Thursday, September 22, 2016

We have to talk about opioids and heroin. Our kids are dying - Lily's Blackboard

We have to talk about opioids and heroin. Our kids are dying - Lily's Blackboard:

We have to talk about opioids and heroin. Our kids are dying

overdose_1474209837

There’s an “awareness” week of some sort practically every week. It’s a good way to bring attention to an important issue and begin a conversation that might not come up otherwise.  This week hits home for me. 
My two beautiful grownup baby boys were both involved with drugs early in their lives.  My late husband and I lived for years worried they wouldn’t make it through that dark tunnel of addiction.  It’s an actual miracle to me that both of them did. Today, they’re happy and healthy and taking care of themselves and their families, but not all get that chance.  Addictions are starting earlier and earlier.  And kids are dying.
The good news: Abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers—opioids—is either stable or down among teenagers.
The bad news: Ninety percent of people who are addicted started using before 18. So during the vulnerable teen years, any abuse has the potential for lifetime consequences.
Over the past few years, no class of drugs has gotten more attention than opioids. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 2.1 million people in the United States have substance abuse disorders related to opioid abuse, while 467,000 are addicted to heroin. According to NIDA, unintentional overdose deaths from drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and other opioids have quadrupled in our nation since 1999.
President Obama declared the week of September 19 “Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week” to shine a light on the problem.
“Opioid use disorder, or addiction to prescription opioids or heroin, is a disease that touches too many of our communities—big and small, urban and rural—and devastates families, all while straining the capacity of law enforcement and the health care system,” the president’s proclamation reads.
As we know, drug abuse and addiction strain our school communities, too.
Maia Szalavitz, a neuroscience journalist and author—who was addicted to cocaine and heroin from age 17 to 23—says in her new book Unbroken Brain that addiction should be thought of asWe have to talk about opioids and heroin. Our kids are dying - Lily's Blackboard:


LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education