Letter: Emma Vest, Harmony Middle School

Editor: A few years ago, my cousin overdosed on opioids, specifically on prescribed painkillers. His death really affected our family as a whole, putting everyone into grief and made us question a lot.

If a person is prescribed to painkillers, they have the assumption that they will get better with the help of these opioids. In reality, opioids can really hurt a person if they aren’t careful and aren’t aware of the horrible ways that opioids can affect themselves and the people around them.

Opioids have been affecting the U.S, with people become addicted to these drugs and misuse them frequently because they are so easy to get. Another opioid is heroin, which seems worse than painkillers but it gives people the same affect. In 1990, pharmaceutical companies told their buyers that patients would not, and will not ever become affected by their products, but it was proven wrong when these “harmless drugs” would be shown to be highly addictive. But if these companies had been open about side effects , this crisis might have not been less of an issue, but it might not be too late to fix this. Some people might not think this would be happening in Loudoun, but it is. This crisis does not limit to larger cities, but even in small neighborhoods where you think everyone is fine and knows the dangers of this.

Opioids in the US have been used less and less for medical reasons and more for personal “gain” . It has been proven that even when people use these drugs as pain killers and medical reasons, they still have that chance of getting addicted to these drugs.For example, a pregnant woman who is taking opioids to ease her pain might end up getting addicted to them if she isn’t careful, which could affect the her child with physical or mental issues.

I feel that the solution to the opioid crisis would be to make rehab seem more appealing to those who need it. Mental hospitals and rehab centers always seem to be scary and very intimidating while that is far from the truth. Making rehab seem more appealing will help those who need it get back on track with their lives.

Emma Vest, Harmony Middle School

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