There’s good news for anyone who’s hoping the opioid crisis ends soon. Government organizations, private entities, and even ordinary people are taking part to help end this epidemic.
Why We Should Be Concerned with the Opioid Crisis
Opioids have killed more Americans than gun violence and ended more lives worldwide than the Vietnam War.
In 2018 alone, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. here are other statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- Around 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
Although there’s been a decline in prescription opioid overdose death data, the need to take action is a reality we have to face. The reality remains: drugs can kill.
Thankfully, more and more people and organizations are chiming in.
1. Drug treatment facilities are publishing content.
Now, drug treatment facilities are taking an active part in helping spread awareness for the opioid crisis.
For example, the Valley Recovery Center recently published a blog entitled, “Purdue Pharma Reaches Settlement For Opioid Lawsuit.”
According to the article, the notorious pain reliever OxyContin maker finally admitted to a considerable role in the addiction epidemic, which has claimed thousands of lives through oxycodone-related fatalities. Purdue Pharma is currently dismantling. It will use its assets to create a government-controlled company.
2. Media companies are creating documentaries.
Netflix has several series about drugs. What particularly caught our attention was the Opioids episode on the documentary series, The Business of Drugs.
Here, journalist Amaryllis Fox explores how OxyContin and other drugs gave rise to the opioid crisis. Did you know that OxyContin was created to relieve the pain of terminally ill cancer patients?
However, Purdue Pharma led its med reps to believe they are helping people who have been suffering from chronic pain to live normal lives. This is, despite knowing that OxyContine is highly addictive.
3. The tech world is taking active steps.
Did you know a new Controlled Substance app offers insight into patients’ opioid history prescription history? It gets data from a patient’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP data). Additionally, the app tracks use in the hospital and show alerts at peak thresholds of administration.
Are you aware that there’s already a drug-free wearable device that uses a thread-like wire and wearable stimulator to alleviate pain?
Additionally, there’s a digital pill (still under study) that will help monitor patients’ opioid adherence data. This way, the chances of opioid overdose among chronic pain patients will be minimized, if not eliminated.
4. Government organizations are working overtime.
Whether it’s spreading awareness or encouraging users to turn a new leaf, the government exerts effort.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides state information to stop the opioid crisis. It recently published the Promising State Strategies.
This aims to equip and inform states on how to help prevent high-risk prescribing and improve opioid use disorder treatment.
Drugfree.org, on the other hand, published their “Action Plan in the Face of the Opioid Epidemic.” It gives tips on how we can help fight the crisis.
What We Can Do
No matter how much the authorities try to end the opioid epidemic, we need to take action.
How can we help?
- Know the signs. Loss of Control. Craving. Use despite negative Consequences. These three factors will help you recognize if a friend or loved one is abusing opioids.
- Be in the know. Get as much information on the opioid crisis. How did it start? How many have been affected? What steps should you do to help fight this menace?
- Share resources. And once you get all the information you need, share it with a friend or loved one you suspect is abusing opioids. You just might save a life.
- Offer support. Reach out to people you believe or are known to abuse opioids. Let them know that there are plenty of available resources and support groups that can help them change for the better.
- Do drug testing. If you suspect a loved one is using opioids, nip it right in the bud. Do drug testing at home. If the test turns out positive, proceed to tip number 6 below.
- Convince an opioid user to get treatment. It won’t be easy. You might encounter defiance or hatred from the person involved. But do what you have to do.
We all can take part in helping fight the opioid crisis. It’ll be a rough road, but we can get there if we take action now.
Do you want to learn more about drug addiction? Visit Ovus Medical Blog. We have plenty of resources you will find beneficial.