Personally, I felt like this lecture opened my eyes to the process of how the opioid epidemic began. I was surprised to see how some of these drugs began as simple pain medications and how WWI sparked morphine addiction in the United States. Looking at it in hindsight, it is very clear that one thing led to another and it seems crazy how out of hand it has gotten since these drugs (opium, morphine, heroin) were first used as medicine. I was also very surprised at the idea that hospitals and doctors began using pain as a vital sign. Again, it is easy for me to judge in hindsight, but pain is different for everybody so I am baffled that they could create a standard based on something that varies for each person. And it proved to be one of the main reasons why the opioid epidemic has gotten to the point that it is at right now. What is something that surprised you from this lecture and how has that affected the growing issue of opioid addiction?
SEM stands for The social- ecological model is something that can be used to categorize certain topics of discussion and how each of these models has either helped or hurt the issue at hand. The social-ecological model consists of 5 different levels. These levels include:
- Intrapersonal factors
- Interpersonal factors
- Organizational factors
- Community factors
- Public policy
Of these different levels, all of them can be intervened with to try to mitigate the problem of opioid use, but three in particular that would be most effective are public policy, community factors, and organizational factors. It is necessary to regulate these drugs by federal laws, which makes it more difficult to obtain these drugs in the first place. However, people who are addicted already are still going to find a way to obtain these drugs so community factors become important because it allows for change on a smaller scale. Usually people who are effected by opioids aren’t all spread out within an area, they are within a certain community so people within the community that is effected needs some organization to help them. And lastly is just that-organization. Without some standards and outlines to guide people, it will be very difficult for people to get the help they need. What are some ways these different levels of the SEM can help create positive change for this nationwide issue? Do you believe this is something that needs immediate attention or is it not a priority right now for the United States?