Time For Change
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Health Wellness

Time For Change

Halting America's opioid epidemic.

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Photo by Corey Motta on Unsplash

I've been thinking a lot about Mac Miller since writing about him a few weeks ago. "Easy Mac", as he was commonly referred to as by fans, was not only a talented musician with limitless potential, but he was also a sweet man with a kind soul.

Unfortunately, Mac suffered from a deadly disease, the disease of addiction. This disease haunted him for years and eventually took his life at the prime age of 26.

Mac's life, however, is not the first that addiction has claimed. As I mentioned in a previous article regarding the subject of addiction, people hailing from all backgrounds are susceptible to addiction as dangerous drugs, including prescription opioids and heroin. They have gained popularity despite their ability to harm any person at any moment.

In order to reverse this negative trend and halt America's epidemic, effective drug prevention and intervention strategies must be established.

A productive action that may be taken by federal and state governments is to incorporate prescription drug monitoring programs. Too many doctors have been found guilty in recent years of unlawfully prescribing their patients.

Rather than trying to prosper off of unethical behavior, doctors should gain more education on the identification and treatment of pain. This encourages physicians to be more hesitant when prescribing drugs and to decipher whether a patient does or does not require a prescription.

Additionally, social media campaigns have recently been developed to combat negative representations of prescription drugs. Rise Above Colorado is an example of such an initiative. Created by Jonathan Judge, Rise Above Colorado presents adolescents with healthy, positive alternatives to substance abuse through the utilization of social media.

Today's generation of children relies heavily on the information presented to them through social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Therefore, social media applications serve as advantageous platforms for anti-drug organizations to convey their messages through.

Considering traditional anti-drug campaigns, such as D.A.R.E., have become obsolete, Rise Above Colorado provides an innovative perspective on the issue and will hopefully lead to the creation of similar campaigns nationwide. In an era dominated by media, society needs more of these organizations to guide a new generation of technology-dependent children.

Contemporary American society remains submerged in the heroin epidemic. Instigated by the presence of negative media representations pertaining to prescription drug use, a snowball effect has transpired.

Heroin is why we don't have Mac Miller anymore.

Heroin is why we don't have Philip Seymour Hoffman anymore.

Heroin is why we don't have safety anymore.

I have developed a solution intended to counter America's drug epidemic consisting of prescription drug monitoring programs and social media campaigns. I inherently believe that these strategies will successfully mitigate the damaging effects previously established by negative media representations of drugs, as long as they are accompanied by appropriate funding and endorsement.

As the Dalai Lama says, "We cannot change the past, but we can reshape the future."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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