What is the number of lives that need to be taken before a problem is acknowledged as a pressing issue? Elijah Cummings, a US politician, states “More than 26,000 lives may be lost to the effects of drug abuse this year. This tragic impact is felt in communities across this great nation,” many of whom are not trying enough to attempt to alleviate this problem. Opioids are, throughout the US, consistently over prescribed and ineffectively regulated, leading to overuse and abuse of opioids becoming a pandemic in the United States.
Tennessee is one of the states hit hardest by the nation’s opioid epidemic which began about 20 years ago and had a stark increase since 2009, now reaching unprecedented levels across the county with a 200% increase in the rate of deaths involving opioids (Rudd, Aleshire, Zibbell, & Gladden, 2016; Fletcher, 2016). In Tennessee specifically, it is estimated that about 1 in 6 abuse opioids; the CDC estimates that for every one person who dies from an opioid overdose in Tennessee there are 851 others in the state who are in various stages of their abuse, misuse, and treatment; and the most recent statistics show that opioid overdoses alone make up about 7.7% of deaths in Tennessee, making them responsible for more deaths than car accidents in the state (Botticelli, 2016; Rudd, Aleshire, Zibbell, & Gladden, 2016; Fletcher, 2016; ONDCP, 2016; Thompson, 2016).
The opioid problem is big. The fact that multiple parties (FDA, Pharmacies, Doctors) are involved make the problem even more complex and difficult to fix. One of the best ways to begin helping the opioid crisis is within the FDA. The different types of opioids need to be re-tested to evaluate their necessity within our healthcare system. Too many readily available opioids are not beneficial. Next are doctors need to be taught to stand up again big pharmaceutical companies. These companies have their priority in profit, not patient care. Hopefully by implementing these factors, the opioid crisis can become a problem of the past.
Opioid addiction is so prevalent in the healthcare system because of the countless number of hospital patients being treated for chronic pain. While opioid analgesics have beneficial painkilling properties, they also yield detrimental dependence and addiction. There is a legitimate need for the health care system to provide powerful medications because prolonged pain limits activities of daily living, work productivity, quality of life, etc. (Taylor, 2015). Patients need to receive appropriate pain treatment, however, opioids need to be prescribed after careful consideration of the benefits and risks.
There have been several news coverages on TV and social network about drug overdose of different cases recently and they have risen people’s concern about the problems of drug abuse national-wide. The drug abuse and opioid epidemic is not a new problem to the American society, actually it has been a serious problem for many years. So what is the situation of drug epidemic now, and how can we find effective ways to deal with this problem? A few writers who ponder this question are Nora D. Volkow, Dan Nolan and Chris Amico.
The United States currently faces an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. This includes painkillers, heroin, and other drugs made from the same base chemical. In the couple of years, approximately one out of twenty Americans reported misuse or abuse of prescriptions painkillers. Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise and are the leading cause of injury deaths, surpassing car accidents and gun shots. The current problem differs from the opioid addiction outbreaks of the past in that it is also predominant in the middle and affluent classes. Ultimately, anyone can be fighting a battle with addiction and it is important for family members and loved ones to know the signs. The cause for this epidemic is that the current spike of opioid abuse can be traced to two decades of increased prescription rates for painkillers by well-meaning physicians.
If you watch the news it should come as no surprise that drug abuse and overdoses have increased dramatically in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as 36 million people abuse opioids throughout the world with 2.1 million in the U.S. who currently suffer from opioid abuse disorders (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014). These astonishing numbers are only marginalized when comparing them to opioid related deaths in the United States. With an increase of 137 percent since 2000, deaths from drug overdoses now occur 1.5 times more often than deaths from motor vehicle accidents (Rudd Aleshire, Zibbell & Gladden, 2016). The opioid epidemic in the
The opioid crisis has affected me personally. Three years ago, my biological father overdosed and died. He had been taking a lot of pills ( far more than what was prescribed) for quite some time. He had overdosed multiple times before it finally killed him. My youngest brother (whom my father raised), is unfortunately addicted to heroin now. He is only 21 years old, and sadly I feel he is following in our father's footsteps.
