In the last few years, there has been a significant rise in the abuse of opioids in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse confirmed that about two million persons abuse this substance, and on average, 90 Americans die as a result of opioid overdose each day. Opioids as pain medications are usually prescribed by medical practitioners for acute pain resulting from surgery or a severe injury.
In some cases, these patients hold on to the remaining opioids as they may need to use them in case they feel pain again. However, these opioids may be misused and get into the wrong hands. This leads to abuse and severe consequences when taken without prescription.
Opioid Crisis in America
One of the challenges of using opioids is that it offers your body and brain a false impression that these important body parts cannot survive without them. That is where addiction comes in, and this is bad for the human body. Most individuals are abusing the purpose of opioids as they consume them to get intoxicated. It has been observed that most unused opioids in households have been abused by individuals for whom the prescription is not meant for.
In some cases, these medications are available in patches to be applied to the skin. However, they should be disposed of immediately as research has shown that Fentanyl patches are dangerous for kids and you can flush them after removing them from your skin.
Most opioid overdose deaths are caused by drugs such as methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, others) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, amongst others. Based on the statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription opioids are part of the opioid overdose in the United States.
Opioid Crisis Solutions
Several opioid crisis solutions have been suggested by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. These include take-back programs, take-back events, and disposal by mail.
A bill aimed at curbing the abuse of opioids was proposed by Senator Kennedy and it was recently signed into law by President Joe Biden. The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, was signed into law and takes effect on January 1, 2022. Veterans Affairs will be required to create prescription drop boxes to enable patients and people to dispose of unused medications including opioids to curb the abuse.
With the DUMP Opioids Act, Americans will have the opportunity to remove unwanted and surplus prescriptions off their shelves and play their roles in making society a safer place for all.
The DUMP Opioids Act offers patients and any individual to drop controlled substance medications at Veteran Affairs centers. The bill also makes provision for the designation of periods when the substances can be disposed at the VA locations. The secretary of veteran affairs is empowered to provide physical location details for the disposition of these returned medications.
The senate collectively passed the legislation of Sen. Kennedy to control the abuse of these controlled substance prescription medications in April. DUMP Opioids Act encourages full participation of every member of the community to nip the opioid abuse in the bud as quickly as possible.
From January 2022, VA medical centers will make drop boxes available in their respective communities to ensure proper disposal of the controlled substance medications. The bill also empowers the secretary to perform public information campaigns to inform the members of the community about the appropriate time for disposing of the opioids in their possession.
DUMP Opioids Act is a great step in the right direction as it will significantly reduce the avoidable deaths resulting from opioid overdose. Illicit use of opioids should be controlled and this act will help in curbing the problem.
Experts such as medical doctors also agreed that it is a good step in eliminating the abuse of opioids. They opined that they have had a firsthand experience of the agony of the affected families of those who have abused the medication, and they believe that the DUMP Opioids Act will help address the issue when it becomes effective by January 2022. They are hopeful it will have a positive impact on American society.
We hope to make the country safe by ensuring everyone plays their part in saving Americans from the illicit use of opioids.