The United States of America faces one major national crisis of opioid drug overdose, misuse, and opioid use disorder. Opioid misuse and overdose have greatly affected the health, social, and economic sectors in the United States. In the public health sector, opioid misuse has caused an increased number of deaths and increased number of patients suffering from opioid use disorders. For instance, in the year 2017, about 47,000 deaths were recorded in the United States caused by opioid overdose, and about 1.7 million opioid use disorder cases were recorded. It has affected the economic sector by increasing health care costs, treatment of addicts, and loss of productive members of society. An opioid is a pain reliever, discovered in the late 1990s. The pharmaceutical industries carried out tests on opioid painkiller. They assured the medical sector that the drug would not cause any addiction effects on patients, and the doctors started prescribing it to patients in cases of severe pains.
The drug was widely used, other patients misused it, and that is when the health sector discovered that the medicine is very addictive. Its use and misuse has increased the drug overdose deaths, causing pain and sorrow to most families in the United States. Different pathways lead to opioids addiction. An individual can be an addict after an overdose prescription by a doctor to relieve pain during dental surgery or any other significant injury. On the other hand, the patient becomes an addict to the drug, and once they stop using it, the pain comes back. The patient develops a desire to use the drug even when not in pain, and the drug keeps causing damages to the patient’s body. Once you become an addict, you keep misusing the drug. You might even take an excess drug than what the doctor prescribed. In the US, addiction to opioids is a public health issue, and pregnant women mainly misuse it, which ends up causing neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Treatment, Recovery, and Prevention of Opioid Addiction
Medication-Assisted Treatment is the main treatment available for opioid addicts. The medication includes medicine like methadone and buprenorphine, support from friends and family, and patient counseling. Counseling will make the patient understand the effects of using the drugs and help them cope with withdrawals. Family and friends will always be there to ensure the patient is not taking the drug, as they also support the patient emotionally. The use of naloxone drugs can also do the treatment. Study shows that naloxone drugs treat the opioid use disorders by reversing the overdose effects, which prevents death.
In response to the rise in the number of deaths due to opioid overdose and misuse in the United States, the National Institute of Health has developed strategies to enhance patients’ treatment and recovery from opioid addiction. The strategies include:
- Developing safer ways of relieving severe pain
- Providing drugs that reverse an opioid overdose
- Giving patients access to treatment services
- Educating society on the effects of opioid misuse
Prevention is always better than cure. The significant way of preventing opioid addiction is by ensuring no one becomes dependent on the drug. For instance, doctors should look for an alternative pain reliever in chronic illness cases. In cases where they have to use opioids, doctors should not prescribe an overdose. Another major way of preventing addiction to opioids is by creating awareness of its effects. When consumers know the amount of damage the drug can cause, they will not use it when not in need. In cases where minors use it, the parents will ensure they take the correct dose. In addition, to prevent the increasing rates of deaths due to opioid addiction in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services has discussed implementing a new pain reliever strategy with the pharmaceutical industries. When precautions are taken, addiction cases will significantly reduce, hence reducing the number of deaths.
The opioid crisis in the United States entails misuse, which leads to addiction, resulting in death or opioid use disorders. However, these problems are easily solved by taking preventive measures. Following the doctor’s instructions when taking the medication and only using the medicine when in need will significantly reduce the chances of being an addict to opioids.
To treat opioid addiction in Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding, please contact us today at 833-497-3812.