Our World in Crisis
Opioids are strong pain-reducing drugs. Their overuse causes problems. The opioid crisis has affected every community, class, ethnic group, industry, and age group. Misuse of opioids now kills more people in North America each year than breast cancer. In Canada, almost 9 people out of every 100,000 are killed in opioid-related deaths each year and the number is rising. In the United States, the rate is more than 21 people per 100,000.
Like the other books in the “Get Informed – Stay Informed” series, Opioid Crisis hits all the right buttons. It is written at the right level, with relevant, up-to-date information on a major societal issue affecting every community.
The value of the books in this series is two-fold. First, there is an overview of the importance of the issue with some background and context clearly presented. A timeline of the opioid crisis provides a clear outline of the development and spread of the crisis.
The opioid crisis can touch everyone’s lives. You are not safer by not knowing. The expression “Ignorance is bliss” has no truth in the modern world. In fact, the only way to protect yourself from risks in life is to know about them. Knowing and understanding give you the chance to make good decisions and avoid danger. They also allow you to give sensible advice to those who need help.
Second, the books explain the importance of becoming astute gatherers and users of information, and then go on to teach students some important information literacy skills.
When learning about a new topic, start with getting a good understanding of key background information. The “Time and Place Rule” will help you figure out the best information to learn about your topic. The rule is that information gathered closest to the time and location something happened is probably the most accurate and reliable.
Each book in the “Get Informed – Stay Informed” series stresses the need to stay informed and encourages and empowers students to make their own decisions and ask their own questions. Text boxes titled “Ask Your Own Questions” guide students to higher level thinking.
Why do people hang on to misinformation even after it has been debunked? Why is it harder to remove misinformation in the digital age than it was before the Internet?
In addition to the websites, books, and documentaries listed in the “Find Out More” section at the back of the book, there are reminder points to help students critically evaluate the information that they find on the Internet.
Sadly, the information in Opioid Crisis on the causes and effects of opioid addiction is important for all students. Defeating this deadly epidemic will require the skills and contributions of today’s students as they continue the fight.
Suzanne Pierson, a former teacher-librarian, is currently instructing Library courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.