The Opioid Crisis Today- Why We Should Be Concerned.
The alarming rise of opioid drug addiction crisis keeps leading to a lot of sad and unfortunate loss of innocent lives in both young and old in our society.
The opioid crisis has cut into our society and has seen a dramatic increase since 2010 through both prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs.
Many families have unfortunately, been torn asunder through the malice of opioids.
Like many others, you might also be asking questions like these:
* But what are opioids and opioid addiction?
* What are the most common medications that have opioids in them? What are the available drug addiction treatment currently being used for its treatment?
* How can I help someone who has an opioid addiction?
*Where can I obtain unbiased drug addiction articles to keep me well informed, with my loved one?
These are some of the few questions many have about opioids in today’s society.
Let’s take a look a deep look at how hard it is to fall prey to this type of substance abuse.
What are opioids?
Opioid medications, otherwise known as narcotics, are created from the very infamous poppy plant. Patients usually get access to narcotics through a prescription from the doctor and
these are strictly regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
For your doctor to prescribe these medications, they require a prescribing licence from the DEA. Some of the foremost opioid medications include the brand Percocet, OxyCotin, and Vicodin.
Opioids that are commonly found on the street like heroin are strictly illegal and is not regularized nor is it beneficial for your health.
When used for a prolonged period of time, the chances of abuse and addiction increase. Patients are at risk of misuse and overdose along
with high chance of becoming addicted to their medication.
According to Mayoclinic, opioid medications are currently responsible for most deaths due to prescription drug overdose.
When do doctors prescribe Narcotics ( Opioids)?
Opioids are often prescribed whenever a patient is suffering from acute, intense pain, usually after an injury like a bone fracture or after a surgery. To help relieve the pain, doctors use opioids for short periods of time.
Opioid medication is also often used to manage pain associated with terminal conditions like cancer. Patients suffering from cancer require exceptional pain management care as otherwise they will not be able be to live a normal, pain-free lives.
In some cases, doctors also prescribe these narcotics to patients suffering from chronic pain not associated with cancer. These should be continued only if your doctor makes the assessment and finds a legitimate reason to continue with this form of therapy over the other types.
Opioid medications sometimes effect negatively, causing the pain to become more difficult to manage, hence necessitating the need for continuous treatment.
If Opioid based drugs are so dangerous, why are they being prescribed?
Recently, the government declared opioid crisis a “national emergency”. So it’s a fair question to ask why they are still being prescribed.
Let’s look into the reason why they are still being sold and what led to this crisis.
There are various reasons why the Opioid crisis has gotten so big.
The main backers of opioid were the big pharmaceutical companies driven by profits.
Initially, opioids were marketed as the best method to tackle pain and also being the safest choice.
Convincing both the doctors and patients, they all openly opted for using opioid medications.
Did you know that manufacturer of OxyCotin, Purdue Pharma was fined $600 million for their efforts to misleading the general public?
Another reason why opioids become a mainstream solution for treating pain could be the pressure mounted on doctors by various groups, and regulatory bodies to take pain treatment very seriously.
While on the other hand, they were also facing pressure to treat their patients as soon as possible.
Opioid was being pushed as it was helping both cancer and non-cancer patients with their pain management.
This was “Toyotazation of medicine” as described by Anna Lembke, an authority on addiction. She reports that there was considerable pressure on doctors to use opioids in their treatment to ensure
patients were treated quickly so that health centers could bill insurers as much as they can.
With doctors under a lot of scrutiny, opioids solved all their problems. Considering that they didn’t want to spend resources on properly diagnosing the source of the pain and even if they had to, it
would take considerable time. Hence, the easiest way was to rely on pills.
Doctors were also prescribing opioids for longer periods than it was actually required. Where only a few days of medication is required, some doctors have been known to recommend opioid use for weeks.
While doctor’s intention was to play it safe, the patient is left with extra pills at their disposal, increasing the risk of addiction and overdose.
It has been shown that less than half of the people who inadvertently misuse opioids are able to, because of a prescribed narcotic. Those suffering from chronic pain, understandably, want something that has the highest effective rate of managing pain.
As according to one estimate, approximately 100 million adults in the United States suffer from a form of acute chronic pains.
Patients should be encouraged to use other non-opioid alternatives like physical exercises, holistic, natural health treatments and even non-opioid medications, taking advantage of joining fellow sufferers in narcotic meetings where people are able to come together, share their experiences, encouraging one another through the journey.
However, for many, these can be out of reach due to the fact that a lot of folks might not have insurance coverage, and even if they do have insurance, their plans might not cover these options. So naturally, to help themselves manage their severe pain, patients opted for opioids as well.
I know someone who is experiencing an opioid crisis – how can I help?
The opioid crisis can be controlled using various means. There are different types of drug abuse prevention programs and support available for sufferers with opioid addiction.
Well, the first thing you need to know is that opioid addiction isn’t something that can be labeled as a mental or moral weakness.
It happens to be a condition that is developed over time and it is virtually very hard for anyone addicted to opioid to stop just by willpower.
To help someone break free from the addiction, it’s going to take more than willpower.
Luckily, there are various medications available along with counseling techniques that can help. Different drug addiction treatment centers can have a varied integrated and holistic approach to ensuring patients comfort, privacy and concerns are respected.
Drugs like buprenorphine, naltrexone (available as Vivitrol and Revia) and methadone have proven successful in helping someone with their addiction.
With the right drug addiction treatment program and support of loved ones, many have been able to leave their addiction behind.
Opioid addiction is one of the gravest issues threatening our society today.
One recent quote highlights the grave situation we are in. This was stated by Mr. Keith Humphreys, who is an expert from Stanford on drug policy.
He said that compared to Japan, United States has a very normal view of how bad opioids are and how we are using them in our healthcare.
He further pointed to the fact that Japan has a more older population than us which means they require more medications for pains and aches.
However, the United States reliance on opioids is actually ten times more than Japan!
An alarming bell should be ringing, if you think about it, when a country, as developed as we are and having more older
population than us has far, far less opioid medications.
It is now time for us to start working very seriously to nip this in the bud. If other countries can achieve the desired result, we too can