Recently, you may have noticed President Trump identified opioid addiction as a national emergency. Tales of young men and women dying of overdose, destroyed families and disheveled faces wrought with the pain of addiction are thrown around your monitors. Perhaps you know someone who has battled the beast of opioid addiction or maybe you know this beast all too well.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of death involving an overdose of opioids has shown an upwards trend over the past few years with no signs of that slowing down. Additionally, approximately 20% of all overdose related deaths are unable to pinpoint a specific drug (CDC, 2017). In my years of interacting with drug addicts, it is common to see the comorbidity of drug abuse alongside a behavioral health diagnosis such as depression, bipolar, anxiety or a range of other debilitating conditions. What often began as self medicating to feel “normal” turns into an all-consuming drug addiction where normal simply means numb, not puking and running away from the root cause.