down by a mental illness that incessantly plagues your thoughts? Good luck getting your employer to acknowledge it as a legitimate malady.

The point is, we’ve entered a point in modern history where many would go to any length to feel and appear “fine” rather than taking steps toward achieving an actual improvement to our well-being – and there’s a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry that’s all-too-eager to supply the panacea that’ll keep us coming back to them with wallets wide open.

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