The Westside Journal - We have all seen it: a valid prescription becomes abuse, abuse becomes addiction, and addiction turns into illegal activity or death.
From urban metropolises to rural towns and affluent areas to poorer neighborhoods, no community is immune to the opioid abuse epidemic.
Every day, Americans lose 120 family members and friends to an overdose – more than half by prescription drugs or heroin. Eighty percent of new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers, causing the rate of heroin overdose deaths to nearly quadruple in the U.S. between 2000 to 2013. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses now surpass automobile accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death for Americans between the ages of 25 and 64.