Neha Skandan ’21 Sees Pandemic as Teachable Moment for Opioid Crisis
In an article for the Bethlehem Press, Neha Skandan ’21 reminds us that, while the world focuses on responding to COVID-19, there is another health crisis that needs attention: the opioid crisis.
In the July 7 opinion piece, “Lending a hand: The coronavirus teaches how to handle opioid crisis,” Skandan writes, “The fact that two health emergencies presently exist is of tremendous concern to our society. These fears have been amplified with a surge of COVID-19 cases nationally, a crashing economy, and most of all, the huge uncertainty behind the coronavirus crisis.”
According to Skandan, the “power of the public,” is essential to combatting health crises like COVID-19 and widespread opioid addiction. She also notes that, “The opioid crisis has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus and vice versa in many ways, such as incredibly long wait times for those seeking treatment for opioid use disorder.” Once the coronavirus crisis is resolved, Skandan hopes to see the public focus shift to the opioid crisis, and she believes this can be accomplished by “erasing the stigma behind opioid use disorders by regarding them as treatable medical conditions instead of moral issues,” among other solutions.
“If we want to inspire greater change,” Skandan concludes, “we should all be aware of the circumstances, diligently play our parts, and work together to defeat the coronavirus and eventually the opioid crisis alike.”
To read the full Bethlehem Press article, click here.
More work by Neha Skandan '21 can be read on the blog here.