In the 90s, pharmaceutical companies had reassured the government that opioid pain relievers would not cause the patients to get addicted. So, healthcare providers started prescribing them.
However, with time, there was a surge in the use of prescription, as well as non-prescription opioids. Eventually, people came to understand that the medications can be quite addictive.
Many people started misusing opioids. In fact, there are increasing incidences of withdrawal symptoms in newborns. That was primarily due to the opioid misuse and use in the time of pregnancy. If you have been prescribed opioids, it is your responsibility to keep your medication under lock and key to prevent misuse.
All these reasons led to the opioid crisis in the US. Hence, the authorities started looking for opioid crisis solutions.
5-Point Strategy for Fighting Opioid Crisis
In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) came up with a comprehensive 5-Point Strategy for empowering local communities. This crisis is one of the top priorities, and with the help of the 5-point strategy, the HHS aims to reduce opioid mortality and morbidity.
The 5-pojnt strategy is:
- Access to better prevention, treatment, and recuperating services. It has issued more than $800 million in grants for supporting this strategy.
- The HHS plans on giving out better data related to the epidemic. It will offer timely, specific data, and reporting.
- The HHS wants to make sure that everything that healthcare practitioners do, starting from payments to prescribing, will promote healthy and fact-based procedures.
- It aims to make sure that there is greater availability of overdose-reversing drugs.
- Also, better research programs on addiction and pain with a private and public partnership venture.
Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction
One of the opioid crisis solutions is to understand the difference between drug use and drug abuse.
If trained and educated the right way, the addicted person can learn to develop self-control and keep themselves from developing an intense urge to consume the drugs.
Alternative Pain Management Practices
The prescription opioid is used for managing pain effectively. However, they aren’t the only available option. It is necessary to understand the prospective advantages of taking the drug and the risks that come with it.
An extensive group of stakeholders and representatives have identified the inconsistencies and gaps and recommends best practices to manage chronic and acute pain.
Before you go to a doctor, you should learn about opioids and Naloxone. Patients should know about alternative pain management.
There are various methods to treat pain safely and effectively, and opioid is not the only solution. In fact, some alternatives can actually work better than opioids.
Patients should talk to the healthcare providers regarding integrative and complementary health approaches for handling pain.
Practicing Safe Opioid Prescribing
When it comes to opioid crisis solutions, medical practitioners play a significant role. They should promote the effective and responsible use of medication for treating the pain.
Healthcare providers, as well as patients, should be able to use Naloxone. It is an effective drug and will help in saving people from an opioid overdose. However, it is only possible when it is in the right hands and at the right time.
Doctors should be serious about the opioid overdosing epidemic. If they assess the risk and address the side effects of using the drug, it will help in saving a lot of lives. Also, they should make sure that patients have access to effective but safer treatment for chronic pain.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs have been put in place to handle the matter better. These are electronic databases run by the state and is used for tracking the prescribing and dispensing of prescription drugs.
Dispose Of Opioids After Use
When you are done with your dosage, you can easily dispose of the medicine from the locking courier bag. If you don’t want to do it at home, you can dispose of it through a drug take-back program.
To locate a drug take-back program close to you, you can take the help of the tool provided by the DEA. Albeit, there are some medications that you can throw away at your home, but it is necessary to know the right method to dispose of expired medications.
To dispose of, you have to follow the steps given below.
- Take out the bottles from your briefcase-style locking courier bag, remove the medicine from its container and combine it with an unwanted substance kitty litter or coffee grounds.
- Now, place the mix in an empty or a sealable bag to keep the medicine from leaking out.
Before you dispose of it, make sure that the identifying information on the drug is unreadable. It makes sure that no one can use it even if they discover it. Since it has been prescribed to you, it shouldn’t be shared with anyone.
In case you are unable to dispose of the drug, the alternative option you have to is to flush the opioids or other prescription drugs that are no longer required. Be careful to check the community policies, and some prevent disposing of to keep drug residues from flowing into lakes and rivers.
Opioids Crisis Solutions: How to Prevent Overdose?
Putting an end to drug use can be the only guaranteed method to mitigate this crisis. However, taking to your healthcare practitioner about the safe alternatives can also help a great deal
Also, you should make sure that you are taking the medications as per the prescribed drug. Mixing medications is not a good idea. Avoid buying a legal or illegal drugs over the internet.
Overdose, when attended to at the right time, doesn’t have to be fatal. Quick medical attention will help in averting the danger. There are reverse overdose medications, but professional’s assistance will make sure that the serious symptoms don’t put a life at risk.
No matter how addicted you get, you should know that you can get help. Coming out of it might not be easy, and you might also experience withdrawal symptoms, but undergoing treatment is the best option at hand.