Mothers Against Teen Violence

Today marks the 12th annual International Overdose Awareness Day. This day is intended to remember and honor those who have lost their lives to an accidental overdose. No one should ever die from a preventable drug overdose, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, fatal drug overdoses now rank as the leading cause of accidental death in the US for adults ages 25-64, surpassing motor-vehicle accidents. Surprisingly, the typical overdose victim is not an illegal drug user. Deaths attributed to legal prescription drugs, such as oxycodone, exceed all heroin and cocaine deaths combined. When will we take this crisis seriously?

Although medical experts recognize addiction as a chronic disease, the nagging misconception that it’s a moral failure contributes to the stigma and shame associated with it. Criminalizing people with addiction can make the pursuit of a productive life an impossible dream.

The continued allegiance to erroneous beliefs supports…

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