OPIOIDS’ ROLES IN A COMPLICATED SYSTEM
- March 19, 2019
When you lay the cards on the table and begin to analyze the facts, you will start to understand why the Opioid Epidemic has been labeled as a public health emergency. Overall, the United States hasn’t experienced a health emergency this dangerous since the outbreak of HIV/AIDS during the 1970s and the 1980s. Over the past two decades the crisis has taken root, over two million people began to suffer from opioid addiction, while nearly half a million victims died as a direct result of opioid overdoses, some caused by prescriptions. In 2016, scientists predicted that 78 U.S. citizens die from this epidemic on a daily basis. However, some researchers have speculated that the true problem is not necessarily the drugs but, instead, is the management of these drugs. Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Scheduling of Opioids
In one report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain how the death rate from opioid use has been steadily increasing since 1999 (a four-fold increase, in fact), and the use of prescription opioids has boosted alongside it. Based on this information, you can see why so many people would quickly blame the healthcare system. After all, two medical-grade opioids, fentanyl and codeine, are listed as Schedule-II drugs, which have a notoriously high risk for abuse and addiction.
Working Hard to Minimize Risks
Back in 2001, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) created a list of recommendations for how hospital staff members should handle patients’ pain. Ultimately, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals began implementing the pain scale, which, in an effort to help the public, only caused more confusion. JCAHO did not initially instruct doctors about the proper methods for treating pain. Later, companies like Purdue Pharma worked tirelessly to inform the public that their drugs had a low potential for abuse or addiction, but many critics argue the nail had already been driven through the coffin at this point.
Problems with Medicare Patients
Interestingly, one study conducted by JAMA Medicine in 2016 revealed that Medicare patients were receiving overwhelmingly large quantities of prescription painkillers. Overall, the beneficiaries who were being assessed had never consumed these drugs before, but almost 15% of these people filled a new drug prescription within a week of being discharged from the hospital. Even more disturbing, 42.5% of these people continued using the drugs after the substances were no longer required.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is easily one of the most terrifying substance use disorders on the planet, mostly because opioid addiction partially stems from a large number of drugs that are legally regulated by the federal government. For decades, our country has suffered beneath the weight of dangerous synthetics and legal painkillers, and millions of Americans have suffered from addiction throughout the 20 years the crisis has been brewing. However, you can make the right decision by taking a stand against your addiction and regaining your health and happiness.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of opioid withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.