Ending Opioid Epidemic Requires Broad, Sustained Commitment


When injured, a person can bleed to death in as little as five minutes. Bleeding control is often the difference between survival and death.

In 2015, in response to the horrific Sandy Hook school shooting, a Connecticut trauma surgeon created Stop the Bleed, a program to teach bleeding control techniques to laypeople and provide them wound packing kits and tourniquets. Stop the Bleed promoted the message and made real the promise that anyone can save a life.

On Oct. 27, Robert D. Bowers charged into the Tree of Life synagogue armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle and three handguns. Shouting, epithets like “Death to all the Jews,” he slaughtered 11 innocent people.

Solutions to complex problems are never simple. Ending mass shootings and gun violence will require seemingly impossible elements: massive political will, the expenditure of vast sums of money, the weakening of the National Rifle Association, and changes to our relationships with firearms — and each other.

Ending the opioid epidemic will also require massive political will and tens of billions of dollars a year. And while that sounds like a lot, we currently spend $24 billion a year on HIV/AIDS and a great deal more on cancer, diabetes and a host of other conditions that, while deserving of the support they receive, cost society considerably less than does addiction.

Through a broad, sustained commitment to real prevention, we can reduce the incidence and prevalence of a deadly disease.

Read the full article at STL Today

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