Upon learning that there would be a new opiate addiction treatment facility in my neighborhood, I was decidedly thrilled that steps were being taken to aid those in need. I find it extremely noble that the drug, alcohol, and mental health board is doing something to help those addicted to opiates. While I understand that some people may be concerned with the kind of reputation that a rehab center may bring to a community, I fully believe that the treatment center will be an excellent way to show that we care and want to help our fellow citizens. What town doesn’t want to say that they help their own? Are we suddenly too important to help those in need? Just because we may not have gotten sucked into the world of drugs ourselves, we are certainly not above helping those who have.
By bringing a treatment center to our community, we are really bettering the community. If citizens of our town are struggling with drugs and feel like they do not have a safe and supportive environment in their lives, where will they turn to? Or a better question: what will they turn to? The answer: pain relieving drugs. A recovery program in our community could be the safe haven that addicts need. Once the patients receive the proper care that they need, our society will grow as well. With prescription drug use decreasing, the cost of health care will decrease for employers. In the same light, employee productivity should rise without the constant preoccupation of the drug affecting a worker’s concentration and ability to perform tasks.
Every year in America, about 400 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money goes towards health care expenses, unemployment wages, traffic accidents, crime, and criminal justice system fees brought on by opiate abuse. More treatment facilities around the country could play a role in reducing taxes. As well as cutting taxes, treatment facilities would also provide many opportunities for employment. Whether it be constructing the facility, helping patients, working in the facility’s kitchen, or holding down the front desk, a rehab center would provide a range of positions for different people with different work experience. Especially within our small town, any type of new job position is greatly appreciated in this unstable economy.
In 2009, sixteen million Americans of the ages of 12 and over reported that they had taken a prescription drug for a non-medical purpose at least once within the year prior to taking the survey. Clearly not all of these cases result in an overdose, but all it really takes is one desired outcome and taking the drug can easily become habitual. The number of prescriptions filled for opioid pain relievers increased 402% between 1997 and 2007. From 2007 to 2008, the amount of overdoses on opioids increased and has remained fairly steady ever since. Surprisingly enough, drug-induced deaths are the second highest cause of fatality behind motor vehicle accidents. Drug-induced deaths alone claimed about 38,000 lives in 2007 alone, with opioids making up about 12,000 of those lost lives. From 1999 to 2010, Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug overdose increased 372 percent. This increase has largely been driven by the increasing numbers of prescription drug overdoses. It’s not hard to see the correlation between these statistics. Prescription drugs being taken for non-medical purposes is a prominent problem in our country that is only going to get worse with time if nothing is done to prevent it.
Another factor that contributes to the epidemic is that it is fairly simple to get a hold of these kinds of drugs. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers obtained them from friends or family and about 5 percent got them from a drug dealer or over the Internet. These facts don’t even mention how relatively simple it is to get prescription for a painkiller directly from a doctor. Last summer, I hit my head on...
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