THE IMPACT OF THE OPIOID CRISIS ON PENNSYLVANIA
Who would have thought that drugs which can help us feel better have partially contributed to one of the most severe public health emergencies since the AIDS outbreak in the 1970s? For over two decades, Americans have fallen victim to the Opioid Crisis, and more victims are falling into this cesspool of pain and death every day. Consider the fact that over two million opioid addicts live in our country, while hundreds of thousands more die after taking these drugs. As expected, though, epicenters of the epidemic have sprung up across the country, particularly in the Midwest and New England. Besides West Virginia and Ohio, though, one state that is also battling a high rate of opioid emergencies is Pennsylvania, though not as severe as the issue in its neighbors. Let’s take a closer look at how the Keystone State is handling the Opioid Crisis.
Ranking #12 on the Lineup
Although it does not line up with the states that suffer from the most severe opioid problems in the United States, Pennsylvania still has to deal with a severe influx of painkillers. In 2016 alone, the state reported 18.5 opioid-related overdose deaths out of 100,000 residents (about 2,235 fatalities), several notches over the national average of 13.3 overdose deaths per 100,000 people. Comparing the previous year to 2010, opioid problems have also drastically increased in a variety of categories. Heroin-related deaths rose from 131 to 926 and synthetic opioid-related deaths jumped from 98 to 1,303.
A Decrease in Prescriptions
Despite this horrifying news, however, the state has experienced a decrease in opioid prescriptions. In 2013, doctors in Pennsylvania wrote 11.3 million prescriptions (about 88.6 drugs per 100 patients), and, in 2015, doctors wrote 10.4 million prescriptions (about 81.1 drugs per 100 patients), marking a 9% decrease across the state.
Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Overall, the statistics for Pennsylvania are not widely available. From 2005 to 2014, though, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority received an influx of reports that increased from 1 instance of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) to 797 cases. Among Medicaid recipients, though, 1,953 infants were diagnosed with NAS in 2016.
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.