Opioids has long been a cause of concern for the people of the USA. According to a study, 128 people in the USA die of opioids overdosing every day. So what are the best solutions for the opioid crisis?
People are addicted to opioids that include prescribed pain relievers, synthetic opioids, and heroin. It has turned into a severe crisis for the nation.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the economic burden borne by the USA of the misuse of prescription opioids is $7.8 billion every year. The number of deaths from drug overdose is 4%. About 70% if the 67367 death was due to opioid.
The country has been looking for ways to fight the crisis.
What Caused the Opioid Epidemic?
In the 90s, various pharmaceutical companies had assured the medical community that patients are not going to get addicted to the opioids that are prescribed as pain relievers.
Eventually, the healthcare providers started prescribing them at an increased rate. However, this eventually led to widespread misuse. It has been proven that these medications can be quite addictive. With time, opioid overdose started increasing at an alarming rate.
The opioid crisis in the US, led to the deaths due to overdose. In 2017, more than 1.7 million people in the USA suffered from substance abuse.
When Did Opioids Start Becoming a Problem?
If you take opioids under the direction of the physician or healthcare practitioner, it can offer significant relief. However, it provides a good feeling when consumed. That, in turn, can cause people to be addicted to it. If you take it for extended periods, the dosage to enjoy the euphoric feeling increases.
Opioids can be harmful when it has not been prescribed to or when use is not being monitored closely by the physician. Altering the prescribed dosage or altering the way you ingest can be harmful. You should also avoid taking it in combination with other drugs.
Things to Know About Opioid Overdose
The opioid crisis in the US is having a devastating effect on public health and safety across the nation. All over the US, you will only get to hear about overdoses. Here are some of the basics of the opioid overdose epidemic that you need to understand.
- Every day, more Americans are overdosing and dying from these prescription painkillers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded a 20% increase in death due to the overdose of painkillers, since 2006.
- There isn’t anything called tainted batch of heroin or good batch of heroin. Any heroin usage can be fatal. Thus, some authorities are closely monitoring the situation and are aware of the current reports of fentanyl use by medical examiners in various places.
- Prescription drugs and heroin isn’t limited to a specific geographic location or demographic. The negative consequences of the opioid crisis in the US can be seen in urban, suburban, inner cities, and communities. However, reports show increased usage among young adults.
- The overdose of these prescription drugs can be prevented. If it is administered effectively and quickly, naloxone can restore breathing to the one who has overdosed.
How Opioids can Be Harmful to Your Brain and Heart
Opioids don’t just lead to an overdose. It can also impact your health conditions negatively.
When you take opioids, it can augment the risk of cardiovascular disease. This happens due to the enhanced concentrations of free triglycerides or low-density lipoproteins in the body. It can lead to irregular heartbeats and puts you at the risk of a heart attack.
With long-term usage of prescription drugs, the brain receptors can become less sensitive. That means you will need a higher dosage to experience the same effects. It is just the beginning of the vicious cycle of addiction.
Best Solutions for Opioid Crisis: Prevention
The best way to mitigate the opioid crisis in the US is to prevent it. The government authorities are making sure that it is being used correctly as per the direction of the healthcare provider.
There has to be greater awareness among people. Usually, the initial decision to consume the drug is voluntary. However, brain change can cause an addicted person to develop self-control. Thus, he will be able to resist the intense urge to consume drugs.
Sure, prescription opioids can offer you relief from pain. However, it is not the only way you can manage pain. It is necessary to learn about the risk and benefits before you start consuming the drug.
Steps to Prevent Opioid Overdose
There are various steps that you can take to prevent opioid overdose.
For instance, if you undergo surgery or having intense pain, you can talk to your physician to provide you with a treatment that is adequate for you. You can work with your healthcare expert to make sure you are being prescribed the lowest possible dose.
After being prescribed, you should consume it as per the prescribed dosage. In case you experience any side effects, you should immediately talk to a care team or your healthcare practitioner.
When you are done with the prescribed dosage, you need to dispose of it from the opioid crisis medication bags. If you do not know how to dispose it, you can talk to your pharmacist or physicians.
Medical practitioners play a significant role when it comes to facilitating the adequate use of opioids.
Get Help for Opioid Addiction
When you detect an overdose, make sure that you get immediate help. The first responders are known to carry naloxone with them, which helps in treating an overdose. If you call for help at the right time, you will be able to save lives.
In case someone is dependent on the drug, trying to quit can cause them to experience withdrawal symptoms. Residential programs and inpatient detox can prove to be helpful. It will help the patient to wear off the drug.
In case you know someone, who is addicted to opioids, you should know that help is always available.
What do you think are the best solutions for the opioid crisis?