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How the Opioid Crisis Impacts American Life Expectancy

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News reports of overdose deaths have become commonplace during America’s opioid crisis.

As the death toll rises, the lethal effects of the opioid crisis have affected people across all cultural and social barriers.

This is why it is so important for people to reach out and get the help they need.

The right help can truly save a life.

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What Are Opioids?

 
Opioids are a class of drugs derived from poppy plants.

They have been used for generations and have evolved as both prescribed painkillers and as black market drugs.

Pharmaceutical medications such as Vicodin and OxyContin are commonly used to treat a variety of acute and chronic pains.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has become known for its potency.

It has also developed a following in the illegal drug trade.

Heroin remains the most commonly known form of illegal opioid and has been used – and abused – for centuries.

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How Opioids Contribute to Death Tolls

 
There is no argument that opioids can play an important role in helping people with chronic pain. At the same time, the sensations of happiness or disconnection make it an extremely attractive option for people with substance abuse issues. As a result, it has set off a firestorm of deaths. In some cases, people overdose on the opioid. But this is not the only way the opioid crisis has affected life expectancy for Americans. 

How do Opioids Affect American Life Expectancy?

 
Death as a result of the opioid crisis comes in multiple forms. Overdose deaths have become a topic of discussion locally and nationally. In addition to overdose, though, the opioid epidemic has also led to a sharp increase in suicide and dangerous risk-taking behaviors. These deaths are referred to as “deaths of despair” by the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, as well as the National Institute for Health, or NIH. These deaths have increased so much that the life expectancy for Americans has dropped for several years in a row. 

The Personal Effects of the Opioid Crisis

 
News reports, magazine articles, television shows, and even books have given people an intimate view of the effects of the opioid crisis on a personal level. It seems everyone has had some kind of personal connection to someone who has been affected by opioid addiction. These individual stories are heartbreaking. Now, we are beginning to see how much those personal stories of tragedy affect a community and an entire nation. 

How the Opioid Crisis Effects a Community

 
When people within a community fall victim to the opioid crisis, they are not the only ones affected. Family members and friends feel the full force of that addiction as well. It impacts their well-being both mentally and physically. The surrounding economy is also affected as people become unable to work and often turn to crime to support an addiction. There is an increased strain on public health and community outreach services as well. When this scenario plays out in towns and cities across a state or nation, the ripple of those effects becomes larger. The force of addiction is strong enough that it breaks everything in its path. It is simply too strong for most people to break away on their own. Reaching out for help in dealing with addiction not only saves lives – it can save entire communities. 

Mental Illness and the Opioid Crisis

 
Mental health has always been intertwined with addiction issues. Childhood traumas, chemical imbalances, and depressive episodes are often catalysts for drug use. In the beginning, it is a way for people to self-medicate, and it works. For a while anyway. But soon, the addiction overtakes the underlying cause and becomes an issue in and of itself. The mental illness that drove the drug use becomes buried under layers of addiction. This not only makes it more difficult to treat the underlying cause, but it also leads to feelings of hopelessness in the person affected.

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How One Person Makes a Difference in the Opioid Crisis

 
While the issue of opioids and American life expectancy seems overwhelming, that does not mean it is a hopeless situation. IIn fact, it underlies the impact even one person can have on the health of a nation. While many people talk about the adverse effects of ‘peer pressure’, it can be a positive tool as well. As more people step forward to ask for help, their courage and strength send a strong message. Others see that strength and courage and are inspired in their own life. The seed of hope is planted, especially when the person asking for help is in their circle of friends.  

The Power of Addiction

 
When someone is ready to reach out for help, there are many obstacles they have to overcome first. Initially, the fear of change and the power of addiction has to be faced. Addiction is an extremely powerful force. Addiction will do anything it can to avoid being exposed and treated. As a result, it throws up plenty of opposition. While some of these issues are emotional or mental – such as fear and anxiety – others are more pragmatic.  

Understanding Insurance Coverage – A Common Obstacle to Treatment

 
One of the most common real-world issues is that of insurance coverage. Insurance policy details for substance abuse problems can be difficult to understand. At the same time, taking the time to fully understand them can empower people when it comes to developing a treatment plan. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we are committed to meeting clients where they are right at that first step. Our staff offers Insurance Verification that can help cut through the red tape and provide clarity in an uncertain time. Our trained specialists can break down coverage details so clients truly understand the help available to them. This service is offered without obligation and the information is given with no strings attached. 

Be the Change the World Needs NOW

 
Once you are ready to make a positive change in your life, it means you are ready to be a positive change in the world. Too often, we can feel isolated and alone. We feel that our singular life does not have that much power. But that simply could not be farther from the truth. The fact is that changes are not made in huge waves – they begin with one person, one voice, one life.

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We Are Here and Ready to Help

 
No matter where you are in your journey, there is help available.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we are committed to each guest’s journey.

We work with experts in a variety of approaches and disciples.

This allows us to learn from different disciplines and offer treatment plans to fit absolutely anyone.

Whether you have an idea of what kind of treatment you like or if you don’t even know where to start, we are here.

Let us help you take that first step on a journey that can lead to success.

You can make a change in your life and the world.

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Alexa Iocco

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