In the article, “Don’t blame addicts for America’s opioid crisis. Here are the real culprits” by Chris McGreal, America’s widespread opioid problem is discussed. Primarily, McGreal points the finger at multiple sources such as the FDA, pharmaceutical companies, and the government for aggravating the opioid problem. According to the author, “America’s opioid crisis was caused by rapacious pharma companies, politicians who colluded with them and regulators who approved one opioid pill after another” (McGreal). However, McGreal believes that there are multiple causes for the deadly opioid epidemic that exists today. Next, McGreal states that money is one of the main reasons for the epidemic of opioids. The author asserts that patients are given
The United states has taken consistent efforts to control the distribution and manufacture of medications and other drugs, with many efforts regulate possession importation and sales of various types of drugs. While there are several historic pieces of legislation that deal with the regulation and control of various substances, there is no other single piece of legislation that is an important and impactful to health care as the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This essay will explore the history of this legislation, its purpose and passage from proposal to law. Some may argue American this is true for American society as a whole, because of the implementation of this law and the addition of the Drug enforcement Agency as the agency that
Whether the opioids were prescribed to the user or if they were taken recreationally by buying it off the street, opioid addiction and deaths has risen dramatically. In Boston alone from 2012 to 2015 opioid related deaths have more than doubled; slowly climbing from 64 to 136 deaths.1 Fortunately, these numbers have not gone unnoticed. Government grants and agencies as well as local programs have been working hard to reduce this epidemic. Boston is a very big city filled with vast diversity. There are beautiful gardens in the Commons, amazing food in the North end, exciting plays and ballets in the Art district and historical buildings and stories that date back to the beginning of America. Boston is the home of 35 colleges and universities
In the article, Oaklawn responds to opioid epidemic through a variety of treatment methods, Oaklawn shares how the opioid epidemic came to be and how they are geared to resolve the issue. The opioid epidemic started when physicians in the 1980’s, 90’s and 00’s thought that the only way to treat chronic pain was to keep giving their patients an increase in the pain medications. Physicians are now recognizing their mistake in doing this and are now working together to find a way to help people struggling with opioid addiction.
Although the English word “drug” was only coined in the early 1300’s, humans have been partaking in the recreational use of substances since prehistoric times. Hallucinogens, alcohol, and opium existed before 6,000 BC; alcohol and tobacco use were common in the 1600’s ; and cocaine, LSD, marijuana, and heroin use rampaged in the last century despite harsh laws put in place.
The opioid crisis was caused by a variety of factors, but the main reason why these drugs are in the spotlight is because of the actions of the drug manufacturers. In order to fully understand the spark of the opioid crisis, it is imperative to understand what makes these drugs so potent. Writer and crime journalist Sam Quinones states that opioids are synthetic drugs. Naturally sourced drugs, known as opiates, are derived from the opium poppy plant. However, experts use both of these terms interchangeably. The use of opioids grew around the late 90s, and legally, most people used these drugs for pain relief. However, the people that were using these drugs had little information as to how addicting opioids actually were. In fact, opioids are
As we see the further progression of the opioid epidemic within the United States, pharmacists become the frontlines to recognizing and providing care for these patients. It is however difficult to provide care for a patient when even the professionals within the medical community have an associated stigma attached to the use of these drugs. Patients who have a need for these painkillers recognize this stigma, and by doing so decide to avoid consulting their doctors and do not seek the care which they need. They do this to avoid the discriminatory treatment they receive both within and on the outside of the healthcare system, and to avoid the legal repercussions associated with the misuse and abuse of these products1. It is therefore the pharmacists' job to avoid the stigmatization of these people and respect those who use these treatments for legitimate medical purposes.