We’re in the middle of a crisis, not only as healthcare leaders transforming our healthcare system but also as Americans. The opioid substance use crisis in America is real and if it’s not already there, it’s coming to your neighborhood – or immediate and extended family soon. How can you help? What small thing might you do?
The First Step to Help Solve Substance Use Crisis
The first step in helping to solve this crisis is acknowledging that it’s not an affliction of the seedy underbelly of our society. Rather it’s a demon that knows nor respects any boundaries. Being afflicted by substance use challenges is rarely, if ever, a choice. It happens to people just like you and me who may have been prescribed opioids after surgery, or to address chronic pain or other ailments.
Nobody grows up with aspirations of becoming addicted to opioids!
Bringing People Together to Address Substance Use Crisis
The second step is doing something more than just admitting the problem. At HCEG, we bring people together to talk about the issues facing healthcare organizations and professionals. But more than just talking about the problems, we discuss and debate solutions, encourage participants to take action and strive to support those actions.
At our recent 31st annual forum in Boston, we heard firsthand from two industry leaders who are doing much more than talking about our substance use crisis. David Henderson, CEO of Kaden Health (formerly Thrivee) and Gregory Marotta, President and CEO of CleanSlate Centers, Inc. shared the different but complementary approaches their companies are taking to help people with substance use problems. As the audience engaged in the conversation with our panel, we heard from real people about their personal experiences with substance use challenges and discussed how to breakdown the “not in my family or neighborhood” attitude.
Take a Small Step Today!
The panel was closed with a challenge to each forum participant to write down and share one action they personally or their organization could – and more importantly would – take to be part of the solution. The energy and conversation following our Substance Use panel were intense and the forum’s consensus was that it would be a crime for us to let it die.
Today, HCEG board members are challenging each and every person who reads this blog post to commit to one action to help address the substance use crisis in America and to share that commitment with us. Please share your commitment to making a difference via any of the following public or private channels. We’ll respect everyone’s privacy and not publish any names or personal information unless informed otherwise.
Our goal is to collect all of your commitments and track the progress and the difference that we as individuals – many almost certainly directly or indirectly impacted by the opioid crisis – are making. We’ll assemble, acknowledge and share those ideas via our upcoming in-person events and virtual channels. Little things do add up to BIG THINGS!
Alone we can make a dent…Together we can make a difference!