American First: Drug Overdoses Outpace Traffic DeathsBy
Do you live in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut? If you do, you no longer have to feel alone with a particularly dubious distinction. For the first time in any of our lifetimes, the average American is now more likely to die from a drug overdose than from a car crash. It’s an unprecedented mortality rate that, until recently, only a handful of states could claim ownership of.
This stomach-turning statistic sheds more light on a trend that prevention officials have been desperately broadcasting for several years now. Strangely, their cries have been falling upon an uncharacteristically disinterested public and inattentive media.
Many adults who lived through the crack cocaine epidemic of the 80′s or heroin plagued 90′s may recall the aggressive outing of America’s then dirty little secret. At the time, the plague of addiction and overdose flooded our media. It was a theme that became conspicuously embedded in many of the day’s pop culture icons, spawning a litany of movies, P.S.A.’s, articles and editorials. The difference between then and now is troubling to say the least, particularly given the ironic fact that prescription drug overdoses now outpace those of cocaine and heroin combined.
These are critically important times, but the average person doesn’t seem to know it. Try telling the average New Jerseyian that they are more apt to be killed by drugs than by one of their fellow Jersey motorists and you’re likely to be met by disbelief. But when you consider that America’s number one prescribed drug is no longer Amoxicillan or Lipotor, but the opiate Vicodin, you’ve got yourself a very blatant -and ominous- sign of the times. Getting that message to the public is mission number one. Prompting action is another thing altogether. For those who’ve cared to read this far, consider the following fact for motivation:
In just 14 minutes from now, another one of our neighbors, mothers, brothers, sisters or sons will be lost to a drug overdose. It’s a cycle that will continue all day long. It will start again tonight at midnight and continue for the rest of the week, month, year and decade. In fact, it will continue indefinitely -until we decide to stop it.
Will you help us stop it? Start by forwarding this message. Do it liberally. Do it before you click away. Do it now. Together we can save a life, save a country, and save a future worth being proud of. Get involved.
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