Dr. Joseph D’Orazio has been working with Temple Hospital since 2016. One of his main focuses is towards helping the opioid epidemic, spending his time working in the emergency department as well as the Temple Trust Clinic. D’Orazio works with emergency, outpatient recovery and addiction medicine. Throughout listening to all our guest speakers almost all of them have touched on the topic of language and how important is to use the correct terminology when talking about and to people with a substance use disorder. It was interesting to hear Dr. D’Orazio’s take on language and why it matters. Dr. D’Orazio told us how the medical field hasn’t caught up yet in using the correct terms and how big of an issue that is. “Simple terms change the way people are treated,” Dr. D’Orazio said.

Substance use disorder is a chronic disease and it should be treated the same way as diseases such as diabetes. Dr. D’Orazio taught us about how opioids block our receptors and how there are two parts of our brain, our frontal lobe and nucleus accumbens, that are affected when in withdraw. I found the statistics interesting that the people who are dying aren’t young people and that it’s more people around the ages of 45-54 and are mostly white males. Also, that people will go out looking for a certain type of bundle or white powder heroin because they heard it was strong. But, there could be multiple people selling different bundles with the same stamp on it, resulting in the buyers not getting what they’re looking for.

Some people use just to feel base level normal. Dr. D’Orazio told us about how people start to develop a tolerance to the drug and after a while no longer can reach euphoria. When they want to stop using because they no longer feel any kind of high it is challenging for them to enter recovery. This is another reason as to why our system needs better and easier ways towards recovery.