Opioid Addiction

Conversation Guide

The opioid epidemic is in the news and in our communities. Addiction to opioids seems different from others and has destroyed many lives and families. At the same time, opioids are also an important tool for alleviating human suffering and promoting healing. Our ability to address addiction is often not as successful as we would like. Is addiction a compulsion and/or a choice? As a society we see addiction as leading to criminal acts, which leads to punishment where treatment may or may not be available. Is this the most helpful response? What can we do to prevent or resolve the issue of opioid addiction?

Background Information:

While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

ONE: Why are we here?

What interested you or drew you to this topic?

TWO: Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:

  • What sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
THREE:

Your thoughts and concerns about Opioid Addiction

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions, and goals.

Answer one or more of the following:

  • Do you have experience with addiction in your life? What addiction(s)?
  • Why is the opioid epidemic a problem? How is it different from other addictions?
  • In what ways is it a problem for you? your community?
  • What steps would you take to address opioid abuse? What is the government’s role (if any) in helping end the opioid epidemic?
  • What do you see as the primary cause of addiction? And how can we address this cause?
  • Do you believe law enforcement should or should not carry Narcan? (Narcan is an overdose rescue treatment).

FOUR: Reflection

Answer one or more of the following:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

FIVE: Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:

  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

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