Allie Rambo is someone you most likely don’t know, but someone whose story is unfortunately common in the United States. She is a random addict who is sadly caught in the horrible opioid crisis. She will probably die soon and join the 130 miserable people who die every day because of opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She started by stealing her mom’s OxyContin and Xanax, becoming addicted in only 7th grade. It all began when she was a teenager, when people are oblivious to it. This is the bitter, but recurrent story of many lively teenagers turned into dying addicts, or ones that remain to tell their stories.
Overdose deaths for minors have been on the rise, tripling in the last two decades (Yale). Even bringing your innocent child to the doctor for a simple sports injury, wisdom teeth removal, or a minor surgery puts them ten times more at risk of becoming addicted like Allie. This is due to naive pharmaceutical companies that don’t take the crisis seriously. There are small organizations that try to prevent the incorrect people from receiving the drug, but they don’t consider easy-going teenagers to be the obsessive people they need to look out for. Meanwhile, they are the most at risk.
For teenagers, some anxious parents are simply afraid of their child getting on the road, because of the terrible consequences of crashes. They don’t realize that their children are more prone to overdose because of a pill a clumsy doctor overprescribed them than die in a car crash or get shot by a gun (CDC). In 2016 alone, 153,000 people between the ages of 12-17 died of opioid overdoses, according to the NIDA. That’s what should make them not be able to sleep at night. Contradictorily, people can easily earn a profit off of making opioids that shatter lives. We may beg for something to change, but our neighbors are knocking us down each time. If we are to continue, we need to be able to trust ourselves. And that is the most terrifying responsibility.
If we enforced this earlier, I bet there wouldn’t be as many people living on the street craving heroin. So, all senseless pharmaceutical companies out there, I urge you to open your eyes. Closely monitor each and every prescription made and give it to the right person, because people are dying because of your embarrassing “mistakes”. Or, what should be called your obviously desperate sales pitches for, ‘Why you should give us more money!’ Personally, in my unpredictable future, I don’t want to witness people around me dying because of a pill you gave them, and I’m sure others my age don’t either.