Opioids, which are mostly used to relieve chronic pain and produce morphine-like effects, have become a serious public health issue due to illicit recreational use. These drugs are highly addictive and quickly build up tolerance in the body making it necessary to take more and more to feel the “high,” causing serious illness and respiratory deaths. Doctors are less and less likely to prescribe these opioids, but the illegal sales of opioids are at an all time high. Deaths are double that of heroin usage, and half of those deaths have prescriptions! Can you believe this? National Health Care needs to take responsibility. When prescribing these drugs doctors need to be more aware of the psychological profile of their patients. Any depression and opioids should not be prescribed. Alternative methods should be used or counseling mandatory with use.
But the illegal selling is triple that of heroin. How can we help this problem? Simple: Teach prevention. We need free clinics, with fewer stigmas to drug addition. We need these clinics to help these people become clean and find them jobs. We need better medical for free counseling to help with everyday stresses. Because many opioid users are actually stay-at-home moms and college students suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression! Not street beggars. We need early intervention at schools, more free awareness programs that include opioids and prescription medication as opposed to just drinking and hardcore drugs. Early prevention is the key to any addiction we have seen this with the decline in cigarette usage and cocaine among the youth. We need more education and access to counseling.
For helping those addicted now, we need more access to Naloxone or Narcan as its prescribed. This drug has been around since the 1960s and considered one of the most effective and safe medicines and it is extremely cost effective. However, insurance companies are charging $4,500 for two auto-injector kits which are ridiculous! This medicine is readily available and cheap to make there need to be laws in effect that these kits are distributed at a more cost-effective price point to police, EMS, and hospitals. EMS and police should have kits in their cars to inject it intravenously to help overdoses and this should not burden our taxpayers. Not to mention if doctors simply prescribed the pill with the opioid it can decrease the risk of misuse.
This is an epidemic and we have the means to help but we aren’t putting in the necessary work to combat this.
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