The difference between urgent and important

 

The opioid epidemic is an urgent problem.

 Decreasing opioid prescribing is important.

Safe injection sites and needle exchange programs are urgent.

Identifying risk factors for addiction is important.

Distributing fee naloxone kits is urgent.

Preventing opioid use is important.

Creating opioid contracts between prescribers and clients is urgent.

Seeking alternative treatments to opioids is important.

Treating addiction is urgent.

Tackling the social determinants of health is important.

Trauma-informed addiction therapy is urgent.

Helping people cope with adversity is important.

It’s easier to set up supervised consumption sites. Harder to look at someone who’s struggling, stay out of judgment and have an honest, brave conversation about their story.

Easier to give out naloxone kits than it is to help people acknowledge their problems, overcome their shame and believe there are other ways of living in the world.

Urgent things demand immediate attention and action. Important things have an essential, wide-spread, long-term effect on survival, health and humanity.

When we pay attention to the important things, the urgent things start to go away.

The reverse is rarely, if ever true.