By Cassandra Sedler
Last Friday, the music community and fans alike were shocked by the announcement that Swedish DJ, commonly known as Avicii, had passed away at only 28 years old.
Avicii was best known for his chart-topping hits “Levels” in 2011, and “Wake Me Up” in 2013, among others.
Although the reason behind Avicii’s sudden death is unclear, the DJ was forthcoming about his health issues, such as acute pancreatitis, caused by drug and alcohol abuse in previous years.
The passing of the beloved DJ at such a young age should spark concern about the major problem facing society that is drug addiction.
According to a report released by the CDC, about 63,600 people died from drug overdose in 2016, and adults between 25 and 54 had the highest death rate from overdose.
More recently, the CDC also reported the number of drug overdose deaths in young people aged 15-19 has risen 15 percent in males, and 35 percent in females.
How many lives must be lost so early from overdose until we do something to try to eradicate this problem and help those with addiction before it is too late?
Instead of trying to pass laws that legalize drugs, we should be focusing on ways to eliminate the entrance of these drugs that are now laced with various dangerous chemicals outside of the drug the user thinks they are being given.
Treatments for those addicted to drugs should also be easier to access than it is to obtain the drug.
Based on a statement released by the surgeon general in 2016, only 10 percent of Americans receive treatment for their addiction.
Due to opioid use being on the rise in young people in particular, the epidemic should be addressed through safe medical treatment that would help wean those with addiction off the drug.
Just as chronic illnesses often require lifelong treatment, drug addiction is also a battle that requires lifelong treatment.
This simple rehab only leaves the patient in a continuous cycle of relapse, and increased likelihood of death from overdose.
To increase accessibility to medicated assisted treatment, we must first eliminate the stigma of drug addiction within our society that would thus alleviate the barrier.
This prevents those struggling with addiction in receiving proper treatment.
The opioid epidemic is a multifaceted crisis that has an equal effect on a multitude of people across various socioeconomic backgrounds and age groups.
Therefore, the problem of drug use should be considered an emergency within our society.
It should also be addressed aggressively to prevent the senseless loss of young lives to addiction.
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