Understanding the Causes of the Opioid/Suicide Epidemic and Its Cures (Part I)

Part I: The Chain Reaction of Cultural Causes

At the exact same time, we were denied one of the most powerful means of healing a shattered public psyche: the shared spiritual assent that provides solace, comfort, and resilience and is a means to cohesion, wholeness, and restoration. And so, the fragmentation commenced.

For a society, the collective belief in a supreme being of goodness unites its people with a sense of support and validation and a reason to live, because it encompasses the exhilarating conviction that good is there, we can attain it, and it will endow us. Without a communal aspiration to something greater than ourselves, a people become defeated, reduced to a state of demoralization, desensitization, disunity, disorientation, and disenfranchisement. They will accede to this without their even realizing it. They will have been bullied into and blamed for their own demise.

We are surrounded by images of violence, horror, ruthlessness, lust and gratuitous sexuality, depredation, darkness, and ugliness. We live in a world where innocence is no longer protected but has been butchered.

Young people afflicted with drug addiction and mental distress are felled by this betrayal of innocence. And the anguish and sense of complete hopelessness this causes results in an almost terminal discouragement. Why bother trying to achieve a wholesome and a good life? Just allow oneself to drown.

We have become the victims of a socio-political-economic chain reaction:

I. The crafted and coerced abandonment of our founding belief in love and God.

Vivian is the author of Saving Jenny: How to Rescue Our Youth from America’s Opioid and Suicide Epidemic.

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