Opioid Epidemic? What Are the Facts?

Opioid Epidemic? What Are the Facts?
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 3:15 – 4:30 PM, Warm Hearth Village Center, Blacksburg, Virginia

This free talk is one of Lifelong Learning Institute’s Special Events. To register, print and mail this Special Events registration form (.pdf opens in new tab).

“A substance use disorder is a medical illness characterized by clinically significant impairments in health, social function, and voluntary control over substance use.”
Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, November, 2016, Page 4-1

“Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 2014

According to Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, released in November, 2016, substance use disorders are medical conditions, similar in “course, management, and outcome to other chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.” If America is facing an “opioid epidemic,” why isn’t evidence-based emergency, urgent, and routine medical care for opioid use disorder available in our town? Ask that question of lawmakers, judges, policymakers, public officials, journalists, treatment professionals, and society at large and watch the spluttering begin. For no other health care condition is belief, opinion, and myth accepted as the standard of care. Part one of this lecture features a report on the latest addiction research, with a focus on opioid use disorder (although six times more Americans have alcohol use disorder). Part two offers triage for those experiencing cognitive dissonance from the startling difference between what science says vs. what society has to say about “addicts” and “alcoholics.” Attendees will receive suggestions for actions they can take as citizens to be of real help to people with opioid use disorder.

Recommended Reading



Recommended listening

Additional recommended reading and excerpts from course handouts, in pedagogically helpful order, not by alphabet or date:

[Further recommendations forthcoming]