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Opioid Prescriptions: Dangers of Their Limits?

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs in Harford County

The discussion of the opioid epidemic won’t end until there are serious improvements in the number of people who are suffering from this addiction. As such, there needs to be a conversation about the advantages and disadvantages of the recently-mandated limits on the amount of opioid prescriptions that are allowed doctors.

Can People Be Hurt by Cutting Opioid Prescriptions?

Last month introduced “state-based opioid prescription limits” in a much-needed attempt to curb the over-prescribing of these drugs to patients, some of whom did not need them for pain management, or who did, and then developed an addiction as a result. It’s no question that these painkillers are dangerously addictive, but many doctors weren’t aware of the risks, or prescribed them despite those dangers. With the legal limits now, though, there have certainly been changes… but, are they more positive or negative?

“Currently, opioids are prescribed so readily that every household in the United States could have its own bottle.” That is obviously too high a number and it would be hard for anyone to believe that this excess is necessary. The imposing of this limit should curtail much of that, or so goes the logic behind the move. The difficulty in enforcing it lies in that patients can, unfortunately, cross state borders to seek out doctors who are less strict about these policies. There, they can receive the same prescriptions just a little farther away than before.

Another more pressing difficulty is that there are already multitudes of people who are suffering from addictions as a result of opioid prescriptions. They aren’t going to be helped by the prevention of future prescriptions if they are already in the throes of substance abuse. What this group needs is better and more accessible care: professionals to support them and to keep them on the right track. 

Despite these concerns, this is ultimately a good direction for the country. If people at large, particularly health professionals, begin to realize the extent of the damage that they’ve done or could do, then they’re more likely to take more responsible action. They will likely work more closely with researchers and with others in the field to develop safe ways to combat pain while keeping their patients from the threat of addiction. This is the goal, however distant it may seem at the moment.

In order for doctors to help their patients, though, the doctors themselves need some help. “Doctors receive little to no training in addiction identification or treatment,” and this is obviously a major road block in the process. They don’t need to come out being addiction specialists, but there has to be some kind of basic level of understanding so that they can have a better grasp of what their patients might need. A person who better knows the risk of addiction is less likely to dole out highly-addictive opioid prescriptions, after all.

Those who are already using these medications can’t suddenly stop using them, of course; there has to be a tapering off of the substance so the individual doesn’t go into withdrawal. There are a lot of steps that can and should be taken to protect those who have chronic pain and who are struggling to recover from an addiction to these pills. It’s everyone’s job to push ahead and develop helpful strategies for all involved.

Get in touch with The Bergand Group if you yourself are addicted to opioids. 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]

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