Dr. Joseph D’Orazio from Temple Episcopal Hospital and the Temple Trust Clinic specializes in addiction medicine and Opioid use disorder. He spoke to us about how opioids affect the brain and went into detail on how the epidemic has affected the community of Philadelphia. Dr. D’Orazio has a first-hand experience treating individuals with SUD and also seeing how hospitals sometimes treat these individuals. He also had evidence to demonstrate why SUD is indeed a disorder and not a choice. He explained that once the brain goes through withdrawal, its survival instincts kick in.

It was interesting listening to a doctor explain more in detail what really happens to the body during the different states of an overdose. For example, I never knew how damaging the aftermath of an overdose is. Many organs can be deprived of oxygen depending on the time until revival and a person could even experience brain damage after overdosing. It was also good to know the kind of drugs that are specifically affecting the North Philadelphia community, which is information I never heard of before Dr. D’Orazio’s visit.