Opioid addiction and overdose have become a major national crisis in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of drug-related overdose deaths is currently four times higher than it was in 1999. The CDC also reports that from 1999-2018, over 450,000 American citizens lost their lives to opioid-related overdose and that there are three predominant “waves” during which these overdose deaths took place.
In the early 1990s, when prescription painkillers were being prescribed at alarming rates, rates of prescription opioid-related overdose spiked significantly. The second wave occurred during 2010 when those who had developed dependencies on prescription painkillers began shifting to heroin. This shift was a result of widespread government crackdowns on painkiller distribution. The third wave began in early 2013 when synthetic opioids like fentanyl hit the scene. Fentanyl was often mixed with heroin to increase its street value – however, the synthetic drug is over 100 times more potent than heroin itself, and is responsible for thousands of overdose-related deaths on an annual basis (still to this day).
Opioid Addiction and Educators
It is important to understand that opioid addiction affects everyone – people of all ages, races, social statuses and demographics. The drug does not discriminate; and seeing as prescription painkillers were so heavily prescribed throughout the 90s, anyone who was alive at that time and was prescribed an opioid painkiller is just as susceptible to developing an opioid addiction.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine recently reported that drug overdose remains the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. If you or someone close to you has been abusing opioids for any length of time, professional help must be sought immediately. Those who continue putting off medical detox and inpatient treatment put themselves at risk of an overdose every single time they use.
At Recreate Life Counseling we understand that stepping away from your day-to-day life and seeking long-term, professional help isn’t always a viable option. This is especially true for those who can’t easily take prolonged leaves of absence from their careers. If you are an educator who has been struggling with opioid addiction, you might be experiencing a wide range of hesitations and apprehensions.
What if your colleagues find out and lose respect for you, or tell you superiors? What if your students – who look up to you as a role model – find out that you’re struggling with addiction? What if your superiors don’t let you go on leave or fill your position while you’re away? It’s completely normal for those in the educational field to be unsure as to whether or not seeking treatment is the right option. At Recreate Life Counseling we believe that everyone who is struggling with addiction (regardless of their profession) deserves a fair shot at recovery. For this reason, we offer confidential options for those educators who need to recover but can’t completely step away from their full-time careers.
Recreate Life Counseling and Opioid Addiction
If you are an educator and you’ve been struggling with a severe addiction to opioids of any kind, we do recommend medical detox followed by inpatient drug addiction treatment and aftercare. We will keep all of your information and your progress completely confidential, and do all that we can to get you back to teaching as quickly as possible.
Remember that as an educator, it is your responsibility to provide your students with the education they deserve – and doing so is quite literally impossible when you’re grappling with a severe substance abuse disorder. We also offer partial care for those who cannot step away from work entirely and are struggling with a mild or moderate opioid addiction. If you are curious as to what level of care would best suit your personal needs, please feel free to give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on the road to long-term recovery.