Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (TFC)— In recent months, echoes of the opioid crisis throughout Milwaukee County have increasingly crept into the news. Each municipality is all too familiar with vague reports of heroin raids, fentanyl busts, and overdose clean ups. Whereas…
The nation’s opioid epidemic shows no signs of abating—and in fact may be headed in a far more dangerous direction.
That’s the conclusion of journalist David Armstrong, who has been chronicling the scourge this year for STAT, a new health and medicine website. Armstrong has written about how heroin and, increasingly, fentanyl have overtaken narcotic painkillers as the drugs of choice for addicts — presenting new challenges for law enforcement and health professionals.
I am an opioid user who is currently not using. Hold the applause; this isn’t about my “triumph” or whatever you want to call it. The time came for me to stop and I did. How is irrelevant. While I haven’t been using for about six months I am in a relationship with someone who is currently still using intravenously and this means I have to accommodate that fact in my life.
This isn’t about how I cope with having opioids around when I myself am so close to my own dependency. It’s about how I help to keep my partner safe when using. It’s about being a better friend and companion to someone who is still walking the tightrope between wanting to use and not. It’s about caring with action instead of empty words, aggressive interventions, and a lot of vapid nomenclature that does a lot to sell rehab beds to confused families and nothing to help the needy.