The opiate crisis is currently in full effect within the United States – more than 2 million Americans are abusing prescription pain killers and street drugs. In 2015, there were 52,404 overdose deaths in the United States, with 33,091 involving opioids. CNN notes that on average, 91 opioid deaths occur each day. The statistics are alarming, millions of people are being negatively impacted – what is being done about this?
Currently, 49 states have prescription-drug monitoring programs that prevent “doctor shopping”, which involves people going to several different doctors to receive several of the same prescription medication. The government is currently providing 1 billion dollars towards opioid crisis grants throughout all the states – plans for this are expected to expand treatment and prevention programs. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, identified in 2015 several other actions that are taking place:
- Education initiatives within school and community settings
- Prescription use drug monitoring programs
- Implementation of drug overdose education and naloxone distribution programs
- Aggressive law enforcement efforts to address “doctor shopping” and “pill mills”
- Diverting individuals with substance use disorders to Drug Court
- Expansion of access to MAT
- Abuse-deterrent formulations for opioid analgesics
Fox News claims that doctors are avoiding prescribing opioid medications altogether. Some states such as New Jersey are restricting opioid use to a 5-day limit, because doctors are claiming that patients can develop a dependency on the drug if taken for more than 5 days. President Trump has made promises to assist with the opioid epidemic, with mentions of anti-addiction drugs becoming more widely used.
There are currently several actions taking place to help reduce the number of deaths, overdoses, and overall abuse of opioids within the United States. The best action that you can take is to continue educating yourself on the harmful and dangerously addictive effects of opioids so that you and your loved ones do not become addicted.
If you are addicted to opioids, speak with a healthcare professional today. Doing so could save your life. New Vista Behavioral Health offers national mental health and addiction recovery treatment centers with professionals who truly care about your well-being. Our home-like atmosphere in residential centers means that you will be uninterrupted; you will be able to focus solely on your recovery. We will work with you every step of the way – act now by calling 844-406-1239.