According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 90 Americans die each day after overdosing on opioids. This is a major concern and calls for serious attention and reform. In the late 1990’s, pharmaceutical companies reassured medical institutions that patients would not become addicted to opioids. When this happened, medical centers began prescribing opioids as pain relievers more often, leading opioid use to become widespread. As opioid use increased, so did the misuse and abuse of it. In fact, approximately 21-29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse it.
In 2015, more than 52,000 Americans died of overdose, with many of them dying from overdosing on opioids. This significant number calls for a public health crisis – one that is in desperate need of intervention. Thankfully, a notice was published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in April of 2017 regarding their plans of action on this major concern:
- They are working to improve access to treatment and recovery services – approximately 90 percent of Americans who suffer from addiction are not getting treatment, and the U.S. Department of Health plans to make treatment more accessible to address this.
- They are working to promote the use of overdose-reversing drugs
- They are working to strengthen everyone’s understanding of the health crisis through close surveillance
- They are striving to provide more support on research of pain and addiction, and
- They are aiming to provide better practices for pain management altogether
While the government is currently working on enacting their plan, we must continue to stay informed and alert. If we are prescribed opioids for pain, we must be sure to speak with a doctor regarding the side effects, appropriate dosage and times to be taken, and voice our concerns on addiction. Careful monitoring by a doctor could prevent us from reaching addiction – and could even save our life. If we have a child who has been prescribed opioids, we should keep close eye on them to ensure they are managing their prescription medication successfully. We should avoid sharing any medication with others that is not prescribed directly to them, and we should seek help if we feel that we are becoming addicted to our medication.
Seeking help from a doctor is the best way to ensure our safety. There are many forms of treatment available for people who have an addiction, with inpatient and outpatient treatment, therapy, and support groups as a few effective options. The more we become knowledgeable on this health issue, the more power we place in our hands to act and save lives.
Recovery is yours when you start to do the work. At a treatment facility in the New Vista Behavioral Health family, you will be supported with staff and programming held to higher standards, providing exceptional care for better outcomes. Life is yours for living. Start making a change today by calling: 888-316-3665