The United States of Opioids

Fear to discover things we hate about ourselves

Harry Nelson

Harry Nelson

Everybody is affected by the opioid crisis, insists Harry Nelson – healthcare lawyer and founder of a Los-Angeles-based healthcare firm, Nelson Hardiman. Bias it may seem, coming from a man who's seen drug addiction steal the lives of friends, clients, family members, but here's a fact that backs up his claim. 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared opioid addiction a public health emergency in 2017. With the slew of opioid-related celebrity deaths including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince and most recently, Mac Miller, one would think the opioid crisis was a recent thing.

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But by now it is a common knowledge that it is rooted into a particular event over two decades ago, in 1999, when pharmaceutical companies handed out opioid pain relievers to the medical community like candy to kids, oblivious to their highly addictive properties.

Two decades ago, in 1999, pharmaceutical companies handed out opioid pain relievers like candy to kids, oblivious to their highly addictive properties

Harry Nelson has written a book about the crisis and offer practical treatment options. Foreworded by Lisa Marie Presley and released next month, The United States of Opioids is a book everybody can learn from.

HealthyLivinG: You say we are all affected by the opioid crisis. What would you say to somebody who doesn't believe this book applies to them?

Harry Nelson: When you look at data, the crisis has four distinct strands. The the first strand is that we've lost 2 million family members and friends to this crisis. Then there's the strand of all the people suffering with addiction: that's 20 milion in the United States alone. The third strand we talk about the least – people in chronic pain.

That's around 50 million people with limitation in their activity in their life. Finally the fourth strand – all the people at risk. For anyone who thinks this book does not apply to them, I would say they haven't discovered yet how close the crisis is to them.

Part 2 of 7

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