After Surgeon General's Address, It's Time to Destigmatize the Disease of Addiction

Surgeon General Destigmatize Addiction - Freedom From Addiction

Ever since former President Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971, the pharmaceutical and over-prescribing of opioids have been left out of the conversation entirely - until recently, when the Surgeon General issued a statement addressing it and laying out an action plan. Some claim that all this is too little, too late, while others argue that it's about time.

How We Got Here

Unfortunately, it is the fault of Big Pharma, who created these drugs in the first place. However, just creating a substance isn't enough to condemn an action. Big Pharma went a step further and tested them on vulnerable populations, such as teens and lower income neighborhoods in only short term testing. Never long-term trials. These factors went a long way towards creating a market for these drugs and a belief that we all had chronic pain and therefore must treat it with these drugs. After all, what good is a product with no market? All this created the perfect storm that leads to doctors being the next link in this chain. We now have what has been categorized as an epidemic of over-prescription of opioids.

Is There a Solution?

According to the Surgeon General, he outlined what he refers to as the Pain Treatment Tool Box as a way to combat the opioid epidemic. One of the most important aspects of this is the urging of doctors to only prescribe opioids when necessary and regarding long-term care, actually work to find an underlying cause of the pain and thus end the treatment with opioids.

What Next?

If you are indeed suffering from chronic pain, it is important to find a doctor not only believes you but is willing to work with you to find a solution, rather than just slap a band-aid on it with a 90-day prescription for Oxycontin and a request to see them back in 3 months. And if you have an addiction, it is also important to reach out to, not only your friends and family for help but also your doctor. If you need help to find a recovery center, contact Freedom From Addiction for help.

Sydney DeZinno is a writer from Tucson, AZ. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she an active advocate that is passionate about addiction recovery and helping those in crisis. 

| Twitter @sdezinno

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