Michelle Holley holds a photograph of her daughter Jaime Holley, 19, who died of a heroin overdose in November 2016. Lynne Sladky/AP Photo
“Drug overdose deaths, once rare, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents, guns and HIV infection.
“As a former public health official, clinician and researcher, I’ve been engaged in efforts to control the opioid addiction epidemic for the past 15 years.
“The data show that the situation is dire and getting worse. Until opioids are prescribed more cautiously and until effective opioid addiction treatment becomes easier to access, overdose deaths will likely remain at record high levels.
“How the crisis started
“Opioids are drugs that stimulate the brain’s opiate receptors. Some are made from opium and some are completely synthetic. In the U.S., the most commonly prescribed opioids are hydrocodone and oxycodone, which are classified as semi-synthetic because they are synthesized from opium. Heroin is also a semi-synthetic opioid.”
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In Lebanon County, people from families grappling with opoid addiction are invited to come to the next talk time cafe on Wednesday, October 25 at the Lebanon Community Library to have no pressure, no lectures conversations with others about addiction.