A Most Wanted End to the Heroin Epidemic

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SeptemberProfessionalSeminar2013

I recently saw the film “A Most Wanted Man,” featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman, and I felt mournful once again about the loss of such a talented person.  I appreciate the greatness of the work he left behind as his legacy for all of us who didn’t know him personally, but admired his acting talent.

After Hoffman’s death from a heroin overdose, I remember saying that he wasn’t the only person to die with a needle in his arm that day, but hoped his fame could shine some light on this massive heroin epidemic.  I frequently come across increasingly grim statistics about the deaths by overdose involving heroin or prescription opiates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention increase of 44% of deaths by heroin overdose from 2010 to 2011.  There was a small increase in deaths by prescription opioids.  More and more people are turning to heroin as it becomes difficult to get prescription drugs or as a person’s use increases.  Hoffman’s death reminds us that addiction affects many different people from all walks of life.

Far too many other legacies have been cut short.  We must all work to bring people with the disease of addiction out of the shameful shadows.  Thanks to scientific advancement, we now know without a doubt that addiction is a disease of the brain.  Treatment, help and hope is available.

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