The nation's drug epidemic, specifically the abuse of heroin and opiates, has earned center stage in politics and pop culture alike. The fact that we're talking about the devastating disease of addiction is welcome progress; those of us in the treatment field have been promoting awareness and de-stigmatization for years.
During a recent campaign stop, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised to make the "quiet epidemic" involving heroin and prescription opioids an important part of her presidential campaign. The world is listening right now. It's the perfect time for her to create a rallying cry against this "quiet" epidemic.
Risk of death from overdosing on heroin or other opioids such as Vicodin or OxyContin goes up substantially after periods of refraining from drug use. Quantities that once brought pleasure can be fatal after a period of abstinence. The research shows that individuals leaving jail or prison are particularly vulnerable.