Flattening a Different Curve in Connecticut


The term “flatten the curve” has become popular due to Covid-19, although there is another curve which has been brushed aside this year, that is the curve showing how many opioid-related deaths have occured stateside. Between 2016 and 2018 we’ve seen a plateau and reduction in the amount of deaths caused by heroin and prescription overdoses, which is great news, but there is still an increase in synthetic opioid deaths, most of which are due to fentanyl.

It’s an important time to continue the fight against the opioid epidemic, especially with many vulnerable socio-economic groups disenfranchised by the economic impact of Covid-19.

Here are some thoughts on how we can continue to flatten the curve and hopefully begin to end the opioid crisis that has been affecting us for so many years.

A Social Issue

Recognizing that addiction isn’t a choice and is often directly connected to mental conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD has been the work of dual diagnosis treatment centers in Maryland and throughout the USA. Providing professional counseling to those in need is the job of our local government, but as citizens and people we have some responsibility to be supportive and compassionate towards one another. It’s easy to take things personally or blame  misfortune when people we know suffer, but we must recognize that in each other we can see ourselves.

Helping the people in our community can bring us all higher, and when that bar raises so does the quality of life of all involved. We’ve experienced a huge amount of division in recent years, and it’s getting to be that political issues get in the way of seeing humanity in each other. Putting aside your political beliefs and helping your neighbours can be the first step to fighting the social issues which give rise to addiction problems and in essence the opioid epidemic.

Access and Availability

While many question the efficacy of state-funded drug rehab programs and addiction recovery centers, they are on the front line on the war against this opioid epidemic. Supporting these establishments can be as simple as donating your time or money to their efforts. Statistically we all know someone who has fallen to using or abusing drugs or alcohol, and I doubt anyone would simply walk past them if they were suffering on the street. By supporting local addiction rehab centers and programs we can indirectly save the people we know who are struggling. With more support there can be more centers or better funding put into the centers that do exist, and with more funding there will be better results and therefore a better society.

Another huge issue is of course the availability of prescription opioids, while in many cases they may be necessary, it’s important to encourage and support each other to use these drugs strictly as advised and not to seek an alternative once the prescription has ended. It’s not impossible to talk someone out of taking excessive amounts of medication for whatever reason, although finding a nuanced approach is best, if you’re unsure of how then contact local support.

Judge Not

As easy as it may be to accuse people of making their own choices which led them to becoming addicted to any substance, there is no benefit to anyone, not even yourself. By not immediately judging the people you see struggling with substance abuse, you give yourself a chance to sympathise with their situation, which can in turn lead to offering them support. If more people took on this mentality then I believe we would see a direct effect on the amount of people turning to drug use instead of turning to their fellow people to ask for help.

The act of simply caring for your fellow human can be powerful and can reverberate exponentially through society, remember that behind every addict is a human being who has struggled and made mistakes just like we all have.

If You Are Addicted 

Don’t let yourself be fooled by whatever substance you’re using to escape reality, there is a much better life waiting for you on the other side of recovery. Help is never too far away and it only takes reaching out to find that you can live your best life in almost no time.

As strong as you may feel as an individual it’s always best to find support to escape addiction, especially if you’re addicted to opioids, you may need opiate treatment to combat the withdrawal symptoms.