I have been posting recently about how our systems of care are severely siloed to the point that we have become ineffective in making significant progress with many of our social problems. One of my salient points is that we have for too long treated specific symptoms in a vacuum without dealing with some of the deeper causes that are more trauma-related.
This week Forbes published an article about the opioid crisis and actually mentioned our silos and some of the more basic issues surrounding opioid use. I think the point made in this article is consistent with some of the research and problems related to how we are approaching this massive public health issue.
Here is the link to the article in Forbes.
Related to how we are approaching the crisis of opioid use are two significant quotes.
The first is “Part of the problem is that the opioid crisis is a series of complex, interwoven problems that need attention in a unified conversation. We are used to addressing many of them in silos, without attention to the interplay between them.” I believe this is such a key issue in our approach as I have been discussing in my posts. The amount of communication required to bring attention to the interplay between our silos is significant and essential if we are going to make headway to address our opioid epidemic.
A second quote that I think is key to a preventative approach is, “We have no better weapon against overdose deaths and addiction than meaningful personal connections in which we share our vulnerabilities, talk about how to live lives infused with purpose, and ensure that people around us feel heard and seen.” This speaks to the fact that it is imperative to actually listen to the needs of individuals who are in the battle of addictions and create environments for them where they can be honest, vulnerable and focused on their life purpose. I think trauma histories are also a huge part of addressing these deeper issues.
Creating connections needs to happen across the silos of care. Also, strong emotional and relational health in our broader society through supportive relationships are the kind of approaches that will help us deal with this frightening crisis of addiction that is permeating our families and communities.
I appreciate the focus and intent of this article. Yes, it is time that we start coming up with possible and plausible solutions to the opioid crisis that will touch those who struggle with addictions, their families and the larger communities where they receive care.