The Indiana opioid epidemic has led to the death of thousands of Hoosiers. While the federal government tries to get a handle on the situation, the state government has made its own initiatives to try and curb the crisis.
In 2017 alone, more than 1700 Indiana residents died from drug overdose. While much has been done to fight this crisis within the state, there is always more for community members, business owners, and lawmakers to do in order restore hope and function to thousands of families.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, as many as 1 in 13 people in the United States are in need of treatment for substance abuse issues; Some individuals might even recognize the signs of addiction in their loved ones. This translates to an estimated 20.7 million people aged 12 or older.
DEA Chemists Solve Mystery of Mass Overdoses
A deadly scourge of overdoses rocked the Louisville area in the summer of 2016. Dozens of victims collapsed on the spot, getting rushed to nearby emergency rooms and in some cases not making it. Even longtime cocaine and heroin abusers weren’t immune to the drug’s deadly effects. Thanks to efforts by law enforcement community members and DEA scientists, we now know that the culprit was carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer.
Many individuals may wonder how can my family help an addict when they are struggling with an addiction. Families can feel helpless and may not know how they can assist their loved one with the disease that they are suffering from.
According to the National institute on Mental Health, over 18% of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, making it more common than any other type of mental illness. Clinical anxiety can cause some people to turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that individuals with anxiety are twice as likely to suffer from substance abuse issues as the general population. This type of self-medication only winds up causing more harm in the end because drugs and alcohol worsen the psychological symptoms of anxiety, creating a self-reinforcing loop that can wreak havoc on a person’s life and create a serious addiction.
The dual tragedy of fatal drug overdoses from addiction and suicide rates surrounding mental health has underscored a disturbing trend in the United States. Namely, that more and more individuals are feeling despair. The fact that suicide rates have been increasing steadily across every demographic over the past 20 years, rising nearly 28% from 1999 to 2016. 45,000 Americans died by suicide in 2016, making it the 10th leading cause of death that year.
Unfortunately, members of law enforcement respond to and witness some of the most terrible and traumatic events to happen within communities. Often times, they are at the focal point in hostile situations and are required to make tough, life altering decisions. Stress among cops can accumulate and have a significant impact on their careers and daily lives, with many officers struggling alcoholism, depression, suicidal ideation, PTSD, and several other challenges. According to NAMI, the National Alliance and Mental Illness:
Trauma can be a difficult subject to understand. Put simply, trauma is a specific psychological or emotional response to an intensely negative event or series of events. Trauma can as upsetting as a divorce or illness to experiencing the death of someone close to you or surviving sexual assault. Trauma can also stem from years of psychological or physical abuse from a spouse, parent, or friend. What unites trauma is the damage that these extreme experiences cause in the psyche of the person afflicted.
If you live in Louisville, Kentucky, odds are that someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, or that are aware of the current addiction crisis. “Substance use disorder” is the clinical diagnosis to describe the brain disease caused by the recurrent use of substances such as alcohol, illicit drugs, and tobacco. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that has greatly impacted the Louisville area and caused significant disruption to the country overall.