Welcome to SOSTSL!
We are glad your here.
Sharing Our Stories to Save Lives, Inc.TM (SOSTSLTM) is a young nonprofit organization comprised of family members and friends of victims of America’s 20-year Opioid Epidemic that has claimed over 450,000 lives so far, surpassing 70 years of U.S. military casualties of war, including the Korean War, Vietnam, War in Afghanistan, and Iraq War.
Our mission is to protect youth and families from the harm that can arise from using opioid painkillers casually. We accomplish our mission by developing, maintaining and promoting free online Customized Opioid Awareness Workbooks for use by teachers and students nationwide. The U.S. Opioid Epidemic is officially recognized as beginning in 1999. At that time, no one understood why large numbers of Americans were suddenly dying from opioid overdoses, including junior high, high school and college students. Since 1999, lots of parents across the country continue to discover that their junior high and high school aged children are either unwittingly addicted to opioids or have suffered an opioid overdose.
SOSTSL members choose to have an active role in reducing and eliminating our nation’s opioid epidemic. Our signature project is building Customized Opioid Awareness Workbooks in which we share true stories about individual overdose victims. These workbooks also provide students with information and resources about the neurological changes, symptoms, and treatments for opioid addiction which includes data about the destructive, chronic and sometimes fatal cycle of
Opioid Use Disorder and Dopamine Deficiency that ultimately claimed the lives of our loved ones.
The World Health Organization reports that “before 1995, the prescription of opioid painkillers in the United States was limited to people with pain from advanced cancer, severe injuries or major surgery.” That standard changed in 1996, when pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue Pharma, began manufacturing and aggressively marketing new opioid medications as minimally addictive treatments for people with pain from moderate to severe injuries and common to major surgeries—this change in access to opioid painkillers started America’s Opioid Epidemic.
Get Involved Against America's Opioid Epidemic.
Build Your Customized Opioid Awareness Workbook Today!
SOSTSL members come together on our “Sharing Our Stories to Save Lives” Facebook Group available here, where we keep each other up-to-date on the latest news and information about all aspects of the Opioid Epidemic, including legislation, litigation, law enforcement accomplishments, medical treatment advances, and other educational resources
of Opioid Epidemic
in Opioid Epidemic
Average No. of Daily Opioid Overdose Deaths
Active OUD Cases
in U.S. Today
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Opioid Epidemic Data Links
Cause of Opioid Epidemic
- “With its OxyContin, Purdue unleashed a highly abusable, addictive, and potentially dangerous drug on an unsuspecting and unknowing public. For these misrepresentations and crimes, Purdue and its executives have been brought to justice.” John Brownlee, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.
- Beginning in 1996, pharmaceutical companies launched hundred-million-dollar and criminally-misbranded marketing campaigns promoting new prescription opioid medications as minimally addictive solutions to treat pain from common injuries and surgeries, which included literature from Purdue Pharma that stated Oxycontin had a less than 1% chance of addiction (Located under Misrepresenting the Risk of Addiction Section, Paragraph 3.)
- As a result of Purdue Pharma’s marketing campaigns, sales of OxyContin skyrocketed across our country; sales escalated from 44 million dollars (316,000 prescriptions dispensed) in 1996 to a 2001 and 2002 combined sales of nearly 3 billion dollars (over 14 million prescriptions dispensed.)(Located under Misrepresenting the Risk of Addiction Section, Paragraph 5.)
- Opioid Use Disorder and Dopamine Deficiency are serious neurological conditions produced by prescription opioids, often in as little as 4-8 weeks of regular use. (Located under Etiologic Factors Section, Paragraph 2.)
Millennials, who came of age at the height of these criminally-misbranded marketing campaigns, were particularly susceptible to campaign deceptions. Many were prescribed Oxycontin while in junior high or high school. Some students concluded that this medication, with “less than a 1% chance of addiction” while providing a sense of relaxation and euphoria, was safer than cigarettes and alcohol. In typical youthful exuberance, and possibly a bit of adolescent rebelliousness, some of our brightest and most promising kids ran with this concept and unwittingly became addicted to prescription opioids.
By 2004, Oxycontin was a leading drug of abuse in America, Statistics show that some students who were prescribed or experimented with prescription opioids during the early years of our nation’s Epidemic (at the turn of the 21st Century) unexpectedly became addicted to opioids. Tragically, many of these kids grew up struggling between sobriety and relapse and continue their fight against opioid addiction to this day.
In response to this national tragedy, each year countless parents and grandparents willingly spend many thousands of dollars in rehabilitation programs trying to save the children they love from having their lives destroyed by opioid addiction; however, during the intake process of even the costliest and best recognized rehab programs, their staff warn family members that success rates for opioid addiction treatments are less than 20% and often patients who qualify as a “success” story frequently relapse within 6-12 months from completing their program.
SOSTSL members know first hand that adults and kids suffering from Opioid Use Disorder and Dopamine Deficiency do not purposely relapse to hurt their family members and friends. The feeling of love is not affected by an imbalance in the dopamine system. Relapse occurs because their brain’s craving for dopamine, no longer available in healthy normal levels, is simply too strong. Statistics show that Millennial fatalities comprised approximately 26.7% of all opioid-related deaths from 1999 to 2017.
Why Our Loved Ones Died
from Opioid Overdose
Our loved ones did not perish from lack of trying to overcome opioid addiction, but rather from neurological changes produced by prescription opioid medications that cause Opioid Use Disorder and Dopamine Deficiency. These conditions occur when brain neurons are unable to produce and maintain healthy dopamine levels.
2,600,000 Americans currently suffer from Opioid Use Disorder. Many who suffer chronic (long-term) OUD face crippling depression and often seek opioids to increase their level of dopamine and feel normal again—if only for a brief period. These people also frequently try to quit using opioids by deliberately enduring agonizing withdrawal with the hope of gaining control of their lives through sobriety. These people find themselves stuck in grips of the dangerous and destructive cycle of Opioid Use Disorder and Dopamine Deficiency.
The CDC reports that over the last 10 years, opioid overdose deaths have predominantly involved illicit opioids such as heroin and illicit fentanyl. During the last decade, new goverment regulations have dramatically reduced access to prescription opioid painkillers; unfortunately, many people suffering from chronic Opioid Use Disorder and Dopamine Deficiency often continue using opioids to bring their quantity of Dopamine up to healthy, normal levels. No longer having access to prescription opioids, some have turned to illicit opioids to treat their conditions.
Sobriety can exasperate the symptoms of Dopamine Deficiency by producing a severe depression and overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Some recovering addicts struggling with major depression have attempted a “quick fix” by using larger doses of opioids to produce a surge of dopamine—resulting in an accidental overdose death. The CDC reports that presently an average of 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every single day.
Join “Sharing Our Stories to Save Lives” today! Help us play an active role in reducing and eliminating our nation’s opioid epidemic by building your customized opioid awareness workbook. Together we can protect youth and their families from the harm that can arise from using prescription painkillers casually!
Commitment to Credibility
All of the statistics cited in this website are taken from accurate and credible sources including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).