What is the opioid crisis? Those who are involved one way or another in the opioid crisis – people undergoing rehab, family and friends of those who were addicted to opioids, medical workers, social workers, government workers, pharmaceutical workers, etc. – may find someone posing this question not just as someone ignorant but someone who is living in a bubble, detached from a very serious issue that has killed tens of thousand in the US every year years. But then, despite the controversial nature of the issue, many remain unaware.
The Role of Information on Opioid Crisis
It is important to remember that anyone who is inquiring is showing signs of interest and it is a good place to start. An important weapon that society can use to fight the opioid crisis is information on opioid crisis because information is transformative. Informed people are people who can develop empathy as a result of knowing new information, and empathy is essential in building a community conducive to helping people addicted to opioids. Informed people are people who can have a real understanding of the gravity of the opioid crisis and the long-term threat it poses on everyone and not just on the people addicted to opioids. Last and most important of all, informed people are people who are already one step ahead of the threat of addiction. One of the ways people are addicted to opioids is the ignorance about the addiction and how it can adversely affect them and the people around them. They succumb to the initial stages of addiction thinking it is harmless, that it is something they can get rid of if they want to. Had they known how opioid addiction can take over one’s life and how it can latch on to someone so strongly that becoming free of the addiction requires the help of other people, they might think otherwise before beginning this unhealthy, dangerous, and unsafe consumption of opioids.
People who are curious as to what the opioid crisis is should be able to understand this problem through small dosages of information at first. There is a lot of important information about the opioid crisis and dumping it on someone in one sitting can be overwhelming, and this could lead to negative results. First, that person might fail to grasp how serious the problem is because there is just too much information to process. Secondly, important information might not register in the mind of the person listening or reading about it because of the volume of the information unloaded in a short amount of time. Lastly, that person hearing about the opioid crisis for the first time might think this is simply unbelievable and might construe this as some elaborate effort or propaganda to undermine the government and the institutions in it.
The safest and smartest approach to answering the question what is the opioid crisis is to break down the information being relayed to the audience in parts. This is done so that the listener or audience is given enough time to fully understand and process the information. One approach to information dissemination is using the pyramid approach. Like the shape of the pyramid, start off with the small topmost part and lay down the basics of the opioid crisis – what are opioids and why it is addictive, how it started, and why it is persisting in the society today. As you work your way down to bigger and broader topics that form the opioid crisis, you are discussing the issue one tier at a time.
Over time, you would’ve covered many important topics and laid out an information dissemination exercise that has allowed the audience to understand the subject matter and how things are related to it: pharmaceutical ethics and responsibility, stigma, how schools, community centers, law enforcement, mass media, and the government are involved, the responsibility of individuals who possess prescription and prescription drugs, the importance of locking medication bags, the cost of the opioid crisis, rehabilitation, etc.
The most important part of the effort to inform people who are unaware of the opioid crisis is to fully and correctly explain the role of everyone in the fight to stop the opioid crisis. While the government and the funding it has control over are two major components that define the success or failure of the fight against the opioid crisis, like winning the war, much is at stake in how each soldier performs in the line of duty. This is why it is important to fully and correctly explain to people hearing about the opioid crisis for the first time what their role is in fighting this battle. Many people will get the impression that the reason they are not aware of the opioid crisis is because they do not have a stake in it and the community is not expecting anything from them.
This is false.
Everyone is involved in the opioid crisis. Many people are working hard to keep this addiction going because it benefits them financially. This is the reason why the fight to end the opioid crisis should involve more people. Every time you say no to taking an opioid if it isn’t prescribed to you, you help the fight to end the opioid crisis. Every time you correctly dispose prescription drugs or keep them in a safe and secure location away from those who could be potentially addicted, you help the fight to end the opioid crisis. Every effort you put in to show people love, care, and affection, you help the fight to end the opioid crisis by giving them no reason to embrace addiction.
What is the opioid crisis? The next time someone asks, take the time to share your knowledge about it. More importantly, always update the information you have. This way, you are not sharing obsolete information about the opioid crisis with other people, many of them could be hearing about this for the first time. Information is a powerful and helpful tool that should be utilized fully and correctly in the fight to end the opioid crisis in the near future.
If you want to know more about the opioid crisis, check out our other related posts on the opioid crisis or browse the links below.