I posted this on Facebook in my high school class’s private group, and reaction was strong enough that I re-posted it public, with even more response.
This is sobering, very sobering, but I think everyone in the US needs to think seriously about it. My high school had 110-120 students per year.
Opioids. A sobering story I can think about compared to MHS.
I’m at a policy workgroup in DC that’s been working for years on integrating behavioral and mental health into primary care. (Its work is finally published at integrationacademy.ahrq.gov.) We’ve been reconvened to address opioids – providing info for family docs who are now being faced with this issue, which is far far FAR from dealing with chicken pox and broken arms. :-(
A family doc from Maine is here. He has four kids, in separate high school classes. SMALL school – half our size – 60 per year. And in just those four years, THIRTEEN KIDS have died of opioids.
That’s like 5%. As if 5 or 6 of our class, and of the previous year, and the next, had all died of opioids. (FAR more than died of car crashes.)
This is a horrible situation, in no way similar to narcotics use in our younger years. I’ve learned some here about the roots of the problem, and it’s perilous.
I think of my granddaughter being in high school in just ten years … not a lot of time to address a huge societal problem like this.
A major lesson from this meeting, btw, is that it almost always starts with kids swiping legitimate pain pills from family medicine cabinets. Apparently depending on genetics, some people can get addictive craving after just ONE DOSE.
So ANYONE who has those pills at home MUST keep them LOCKED UP – or better, always on their person, if they can.