Season 2, Episode 8 of "This Is Us" left fans of NBC's hit series all over the country in a disturbed emotional state. Kevin Pearson, firstborn of the "Big Three," bridged the gap between television and society through revealing a personal demon that has already taken the lives of over 60,000 Americans in 2016 ("Overdose Death Rates," reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse). Now that America has mopped up most of the tears shed since Tuesday night's (Nov.

15) heart-wrenching episode, there is a very relevant conversation to be had about the opioid epidemic, and it's going to be happening right in our own living rooms on "This Is Us."

The revelation of Kevin's addiction brings a sensitive and relevant layer of reality to 'This Is Us'

From the very first episode, the story of "This is Us" has been essentially just that: The story of the very people gathering around their television and smart screens every Tuesday night to catch the latest of the Pearson family saga. Actor Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin, acknowledged this in an interview with Variety. "I wanted to make sure that we told a story that was honest and true, especially because this is something that people deal with a lot.

It's very dangerous. You can lose your wealth, you can lose your friends, you can lose your trust, you can lose your dignity, you can lose everything," Hartley said. "We didn't want to just tell a drug story real quick and then just wrap it up in a bow."

It's perhaps even more applicable that within the narrative of "This Is Us," the drug addict is a celebrity.

Here is Kevin Pearson, celebrated star of a popular sitcom, living the glamorous life in Los Angeles and maintaining a prestigious position under the spotlight. He even managed to marry his high school sweetheart before screwing that up by cheating on her. And here is Kevin Pearson now, delivering a self-sabotaging homecoming speech and writing himself a fraudulent prescription of a painkiller that would have actually killed him.

Kevin's problem eerily resonates with the fate of real-life celebrities

CNN reported the death of rising rapper star Lil Peep on his tour bus in Arizona on Wednesday (Nov. 15). According to the article by Deena Zaru, the 21-year-old artist had been expressing his own depression and Drug Addiction through Instagram posts and song lyrics: "Runnin' away from you takes time and pain and I don't even want to/ So I'm getting high all week without you/ Poppin' pills thinkin' about you" (lyrics from the song "U Said," 2017). "There was evidence of a possible drug overdose, most likely from Xanax," according to the Tucson Police Department. It has also been reported that the Xanax was laced with fentanyl, according to Blasting News writer Marco Torelli.

The drug that Kevin on "This is Us" was attempting to refill after his one-night stand with Charlotte was this same fentanyl, a "sometimes fatal opiate drug that's 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and part of the cause of the nationwide opioid epidemic," according to the report by PopSugar writer Perri Konecky. Konecky also reported that "This Is Us" fan and real-life pharmacist who goes by username lrebs19 on Reddit observed that "one dose of the medication he wrote himself a prescription for could kill him." lrebs19 also pointed out that "fentanyl is dosed in mcg, not mg," which realistically would then be a red flag to any competent pharmacist (a screenshot of the prescription shows "40/mg").

The post on Reddit triggered other comments about how outrageous and potentially unrealistic the prescription would have been under the specific circumstances.

Was Kevin's fake prescription simply script oversight or intentional screenwriting?

We never do find out if Kevin's forged prescription would have been filled or not. As soon as he discovers his dad's necklace missing from around his neck he books it out of the pharmacy back to Charlotte's, where he had found a blank prescription pad in the first place. The question is, then, was it all on purpose? Did Jack Pearson not so subtly give his oldest son a nudge from the afterlife, preventing him from an untimely and tragic death from a fentanyl overdose?

Maybe it was an oversight of pharmaceutical detail; maybe Kevin Pearson - "Number One" - was on the brink of ending his own life. What we do know, however, is an even more powerful message. It was family that sent Kevin back to Charlotte's to find the one thing he had left of his father, and it was family he reached out to when he realized he needed help. We can only hope that Kevin on "This Is Us" is finally heard and even more so hope that today's addicts in the real world turn to family, not Instagram posts or song lyrics, for help.