Children as young as age 6 are learning to reverse opioid overdoses.
From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 Americans died from drugs.
Nearly 68% of drug overdoses are from opioids.
The opioid crisis has touched every state in the nation.
(NewsReady.com) – The United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic, which has hit every state in the nation to some degree. It’s so bad that children are now learning to give overdose victims medication to save their lives.
In 2017, opioid overdoses claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people in the US. To put that into perspective, 40,000 people were killed in car accidents.
This issue has cost the US $2.5 trillion over 4 years. That is nearly triple what we have budgeted for the military in fiscal year 2021. Then, there are the unintended consequences of the crisis, like the chronically ill patients who are having difficulty finding a doctor to write their prescriptions or pharmacies to fill them.
And that’s just a surface dive into the problem. Every place that’s impacted by the crisis has its own unique issues.
Impact on Kids
Dozens of children across the country have been orphaned by the epidemic. Teachers are being forced to pick up the pieces when a child’s parent(s) dies, goes to jail or just forgets they even have kids because of the drugs. While educators are grappling with those issues, their students are learning how to administer Narcan (naloxone).
Kids in cities throughout New Hampshire, Tennessee, Kentucky and elsewhere have received training on how to give the medication to a person who has overdosed from opioids. Narcan almost immediately reverses the effect of the drug and is often referred to as an “antidote.”
In Carter County, Tennessee, children as young as six are learning. After they’re shown how to use Narcan, they’re sent home with two doses of the antidote. The hope is that they won’t need it, but if they do, it might save a life.
President Trump has made the crisis one of the top priorities in his administration. Unfortunately, the problem is so widespread and pervasive, it’s going to take a while before we see real lasting change. For kids across the country, that day can’t come soon enough.
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