Lack Of Understanding About Addiction Leads To Not Caring

By Dr. John Rosa


Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs—or to anything for that matter.

Addiction is addiction whether it is perceived as a positive or negative addiction. Most people think those who are addicted to drugs and or alcohol lack moral principles. They think those souls should exercise greater will power and that stopping is just a matter of choosing.

If anyone has been addicted to over-eating or consuming chocolate or addicted to work at the expense of their families and friends are engaged in addictive behavior. And all addiction starts in the brain.

Just Say No

Drugs actually change the brain in ways that makes quitting difficult. Drug addiction is a complex disease and more often than not, quitting – even for those who really want to quit – takes more than good intentions. Once an addiction has taken hold, just saying no is rarely good enough.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.”

Doctor Prescribed Addictions

It has been reported that more than 11.5 million people misused prescription pain medicine in 2016. In addition, 48.5 million Americans have used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs. And those numbers only reflect the people who were willing to admit to using drugs. It is thought that those numbers are much higher. Drug and opioid addiction are not new to this country. The history of our country’s addiction to drugs goes back 150 years when heroin, morphine and codeine were widely prescribed to treat battle wounds after the Civil War.

Today’s epidemic was brought on in part by excessive prescription of opioid painkillers after Purdue Pharma brought OxyContin to the market in 1995 and then aggressively promoted the drug as a pain-relieving godsend that boasted a low risk of addiction. And the sad truth is that knowing what we know they, they are still allowed to make and prescribe this drug.

New Opioid Killer 100 Times Stronger Than Heroin

In 2011, oxycodone ranked first in cause of drug related deaths. From 2012 to 2015, it was heroin, and in 2016, fentanyl, the relatively new kid on the block. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), is 80 to 100 times stronger than heroin or cocaine.

We’ve lost too many of our young to this epidemic. We’ve lost many talented people who gave of themselves to the world. Until it hits close to home, most people will continue to think that those addicted to opioids have a choice and that they could just simply quit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our country needs a much deeper understanding of the effects of opioids on the brain. We need greater early education. We need to make it unappealing to try drugs in a similar way that the tobacco industry has finally made smoking unappealing.

Awareness Leads To Understanding

We need to educate people and doctors that there are other ways of treating pain that does not require pills. We need to wean our society off the idea that there is a magic pill for whatever ails you. Understanding and awareness must always come first before anything can change. I am on a mission to bring that awareness to as many individuals and organizations as I can.

If you, or someone you love is dependent or addicted to opioid drugs, please seek help before it’s too late. If you would like to learn more about the Opioid Crisis as it relates to awareness, prevention and treatment or schedule a corporate or organization seminar contact us at Here you will learn how to connect you, your company or organization with the leading experts on the crisis and how to help your community stay safe.