- Opinion: We all have responsibility in opioid fight



The opioid epidemic affects all of us and we all have a responsibility as citizens to help each other tackle this epidemic. My responsibility as a nurse with almost 30 years’ experience is to help every citizen to live a healthy life. I believe we can all assist in this epidemic to save the lives of our families and friends.  I believe a stronger, healthier community will decrease health care cost. At present, several billions of dollars are spent combating the opioid epidemic.

According to the CDC, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose including prescription opioids and heroin. In 2016 approximately 60,000 people died from drug overdoses, more than the death rate for HIV/AIDS, gun violence, suicide or car accidents when they were at their peak. In New Jersey, more than 2,000 deaths were attributed to addiction in 2016. The opioid crisis continues to be a public health problem facing our nation and to combat this epidemic, we all need to participate.

I began my career as a nurse on an orthopedic unit where I cared for patients after different types of bone surgeries. I recently attended an education session on the opioid epidemic hosted by Hackensack University Medical Center. One of the panelists made the point that health care providers had contributed to this epidemic, and that realization resonated with me. 


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