The opioid crisis is a national emergency. Across North Carolina and the rest of the country, opioid addiction is costing people their health, jobs and even lives. Whether it is a prescription drug like oxycodone or an illicit substance like heroin, opioids have high addiction rates and tragic consequences.
Causes of opioid addiction
The causes of the opioid epidemic are complicated. Prescription drugs like oxycodone and Vicodin are very effective at blocking chronic pain. Unfortunately, these substances are also highly addictive. When addicted people can no longer receive painkillers by prescription, they might turn to illegal drugs like heroin and fentanyl. These street drugs are much more likely to cause an overdose and have potential legal consequences requiring a criminal defense.
Some of the factors leading to the current epidemic include:
- Over-prescription of legal opioids
- Increased production of synthetic opioids like fentanyl
- Economic hardships and feelings of hopelessness
- Schools and opioid prevention
Schools have not escaped the opioid epidemic. The primary tool for prevention within schools is drug education. The goal of this work is to teach parents, teachers and other students the signs and dangers of drug use. Along with statewide efforts to restrict prescription painkillers, this education seeks to prevent opioid abuse and addiction before it starts.
Protecting students facing opioid consequences
Death by overdose is the most serious consequence of opioid addiction. However, addiction can lead to other physical, social and legal concerns. Mistakes made as a minor can affect students for the rest of their lives. Reaching out to a lawyer may reduce the legal consequence of a student’s struggles with opioids.