A snippet on a radio talk show piece caught our attention the other day in a very real and startling way. The number of deaths each year from opioid related drug overdose is greater than the number of deaths in traffic accidents and by gun shooting combined in the United States. Somewhere in the realm of 72,000 American citizens are dying from heroin, OxyContin (synthetic prescribed heroin) and other opiate derivatives each year. Each year the number is growing significantly.
Car accidents claim about 30,000 lives each year in the United States, and shooting deaths about 39,000, for a total of 69,000. These numbers are also horrifically high and rising. The population of the country has maintained a 300,000,000 average for quite some time now. What is the root of all of these seemingly unnecessary deaths? What might we be able to do about these situations? Ignorance is not bliss for the families of all of these people dead.
We have sourced out two books which will give the reader a better understanding of the reality of the drug overdose and addiction issue in the United States, and perhaps guide us all to a better ability to love one another, and show whatever measure of compassion we may muster for the people suffering in their own private prison, often silently.
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy is an exhaustive search into the realities of the situation America faces right now with extraordinary drug addiction. This book describes in detail the over twenty year struggle we as Americans have faced with opioid addiction. The drugs have been around for a longer time, though the discharge of prescription based synthetic heroin in the form of OxyContin and other heavy opioid drugs for pain is a new level of distress that has emerged in the last twenty years. This book holds back nothing, is written from a point of empathetic compassion and experience and is really a necessary eye-opener for all Americans right now.
The Heart of Recovery: How Compassion and Community Offer Hope in the Wake of Addiction by Deborah and David Beddoe gives us a look at some of the roots of the problem for the addicted individuals and offers some practical advice for all of us when we consider this whole situation and try to understand what we might do. Wishing the problem away or sticking everyone who has ever had a drug problem in jail is not a solution. Unfortunately many of us are naïve to the issue and level of difficulty and struggle people in this country face. We must all wake up now.
When we look at the two sides of this issue; the pressing forces that are legally and illegally driving the drugs into the lives of our American citizens and that are killing our neighbors and children, and the various roots of the struggles people who fall into this deadly pattern of behavior face, we begin to see the light down the end of a very real and serious tunnel here in the United States. Ask yourself why you think people get addicted to drugs such as OxyContin and heroin? We all have our own personal perspective, and none of our thoughts are completely right or wrong.
Something is shifting in the world along with all of the struggles we seem to be facing. A higher vibration of love and compassion is rising. We all have a choice here and now, today. We can choose to stay in the dark, pretend there is nothing wrong, cheer on leaders who think walls and more harsh treatment of fellow human beings and fueling hatred will solve our challenges, or we can get up and stand up for our fellow human beings, all of them, and show some compassion and real genuine love for others in meaningful and significant ways. What will you do?
Many of us think the difficult situations we face are too big to solve. It is a funny little paradox of this Universe and the spirit that guides it, whatever that may be, and that is that there is nothing that we call a problem, and remember it is only a problem if we call it that, which we do not have the capacity to work through and solve. Understand that humans are not that special that they create scenarios that are unsolvable. We are not that powerful, really. Every situation has its solution, and love is always at the heart of the solution. Ponder that and go do something kind for someone. You may save their life.
Enjoy and read on!