Drug abuse is on the rise and is having devastating effects across the nation. This is evident in the rising number of overdose fatalities, the increasing number or recreational drug users, and the rise in narcotic prescriptions over the last twenty years. More than 70,000 Americans died of overdose in 2018, to put that in perspective that is a higher death toll than the number of American casualties during the entire Vietnam War. The cost of the country’s opioid crisis is estimated to have exceeded $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017, and is projected to cost an additional $500 billion by 2020. To date, there are more than 23.5 million Americans, 10% of the population, addicted to alcohol or drugs. In fact situation has gotten so out of hand that the President instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency in October 2017.
Hello, I’m Nick and welcome to the Open Discussion (OD) Movement. The sad reality is that nowadays almost everyone knows the story of some poor soul who fell under the spell of opioids. Once these drugs grab ahold of you they often never lose their grip. Resulting in broken homes, relationships in ruins, and lives destroyed. For ten years this struggle was my reality and it carried a high price to pay in the forms of divorce, loss of employment, drifting away from friends, money, and unbearable levels of self-loathing. On December 6, 2014 I bottomed out and nearly died from an overdose.
The encounter landed me in the intensive care unit for two weeks and was immediately followed up with a three month stint in rehab. While some semblance of normalcy returned to my life over the course of 2015 I noticed that not much changed in the grand scheme of things. Twelve step programs like AA and NA were helpful because they offered a sense of community but I still felt empty. In my heart I craved something more proactive, something that actively challenged the status quo. Plus I couldn’t stand the notion of anonymity because my mind it implied negativity or shame.
It was a feeling I cannot explain, I wasn’t sure exactly how I would do it, but I knew I had to do something to make a change. So in January 2018 I started Open Discussion Apparel as a vehicle for my message. I created the OD Movement to be a platform for people to share their unique experiences with addiction, both directly and indirectly, in order to promote an open dialogue. Today I am grateful for my struggles because they provided the path to my purpose. My vision for OD, what I expect it to become, is bigger than me. Our mission is to change the dialogue around addiction, reassess the problem of drugs in society, and provide aid to those in need. It means the world to me that you’ve arrived at my very own little slice of the internet. Welcome to the OD Movement.