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Nurses can help those recovering from addiction, drug overdose

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By: Morgan Garrabrant

To the editor and members of the American Nurse Journal,

I am writing to you as a compassionate student nurse, advocating for the safety and security of individuals in the community struggling with addiction. It is my opinion that community outreach programs are not working closely enough with hospitals and prisons to keep track of individuals who experience opioid overdose.

Last month, my cousin Chris passed away from a drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven. Chris wrote my family a letter about his lifelong struggle with addiction and expressed the difficulties he experienced due to the lack of support and resources leading him to endure relapse after relapse.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2020), a study uncovered that approximately one in twenty individuals die within the first year of a drug overdose after treatment and many of these deaths occur within two days of discharge.

It is imperative that healthcare workers develop trust with individuals who experience drug overdose to develop goals and allocate resources to support their recovery. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2020) also stated that giving clients a list of detox programs was not enough to support their recovery. Members of the community and healthcare workers must collaborate to follow-up with individuals after relapse and support their journey to recovery.

Respectfully,
Morgan Garrabrant

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