Growing awareness


Different government agencies and local communities make their pitch on the growing opioid epidemic across the country. With the recent reporting, it describes how rampant the disease affecting people in all walks of life. Several groups campaign in reducing and reversing the devastating effects of drug addiction. But as the opioid epidemic grows, so does the public awareness about it. According to the Quinnipiac polls released in May, it shows that 7 out of 10 Americans consider opioid addiction as “a very serious problem”.



With the recent declaration of drug addiction as another type of disorder, many people are becoming aware that it’s not just by choice. What a typical painkiller prescription can easily turn to debilitating drug addiction, even when following strict medications usage.



Many people working at non-profit addiction centers and treatment facilities witness the gravity of the situation. Even the workforce can already feel the devastating effect as companies experience difficulties in hiring workers. Many qualified prospective employees fail to pass pre-employment drug tests requirements. Also, the severity of drug addiction can never be more pronounced than ever in the emergency rooms. Doctors, nurses, and other health care providers scramble to save lives from a drug overdose every day.


Opioid Addiction Crisis


“Thank you for Jeff Barker’s reporting and your front page photo describing the recent hearing on the opioid addiction crisis that is rampant throughout Maryland and across our nation Rep. Elijah Cummings is a true champion in proposing real solutions in reversing and reducing the devastating impact of substance use disorder.


Let me offer some cautious optimism regarding Mr. Cummings’ remark that “a lot of people don’t realize how significant this problem is.” There is polling and anecdotal evidence that shows the general public is becoming more informed and alarmed by this epidemic. Two Quinnipiac polls in May reveal that seven in 10 Americans say that opioid addiction is “a very serious problem.” More than half of all Marylanders (52 percent) personally know someone who has been affected by this addiction epidemic.


Through my roles of volunteer work at a non-profit addiction prevention and treatment organization and my day-to-day work with the drug courts in Harford County, I see employers who are experiencing difficulties in hiring workers who can pass a drug screening test. I see doctors, nurses, clinicians and first responders who are treating the new wave of patients who have overdosed and require emergency care.”


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