On the Front Lines of The Opioid Epidemic

It’s no secret that there is a health crisis in this country involving substance abuse. Local health departments are doing all they can to meet this challenge and save as many people as possible, but they need help. Fortunately, there is a way to make a real difference in this crisis, and you can help.

The front line of the opioid epidemic is like coping with a combat crisis in modern neighborhoods.

From the Revolutionary War to Iraqi Freedom, war is no foreign concept to Americans. In reality, the most remarkable aspects of American society emerge in times of war. 

Defense of our homeland comes first and foremost. 

However, what happens when the war is not against another nation, but a substance? The opioid epidemic ambushed Americans. 

It was gentle yet insidious. 

At first, seen as significant enhancements to the treatment of chronic pain, opioids were considered a lifesaver. 

Patients consuming them found relief like never before when dealing with the chronic complications associated with injury.

Unfortunately, a silent enemy emerged as well. What happens when the pain holds a pain-free patient prisoner of war?

Opioids are potent, maybe too powerful. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 50,000 Americans died due to opioid-related overdoses in 2017. 

What? How can the pain reliever cause homelessness and death?  

The relief provided by opioids is phenomenal, but that same relief triggers an addictive element in the brain. 

In other words, the brain becomes affixed to the opioid – in essence, it is a double-edged bayonet. 

Therefore, many patients consuming opioids experience addiction in exchange for pain relief. 

Thus, America is facing another war – Operation Opioid Freedom.


Operation Opioid Freedom cannot be waged with guns, tanks, aircraft, or ballistic missiles. The enemy is not hunkered down in a bunker with the capability to withstand 1,000-pound bombs. Instead, the enemy is for sale at the local pharmacy, neatly tucked in the medicine cabinets of millions of Americans. It is prescribed to some, and available to others in schools, nightclubs, or street corners in its most fervent synthetic form. The enemy has as many faces and methods as it does forms. It will take ingenuity, creativity, innovation to conquer this enemy. 

As a class of substances, opioids create a lasting and robust pain-relieving effect. 

The medication attaches to opioid receptors in the brain. However, the abuse of opioids is not novel.

Heroin, an earlier pain-relieving drug of the 1900s, exploded in synthetic development in the 1970s. 

Again, the same capability to relieve pain also triggered addiction, and the abuse of heroin quickly became a national crisis.    

Similarly, present-day opioids have followed the same trajectory as heroin. The danger exists in opioids causing depression with respiration. 

Since 2000, overdoses causing death associated with opioids have more than quadrupled, mirroring the heroin’s trend decades earlier.

The epidemic intensifies with the prevalence of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which can be manufactured illicitly in unregulated laboratories worldwide. 

These street manufacturers exceed the typical dosages of regulated pharmaceutical manufacturers, creating a much more potent and far more exceedingly deadly concoction. And the death rates associated with the illicit manufacture of synthetic opioids exceed that of the regulated manufacturers.  

The epidemic is multi-layered, with each layer increasing in danger and death. 

America has not faced an enemy of this magnitude before. 

It is a war suited for healthcare professionals and social workers alike, but there is also an incredible opportunity for America’s entrepreneurs to help as well. 


Treatment for opioid-dependent patients has expanded. Criminality associated with it has been largely removed. 

While therapy can be obtained, primarily due to governmental funding, the front lines of this war remain intensified.

Local Health Departments (LHDs) are central to combatting this enemy, but their breadth and depth are limited. 

LHDs struggle to keep pace with the epidemic in their communities through more data collection centers and treatment triage centers. 

In short, it is perhaps the cruelest of addictions. LHDs drive treatment by referring patients to centers for support and help. 

They also connect fully treated patients with long-term solutions to help maintain sobriety – this is an essential element of the plethora of services provided by LHDs. 

They are critical in helping recovering addicts find a safe place to live while being reintroduced to society as a sober person.

The problem many LHDs have found is a severe lack of plausible housing for recovering opioid addicts. 

Therefore, sobriety housing that focuses on the needs of opioid addicts is necessary but missing.

Shared Housing Academy has enlisted on the frontlines of the war against opioid addiction. 

Specific training associated with opioid addiction is now offered to those entrepreneurs passionate about helping people. 


Fortunately, the entrepreneurs of today are driven by the desire to, not only make money but enact positive change in their communities.

Meeting the housing needs of those who need a hand up, is a great way to expand your portfolio while doing a great deal of good.

Therefore, what can entrepreneurs associated with Shared Housing do?

Enlist now. 

Shared Housing Academy actively studies the epidemic associated with opioids and builds a curriculum that considers that information. 

Socially conscious entrepreneurs should embrace the idea of a continually evolving business model that is built upon sound principles. 

If ever there was a time for flexible entrepreneurs, it is now.

Consider the following when preparing to provide a Sobriety Home that will be a base for Operation Opioid Freedom:

  • Understand the needs of your Local Health Department (LHD).
  • Stay attuned to the statistics associated with overall addiction in your community.
  • How do opioids factor into these statistics?
  • What treatment facilities are having “successful” outcomes?
  • How do these facilities assist in placing patients in housing?
  • What are the immediate needs of opioid-dependent patients who will become residents?
  • What type of training does staff need to have to create independence in residents recovering from opioid dependency?

The above list is exhaustive and serves as a great starting point in establishing a solid base of operations. 

Residents of your sobriety home dealing with opioid dependency will have legitimate medical needs associated with pain.

Yet, how those needs are addressed is quite different from that of an alcoholic. Sobriety homeowners should also embrace a holistic but restrictive approach. 

In other words, the availability of opioids requires restrictions that limit exposure. However, it will take the village to help restore a resident fighting this dreadful enemy. 

Therefore, community advocates need to be a part of your sobriety home’s atmosphere. 

While LHDs are yet in need of additional funding, contemporary entrepreneurs with social consciousness can provide cash into the local economy through meaningful real estate investment. 

A transformation of America’s communities is needed, and sobriety homes are quickly becoming the base of operations for this war.


It’s time to act now. Socially conscious entrepreneurs have got to take charge. 

There is no community untouched by this war. 

It will take the ingenuity and prowess of socially conscious entrepreneurs to resolve this war. 

Visit Shared Housing Academy and learn how to start your residential business as a socially conscious entrepreneur.

The Shared Academy Academy is for entrepreneurs seeking to do more than simply own a business, but to Do Good and Do Well. 

Contact industry experts today and begin your boot camp experience. You will be ready. You will be armed. You will complete the mission.

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