Melissa Tassé, Ph.D., Chair of the Junior League of NJ State Public Affairs Committee and member of the Junior League of Summit, is also the CEO and founder of The Honey Bee Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending the cycle of opioid use in the next generation by educating parents and concerned adults about the epidemic and the neurobiology of addiction.

As a contributing editor to The Hill, she recently wrote an article about how to create strategies for combating the opioid epidemic. Here’s a glimpse of her article…then jump over to The Hill for the full read.

Let’s start with the obvious. Our nation is suffering from the scourge of an opioid epidemic—in the form of addiction to opioid-based painkillers and heroin — that is creating anxiety, fear, and hopelessness among families and communities, while representing the leading cause of natural death in our country.

Now, let’s discuss what is less obvious.

Although 1 in 4 individuals with chronic pain who are prescribed an opioid by their family health-care provider will develop an addiction, the path of substance use disorders (SUDs) typically begins at an earlier point in their lives —  in adolescence. Ninety percent of adults currently suffering from an SUD started using substances as children and teenagers