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The American Opioid Epidemic Essay

The American Opioid Epidemic claimed some 42,000 lives in 2016 alone. In 2017, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services declared the epidemic a public health crisis, and published a five – point plan to fight this disease run rampant; better addiction treatment services, better data, better targeting of overdose reversing drugs, better pain management, and better research. This is a huge leap forward in putting science on the front lines of the battle with the disease of addiction. It recognizes one of the biggest factors in the development of addiction – a failing mental health system. Many Americans living in highly urbanized areas suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the violence that surrounds them. Faced with limited options for mental healthcare, sadly, some of those Americans (my mother included) use various drugs, particularly opioids, in an attempt to self-medicate.

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My story begins in Lynn, Massachusetts. As a child living in an urbanized environment, I watched my mother travel down the path of addiction, likely as the result of her untreated schizophrenia. As someone who has seen the damage opioid addiction causes, I wish to further the research into addiction as it relates to the health of the community. As I watched my mother’s mental health deteriorate, I began to research the disease of addiction, and ultimately came to the grim realization that addiction surrounded me, and impacted me in a much larger sense than I thought. I watched high school students’ lives come apart as they struggled with their various addictions. Though various anti-drug and alcohol programs existed, they simply warned of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. They failed to address, prevent, or treat the underlying causes of addiction.

In 2012, I made my final decision to dedicate my life to addiction research and treatment when my mother had died from a deadly mix of alcohol and opioids. Far from jaded, I do not believe that addiction is an inherent component of the human condition. Through public health education and access to mental health services, it is possible to overcome this epidemic that plagues American cities. Healing an entire community, an entire generation, must begin with the individual.

Out of my upbringing grew my passion for community education. I graduated from Salem State University at the age of eighteen, after taking numerous college credits while in high school. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I found work at Coastal Carolina Community College’s Basic Skills Program in Jacksonville, North Carolina. This program works to provide opportunities to adults who wish to complete a High School Equivalency diploma. My work with the disadvantaged is most evident in this role as an educator. I have worked with adult students from urbanized areas for almost three years, helping them towards their goal of furthering their education. In Jacksonville, North Carolina, several students have lived an entire lifetime of illiteracy, and are working to overcome it. This year, I made the decision to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health to combine my passion for education with my love for the community, namely, those suffering from addiction.

The Master’s degree in Public Health, specialization in Leadership and Practice, offered through The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an ideal program for my goal of becoming an advocate for those seeking addiction treatment, as well as advancing community education. This program offers a strong foundation in research, which is essential for someone interested in health promotion. This program, clearly designed with the future Public Health professional in mind, will prepare me for a future changing communities, and healing cities.

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The American Opioid Epidemic Essay
Artscolumbia
Artscolumbia
The American Opioid Epidemic claimed some 42,000 lives in 2016 alone. In 2017, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services declared the epidemic a public health crisis, and published a five – point plan to fight this disease run rampant; better addiction treatment services, better data, better targeting of overdose reversing drugs, better pain management, and better research. This is a huge leap forward in putting science on the front lines of the battle with the disease of addict
2021-12-24 06:22:40
The American Opioid Epidemic Essay
$ 13.900 2018-12-31
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