Talking About The National Opioid Epidemic

As the fight against the national Opioid epidemic continues to gain momentum, pop culture celebrities are joining the cause and speaking out against drug abuse. Most recently, President Barack Obama and hip-hop artist Macklemore have teamed up to address the issue.

The topic hits home to Macklemore, who battled addiction and prescription drug abuse himself. Although fortunate enough to overcome his addiction, Macklemore lost a friend to drug overdose at the age of 21.  

Addiction is like any other disease – it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care what color you are, whether you’re a guy or a girl, rich or poor, whether you live in the inner-city, a suburb, or rural America. This doesn’t just happen to other people’s kids or in some other neighborhood. It can happen to any of us.

- Award-winning Hip-Hop Artist, Macklemore

Today, overdoses from Heroin, prescription drugs and Opioid Painkillers are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the country – exceeding the number of car accidents annually. Fortunately, current conversations about Opioid abuse not only generate public awareness about the subject, but garner support in making treatment available to those in need.

How The Opioid Epidemic Impacts Communities

Opioids, consisting of mind-altering drugs like Heroin and Painkillers, are some of the most highly addictive drugs today. You may know the short and long-term damage these drugs may cause as well as how they can cause breathing problems and possibly even death. But do you know just how damaging an Opioid addiction can be to those around us?

Over the years, an increasing use of Opioids has rolled through communities and neighborhoods, destroying them along the way. Neighborhood burglaries, vandalized properties, and other serious criminal activities are often caused by those looking for ways to get their next fix. Opioid users will do just about anything to get cash or sellable items in order to sustain their habit.

On average, an Opioid addiction will affect at least 5 other people. It troubles not only the individual but also families, friends, and colleagues.

Unfortunately, the Opioid epidemic never received much attention until recently. But with the help of elected officials, local groups, and others, we can work together to develop more affordable and accessible options for anyone seeking treatment.  

How To Overcome The Dangers Of Opioid Addiction

Since Opioids are substantially addictive in nature, your body will need time to heal and get back to normal. While withdrawal effects can cause discomfort, lack of motivation, and sometimes even a sense of hopelessness, having a support group can help overcome difficult times and provide extra motivation. 

I remember waking up in the mornings with anxiety or heartache that I couldn’t live without my drugs…I listened to talk radio a lot, and commercials would come on talking about prescription drug addiction…It got me to thinking, ‘If I need 6-8 of these now, what will it be like a year from now? How many will I need to maintain my high?’ It scared me terribly.

- Cathy C., in recovery for Codeine addiction for 21 months

With an increasing awareness about Opioid addiction, there is a wide range of treatment resources available right at your fingertips. People across the nation are coming together to advocate for better, more accessible treatment options to help those looking to overcome an Opioid, or any other type of addiction.

Defeating Your Addiction

According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 75% of those with drug-use disorders never receive any treatment.

Don’t be a statistic. If you or a loved one is struggling with an Opioid addiction, there is help available. Contact a treatment provider today.

Last Updated:


Addiction Center

Photo of Addiction Center
  • Since 2014, Addiction Center has been an informational web guide for those who are struggling with substance use disorders and co-occurring behavioral and mental health disorders. All content included on Addiction Center is created by our team of researchers and journalists. Our articles are fact-based and sourced from relevant publications, government agencies and medical journals.

  • More from Addiction Center