THE DRUG CRISIS IN THE U.S.
Drug overdose is an issue that many states across the country are facing. This is an issue that continues to rise despite attempts to combat the issue. In 2018 alone there were 67,367 deaths from overdose reported in the United States. Although this number may seem like a lot it is actually 4.1% fewer deaths than were reported in 2017. There was a decline in overdoses. However, the number of people still dying due to an overdose is overall pretty high. Of those deaths, opioids were involved in 46,802 of the overdoses. That’s nearly 70% of all the overdoses. That is a very high number of overdoses that are attributed to opioids. Overdose deaths that involve synthetic opioids other than methadone continued to rise. In 2018 it accounted for 28,400 overdose deaths. However, when it came to prescription opioid deaths, the overall number declined.
Community and its Effects
The opioid crisis continues to be an issue in the United States. Medical professionals are continuing to prescribe opioids to patients in severe pain. The pills, however, can be extremely addictive. Patients should be made aware of the risks associated with taking this substance. However, the larger issue comes from the illegal selling of synthetic opioids. This is where most overdosing and deaths come from. Synthetic opioids often have other substances mixed into them.
The prevalence of drugs and addiction can have many negative influences on a community. It is important that these issues are addressed. Drug addiction can lead to an increase in crime and poverty. People should have information on the effects of substance abuse and what the signs that someone is addicted are. Every town and city should have resources available to help people struggling with addiction issues. It is important to know what is available near you.
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Opioids in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has its own struggle when it comes to opioid overdoses. In 2018 there were an estimated 43% of drug overdose deaths that involved opioids. This resulted in 308 deaths. Of those deaths, 84 involved synthetic opioids. Prescription opioid overdose deaths caused 172 deaths in 2018. This is a decline from 2017 in which 251 people died from prescription opioids. Having an opioid addiction is a serious issue. There are some addiction centers that focus specifically on this type of substance. It is important that individuals get help if needed.
Opioids are clearly an issue in Oklahoma. In 2018 alone, there were 79 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 patients seen. The United States average is 51.4 prescriptions for every 100 persons. That is a large amount of the population in Oklahoma that is receiving opioid prescriptions. It is important that there are resources in Oklahoma for individuals to access when having addiction issues. Treatment programs should be available in every town and city. There should also be plenty of preventative resources to help people stay clean and away from falling into substance abuse. Children should be educated in school on the effects addiction can have on one’s life and the community.
The Fight Against Opioid Addiction
Opioids are known to be misused by many patients. Around 21% to 29% of patients that are prescribed opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them. It is easy to start taking more and more pills over time. Due to the fact that it is a prescription it is also easy to keep getting more. Of those that misuse opioids, between 8% and 12% of those individuals end up with a disorder. A small number of those people also end up transitioning into heroin. Once one is addicted to one substance it becomes easier to transition into another substance as well. Injection drug use also contributes to the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. It is important that individuals are aware of these risks when they begin taking opioids. Many people may believe they have the self control to not become addicted. However, substances are very powerful. The effect they have on the brain can be overwhelming for many. It is often difficult for people to admit that they need help. It is also hard to actually accept that help.
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
The opioid crisis is a national health issue in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focuses on five major priorities when it comes to the opioid crisis. Firstly, they are trying to improve access to treatment and recovery services. Many people may not have access to addiction treatment that is in their city. Instead, they may have to travel far in order to receive treatment. It is important that all towns and cities are able to provide individuals with substance abuse treatment. Secondly, the Department of Health and Human Services is focusing on promoting the use of overdose-reversing drugs. The medication Naloxone is designed to quickly and effectively reverse an opioid overdose. This can save many lives every year.
Thirdly, the department wants to strengthen the understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance. The more that is understood about this crisis, the more effective things can be put into place to prevent future issues. Fourthly, the department wants to provide support for research on pain and addiction. The more that is known about pain and addiction the better. The more knowledge that the department has on what causes addiction, the better. That way they will be able to prevent addiction issues and help those suffering with it recover. Lastly, the department is advancing better practices for pain management. Opioids can’t consistently be the thing that doctors prescribe to patients for pain. There need to be more tools, medications, and resources when it comes to a patient’s pain. Patients should also be educated on the addiction issues associated with opioids.
When it comes to opioid addiction it is important that action is being taken at the state and federal level. Programs need to be made to fight this issue. Prevention methods in all states need to be put in place. Nobody should have to suffer alone with this addiction. It is important that people know there is help available.
TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE
The opioid overdose crisis is something that all states should be looking into. The National Institute of Health is helping to solve the opioid crisis in the United States. The institute is looking into ways to prevent the misuse of opioids. They are looking into safe and effective ways to manage chronic pain. This would include prescriptions that aren’t as addictive as opioids. The institute is also looking for medications and other technology that can treat opioid disorders. Across the country, the institute is also looking to improve overdose prevention and reversal interventions. Overall, they are looking to save lives and support people in their addiction recovery from opioid addiction.
There are treatment centers available for opioid addiction. If you or a loved one needs help look into treatment options in your area. There are plenty of options available based on what type of treatment you or a loved one needs. Finding the right treatment center can sometimes be hard. There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing a center? Do you have questions about treatment or addiction? We can help. Give us a call at 918-779-0011 today!