The number of drug-related deaths is rising in the United States. Each year, more people are dying from overdoses than car accidents, and more than half of overdoses involve opioids, such as heroin and prescription painkillers.
Addiction has no face; its victims may be your neighbors, your teammates, your friends. Many become addicted from a physician’s prescription; others from one poor choice. Addiction recovery programs are too few and ineffective, while stigmas and pharmaceutical profitability impede reform.
In “Fighting For A Fix,” I tell the stories of seven mothers who lost a son or daughter to this epidemic. These women are crying out for change—to the pharmaceutical industry, to treatment programs and to stigmas. Amid their sadness, hope endures.
As the medical community continues searching for ways to curb opioid-related deaths through treatment and management, the pharmaceutical industry proceeds with pushing for naloxone, a generic drug also known as Narcan — and the results are paying off.
The Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC), an organization dedicated to advocating for broader access to naloxone, an opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of narcotic drugs, surveyed 136 organizations that provided naloxone kits to 152,283 laypersons from 1996 through June 2014.