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.
We have major infrastructure needs in many sectors in the United States. The potential impact of a failing public health infrastructure should alarm us and drive action. We can't predict when the next outbreak, epidemic, or disaster will occur, but we can guarantee that it will take place. The question is whether we will work to fortify the public health infrastructure now or deal with the consequences later.