AMERICAN OPIOIDS EPIDEMIC
When seeking to address the 21st-century addiction epidemic, one of the first lessons to learn is that this is not a new problem.
For decades, drug addiction has been a problem in the United States. We continuously see the daily headlines of terror and trauma relating to addiction. We are inclined to think that this is a new problem. In actual fact, this is not a new problem at all. There is just more of the problem.
The issue with opioid pain relievers has the appearance of one of those unsolvable paradoxes. If we reduce access to opioid pharmaceuticals considerably, patients who experience chronic and severe pain issues might not be able to access pain relief. But in that same token, if we continue to accept opioid pharmaceuticals as standard medical practice and utilize them to the degree that we are, millions of Americans will become addicted to them, and thousands will die from overdoses on them. That is the brutal truth of the matter.
For some time now we have known that our nation’s drug crisis will not resolve with only government action alone. It’s become apparent, now twenty years into the largest addiction epidemic that our country has likely ever seen, that curbing drug addiction within our communities will take community action, as well as federal and state support.
Let’s talk about one of the most controversial subjects in pharmaceutical prescribing. This is the current proposal for reducing opioid prescribing to curb the opioid epidemic.
In my morning reading, I happened across an article in U.S. News which discussed the disparity of the opioid crisis in America. The report, written by Robert Preidt, a HealthDay reporter, focused on the opioid turmoil as it has touched down in Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, and Ohio.
I went a few years without listening to the radio. Premium memberships to online streaming stations, why bother? But a few days ago I was driving across the state, coincidentally through an internet dead zone.
According to The Associated Press , eleven “abuse-deterrent” opioid pain reliever drugs are available, with thirty more in development. Talk to any doctor in America today about pain relief, and odds are you’ll hear the phrase, “abuse-deterrent” more than once.
In just about every unpleasant factor or daily occurrence in life, we have the stereotypical concept of what we think of when we think of that thing, and then there is the factor of what actually occurs. Sometimes they are not the same thing.
The United States is struggling with a health epidemic, a crippling crisis that affects more than forty percent of the U.S. population. It started as a problem. By 2006 it was a crisis. In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labeled it an epidemic.