Learning more about OUR Opioid Epidemic

Over half a year ago I was asked if I’d be interested in doing something with regards the helping people who are affected by the Opioid Epidemic, specifically the high number of overdoses caused by Fentanyl. I said “Yes” and took the meeting with Bix & Joe of Bickson2, to discuss the wild ideas. Both parties only know limited information from what we see/hear in the news. We wanted to take the kernel of an idea of how to help and turn it into action.

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” – Buddha.

So, as usual, I began to explore looking at problems from the wider scope, holistically, looking for connections as to where some of the true problems lie. I began to imagine ways I could use what I’m best at, teaching people how to see the bigger picture and how approach the challenge in order to develop solutions, and not just coming up with ideas without a foundation that supports it.

Fast forward to today. I’ve done some research, took some online teach-out courses on this specific topic and did some learning to understand more, specifically around addiction, and I have to say, there is a lot of room for all of us to be more aware of this epidemic and learn about what we as human beings can do to help one another.

“It’s an extremely complex whole-of-society issue that we’re dealing with. This is a national public health crisis.… and as we move into 2018, we really need the whole of Canada to be prepared.” – Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada.

I had learned and realised some common factors why of someone is more likely to become addicted to drugs is similar to that of alcohol, both a way of relieving pain or discomfort, whether the pain is emotional or physical. And given that opioids are known to be highly addictive for some people, this is a known fact, it makes sense. Those who have sense of mental well being, physical well-being, emotional well being, and having a community who is caring and supportive, are less likely to become addicted. When these factors aren’t addressed when pain management is prescribed, this is when disaster can strike. If you’re were deemed more likely to be prone to addiction, based on the above factors, then doctors could prescribe non-opioid pain meds…. but what if one doesn’t realise they have mental health struggles, or doctors don’t realise to ask beyond what the patient knows, to ensure the patient isn’t likely to become addictive? How might we prevent missed discovery opportunities to save someone becoming an addict? How might the opioid class of pain meds be better regulated in the medical system? What hand do the big pharma makers & government have in the number of addicts? There are a lot of questions… and a lot of avenues where change can make a difference.

If you’d like to get involved, even if it is just learning more, come join us at our first event through a community I host, Innov8 Collective. It a casual round table event to engage people who want to get involved in some way, for us to see how might we best put our efforts to help engage then empower our community in understanding and feeling that they CAN do something as a collective, with the power of collaboration. Our second event, a 2-day service design jam, will have you learning how to look at a complex problem hands-on and breaking it down into workable pieces through a very useful and powerful design process framework. You’ll be provided with tools and learn how to best investigate/learn then analyse facts with a clearer direction into how to develop solutions that can help serve the people who need it best.

“Many great ideas go unexecuted, and many great executioners are without ideas. One without the other is worthless.” – Tim Blixseth.

Let’s co-create possibilities!  Register here for the evening of Feb 8, 2018.


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