Not for the first time, it’s become clear that those with the power to do something about the current opioids epidemic need to take more decisive action. “With over 33,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2015, there is an acute need to find solutions to get the epidemic under control.” So, what has our government done to aid in this endeavor, and what can it do?
Preventing New Opioids Addictions
“Legally prescribed opiate pain pills” are one of the root causes of this massive issue. Like Obama before him, our current President has announced his intentions to combat this issue and to lessen the startling opioids epidemic statistics within the country. To that effect, a task force has recently been created with its intentions being to encourage more responsibility about prescribers, among other things.
Of course, the government, its task force, and those who write the prescriptions are not the only ones called upon to take action in this case. The public at large needs to embrace much more comprehensive education about addiction and everything associated with the subject (and with this particular epidemic). They also have to be more receptive to alternative methods to treatment, and though these alternatives may be more difficult to embrace than opioids, they will also, most likely, not come with the same deadly results.
Returning to education: many of those who actually write prescriptions for these drugs “may not fully understand the addictive potential and diversion issues (others misusing a patient’s pain pills) related to these medications.” How, then, can we aid these professionals in their need to become more aware of the responsibility that they hold? One suggestion is “by integrating prescribing guidelines and information on addiction potential into continuing education credits prescribers are required to take.” Of course, those guidelines have to come from somewhere, and that education has to be stressed greatly by higher-ups.
The bottom line is that people on all levels of this situation, from the President down to the ‘common man,’ need to increase their education and awareness not only of the dire state of the opioids epidemic, but also of the possible solutions that could be implemented to combat this situation. Simply warning people of the dangers, a strategy that has existed for decades, has little proven successful. Rather, the push should not be one of fear, but a call for education, for people to engage in an open dialogue about the realities of drug use with others and with their doctors.
One such potential ‘solution’ is medicated assisted treatment. Though many are hesitant to “substitute one drug with another,” this form of treatment actually has been shown to have proven, positive results. Such benefits are said to include “physical relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms that enables an individual to engage in therapy and make the required lifestyle changes.” These are obviously all crucial to a full recovery, and so it’s at least worth considering as a method of reducing the effects of an addiction to prescription pills.
Finally, the criminalization of those in possession of certain drugs often prevents them from receiving the treatment that they need. When these people are incarcerated or just plain mistreated for drug possession, they are not able to work toward sobriety, to find help for their addiction and to reduce the numbers associated with the current opioids epidemic.
If you or someone you care about is looking for help in recovering from an addiction of any kind, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]