“Our Problem is Bigger Than Opioids”

A recent commentary piece in US News goes beyond the direct cause of the opioid crisis and shines a light on contributing factors that clearly play a big role. In it, the author points to three factors that seem to be ever-present in areas hardest hit by the epidemic: economy, family and community.

What do these three factors – work, family, and community – have in common? These are the three arenas to which most of us attribute meaning in our lives. Our participation in these institutions is the reason so many of us get out of bed in the morning. But in many places, these institutions have been unraveling for the past three decades, leaving some of us feeling isolated and disconnected.

The overwhelming majority of counties most impacted by opioids are in the Appalachian region and the area formerly known as the Industrial Belt. “What these places have in common is sustained devastation to their blue-collar industries, intergenerational poverty and little opportunity for upward mobility.” the author writes.

Read the entire piece by Shannon Monnatt here.



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