Opioid crisis too big to ignore


Photo by Hannah Gartley

Medicine heals and medicine kills. Recently there has been an epidemic of opioid related deaths going around in multiple counties across Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

This goes beyond Michigan. The opioid crisis is country wide.

Opioids are prescribed drugs that help relieve pain. The drug itself acts on opioid receptors throughout the body and produces morphine like effects. If the drug is not prescribed to someone who is medically in need of it, it can cause many problems or side effects which include addiction and a possible overdose.

These drugs should only be used by a prescription from reputable doctors. These drugs should not be taken by those who do not require it. It is sad that people abuse painkillers and openly take them recreationally. People are willing to sell their own medication when they should be taking them as prescribed or properly disposing them if not needed.

According to John Wisely’s article from Detroit Free Press, ‘Detroit, Macomb County sue drug companies over opioid epidemic: ‘Enough is enough’’ (Dec. 19) ‘“It is not that we want to profit from litigation, we want to stop it through litigation,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said after relaying that opioid-related deaths in his county rose from 134 percent to 202 in 2016.

There is clearly an issue that requires attention. Many residents are dying because of this epidemic. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors want to make money off the sick, poor and vulnerable. It is truly disturbing to think that these people can sleep at night without even taking a minute to think, “Someone could have just died because of the drug I prescribed was not used properly.”

“We do not make medicines, market medicines, prescribe medicines or dispense them to consumers,” John Parker, senior vice president of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, said in a statement. “We are deeply engaged in the issue and are taking our own steps to be part of the solution – but we are not willing to be scapegoats.”

Although Parker states his words, they are only as good as the ears who will listen to them. President Trump is the first president to actively try stopping drug trafficking, and is addressing the opioid crisis. Teenagers are not likely to listen to an adult let alone health services.

This crisis has even hit at Stevenson, the latest suspect being Adderall. Adderall helps prescribed users, who have ADHD, focus on tasks. If the drug is abused it can lead to severe psychological or physical dependency for the drug, and the victims are uneducated students. As the students abuse the drug, it becomes an addiction that can lead to side effects including hair loss, insomnia, constipation and vomiting.

Macomb County, as well as the entire Michigan community, needs to continue to rise above the influence and push for a greater quality of life so Michigan can get back to being the great state it was in the past.