Drug overdose is a very common phenomenon in the present times. It has emerged as a silent epidemic, claiming thousands of lives each year. Judge Charles Burns from his experience of such cases believes it is a crisis that does not merely affect the individual. Families and communities, transcending geographic, socioeconomic, and demographic boundaries are all affected in some way or the other.
The Alarming Rise
Drug overdoses have been on the rise for several decades with a particularly steep increase in recent years. A complex interplay of various factors has contributed to this. The proliferation of potent synthetic drugs, inadequate access to addiction treatment, and the stigma surrounding substance abuse are some of those factors. The big money associated with the laundering of drugs makes it a very alluring profession for a huge chunk of the anti-social individuals. The most paradoxical thing about this is that in all likelihood, the people who are spreading the use of drugs, do not consume it themselves.
It is absolutely heart rendering to know the consequences of such life experiences. However, to be able to combat an unsolicited scenario such as drug overdose, it is vey important to delve into a deep learning of its effects. Only by knowing how gravely this activity can influence daily lives, can the fear of indulgence in it be created.
Factors Contributing to Drug Overdose
The only thing that can help fight this unwelcome menace in global society is to nip them in the bud. This is why it is so important to know the reasons that contribute to this unethical surge believes Judge Charles Burns. His years of experience in the drug courts which he calls the ‘criminal justice reform at its finest’ help him understand the need to educate the masses on the subject.
Availability of Potent Substances: The primary reason why more and more people are getting addicted to such dangerous levels of substance abuse is because it is available. The ease of availability of highly potent drugs, such as fentanyl, has made overdose incidents more lethal. These substances are often mixed with other drugs, making it challenging for users to gauge their potency accurately.
Misuse of Prescription Medication: A lot of the overdose cases are driven by misuse of prescription medications, such as opioids and benzodiazepines. Individuals may initially use these drugs for legitimate medical purposes but eventually develop a dependence that leads to addiction.
Stigma and Lack of Treatment: There are certain stigmas that are associated with substance abuse in the opinion of Judge Charles Burns. These often discourage individuals from seeking help to get rid of this atrocious habit. Moreover, the inadequacy of addiction treatment services exacerbates the problem. Many people with addiction issues do not receive the support they need to recover.
Use of Poly drug: Mixing substances can have unpredictable and dangerous effects on the body. Combining multiple drugs, including alcohol, is never a good thing to do. It massively increases the risk of overdose.
Co-relation with Mental Health: The mental health of an individual, which is often an underrated subject can be a large contributor to overdose. The feelings of depression, anxiety, and the like cause individuals to not just consume certain drugs but also lead to an overdose. Substance abuse often co-occurs with mental health issues. People self-medicate to cope with their mental health symptoms, increasing the risk of overdose.
Thus, with the knowledge of the factors that are responsible for a situation of overdose, keeping it under control is easier. On the basis of these one can aspire to empower individuals, communities, and policymakers. This facilitates the decision-making process to take informed and targeted actions. Thereby, ultimately working towards a future where drug overdoses no longer cast a shadow over lives and families.