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The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate.We focus on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.
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Every 12 minutes, someone dies from an opioid-related overdose; 90% of opioid overdoses are accidental. One in four people has been directly impacted by the opioid crisis. Either they know someone who has an opioid use disorder, know someone who has died from an overdose or they have an opioid use disorder themselves.
The fact is, developing an opioid use disorder is not a choice someone makes, nor is it a moral failing. It’s a long-term relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use despite harmful consequences. People who take opioid pain relievers for too long or in doses too large are more at risk of developing an opioid use disorder and more likely to die of drug overdose. Additionally, people with an opioid use disorder often encounter stigma, causing feelings of shame, isolation and fear, which prevents them from seeking help early on.
The good news? Opioid use disorders ARE treatable, and recovery is the expected outcome of treatment, as it is for other medical conditions. People can go on to live a healthy, successful life as they pursue recovery.
At the National Safety Council, we are not experts in identifying and treating addiction, but we work with some great partners – both nonprofit and government – who are the experts. Below are a few resources we recommend that may help you. Many communities also have local coalitions, non-profits and task forces dedicated to addressing the opioid epidemic. These organizations will be able to help you identify resources unique to your community.
Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending the stigma and devastation of addiction, has created a lot of resources for individuals and families that explain the science of addiction and answer questions about treatment and recovery.
SAMHSA has a 24-hour crisis line: (800) 662-HELP (4357). Connect with a treatment center, or use the online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find treatment.
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