The Trump administration recently unveiled a brand new website featuring the video testimonials of countless Americans who have been affected by the ongoing opioid crisis in the U.S.
In President Trump’s own video message to the public, he highlights the facts that drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S. and about 175 Americans die of a drug overdose every day. Most of these deaths are caused by opioids.
The website, www.crisisnextdoor.gov, aims to combat the opioid crisis by removing the stigma of addiction and sharing the personal stories of people from all walks of life who have directly or indirectly been affected by substance use disorders and drug addiction. These videos feature people of all ages, races, and backgrounds living in different places all over the country, yet they’re all facing the same struggles and challenges.
Last year, the Trump administration declared the opioid crisis a National Public Health Emergency and this new website continues to expand the conversation about prevention, stigma, addiction, and the importance of drug rehab and other effective forms of treatment.
The Opioid Crisis In America
Although the new website is an initiative aimed at addressing the drug overdose crisis in America as a whole, the opioid epidemic in America continues to take center stage. Opioid drug abuse and overdoses have had a significant impact on our country over the last two decades.
More than 300,000 people have lost their lives to opioid drugs since 2000.1
Synthetic opioid deaths increased by 72 percent from 2014 to 2015.1
In 2016, more than 2 million Americans were addicted to prescription or illegal opioids.1
The number of opioid prescriptions increased from 112 million in 1992 to 282 million in 2012.2
In 2016, 948,000 people ages 12 and up (0.3 percent of the U.S. population) used heroin.3
Benefits of Sharing Your Addiction Story
Whether you were personally addicted, your child suffered from addiction, or you have a friend who is currently struggling with addiction, there are many great reasons to share your story. Here are just a few:
It encourages others to get help. A lot of people may shy away from seeking treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center because they are afraid of what others might think or because they think they’re the only one struggling with these problems. Hearing your story might just be the encouragement a person needs to overcome their fear of treatment and start making a change in their own life.
It reduces stigma and increases education. Having open and honest conversations about drug addiction is a great way to educate people who may otherwise be unaware of what drug addicts actually experience in active addiction. Educating others about the complex disease of addiction may also give people the tools and knowledge they need to more effectively help an addicted loved one get into detox and rehab and start the healing process.
It minimizes loneliness. Drug and alcohol addiction is a very isolating disease and often times, the shame and embarrassment of drug-using behaviors can keep a person from getting the help they need. Even people who have completed drug rehab and are in recovery may still struggle to share details about their personal struggle with addiction. Sharing these stories not only connects people to others who have struggled with the same things, but it also encourages those who are actively addicted to come out of the shadows and get the help they need.
It helps you prioritize your recovery. Sharing a personal story of addiction can be really difficult and challenging, but it can also be a vivid reminder of how far a person has come and much they’ve grown. Sharing a story of addiction and recovery is not only inspiring to others, but it’s a constant reminder of the past and the importance of the daily work that’s put in to maintain sobriety.
Helping a Loved One or a Stranger Get the Addiction Treatment They Need
Sharing your personal story of addiction or that of a loved one may help a loved one or a stranger get the help they need to fully recover. You can upload your own video testimonial to the new Crisis Next Door website by visiting the site and clicking the “Share My Story” button.