The opioid crisis in America sometimes feels out of control. Every day, we here about more deaths from overdosing on opioids. Hearing these terrible news stories can evoke a feeling of helplessness even in the strongest of individuals. The question is, what can we do to combat the opioid crisis?
There are things we can all do to help combat the opioid crisis. While it may not feel as though you as an individual can make a difference, know that if we join as a nation and work together, we can put an end to the opioid crisis.
Know What Friends & Family Are Taking
The first thing one can do to combat the opioid crisis is be aware. Unfortunately, many people are prescribed opioids for pain management. It’s important that you as a friend or family member pay attention to what they’ve been prescribed.
If your family member is taking opioids for pain management, stay mindful of their dosage. Many people will start to build a tolerance and feel that they need to take an extra pill to manage their pain. This is how the path to addiction starts – so be sure to note if they’re taking more than they’ve been instructed to.
Talk To Your Children
Education is needed for our youths. Unfortunately, many of our youth turn to illicit opioid use due to the mentality of it being prescription medicine. If doctors can prescribe it, than it must be safe – that is the youths’ mindset.
It’s important that you sit down and talk to your children about the dangers of opioid usage. Tell them about the dangers of addiction, the ease at which they can overdose, and what path it can lead them down. Most importantly – listen. Chances are your child has been exposed to someone who has used or is currently using opioids. Listen to their concerns, comments and questions and build that trust!
Know How To React During An Overdose
The most important way to combat the opioid crisis is by knowing what to do if you come across someone who is overdosing. Remember – do not panic. Panicking in an overdose will only make the situation worse, and in a time like this seconds count.
Immediately call 9-1-1 and listen to what the person on the other line tells you to do. Do not try to be a hero in this situation. Listen to each step carefully until EMS arrives.
The opioid crisis seems to get worse by the day. Luckily, steps are being put into place by our government to combat the opioid crisis. In the meantime, remember that there are ways you can help!