2022 年 9 巻 1 号 p. 55-61
Aim: This paper examines the complexity of epidemics by addressing the multifaceted interaction of social meanings, biological forces, and collective public responses to the opioid epidemic and Opioid Use Disorder in the United States. Charles Rosenberg’s 1989 essay, “What is an epidemic?” is reconsidered using nursing as a lens.
Methods: The methods used were historical research and analysis of the social, cultural, and political context of the opioid epidemic.
Results: Medical and nursing personnel are in key positions to identify and treat those suffering from the opioid epidemic and Opioid Use Disorder as well as screen those at high risk. They can do so without placing the blame on personal misconduct and instead focus on treatment.
Conclusion: Epidemics leave behind lessons that can either be forgotten or used to inform future practice. In the aftermath of an epidemic, the community is faced with creating meaning and dealing with related challenges.