Lisa Stone en Opioid Abuse Prevention, Lifestyle, Social Media Co-Founder • Lake County-Vernon Township Coalition for Safe Drinking Water and The Clean Water Act 13/4/2018 · 1 min de lectura · +300

Opioid Crisis Overview

Opioid Crisis Overview

As a public, we need to recognize the very real and very dangerous opioid crisis that this country faces. In the Midwest alone, emergency rooms have seen a 66 percent jump in visits related to opioid overdoses. That number could be even worse, experts say. It’s quite possible that it’ll be higher because sometimes, people who have overdosed don’t even make it to the emergency room.

With such staggering numbers and an administration in the White House that has declared the epidemic an emergency, one would think that funding would be made available to help combat the epidemic. There has been a lot of talk within Congress and the supporting members about ways to help fight this epidemic but no action has truly been taken. Experts have equated this inaction to someone seeing a burning building on fire, shouting that there is a fire, but not actually calling the fire department and simply watching the building burn.

There are new forms of opioids entering the country every day and they are much more powerful than the opioids that were being abused even as recent as five years ago. Fentanyl seems to be the choice opioid that people are experiencing overdoses on. The Fentanyl that is being used today has a much smaller margin when it comes to the danger of overdosing and people that use it aren’t aware of this smaller margin or even what drug they have.

Rather than sending patients home from the hospital after reviving them from an overdose, emergency room nurses and doctors should be trained further on how to handle those situations. They should be offering to follow up after the patients visit to see if there’s any help they can provide in regards to treatment options. By allowing patients to simply leave the hospital without letting them know what options are available for treatment, the addition and abuse cycle continues.

The opioid crisis is something that can be fought but we have to have a government that is willing to do something about it. Complacency within the government and a lack of transparency at the state and federal levels will only make the crisis work. For more information on government transparency, please visit my site lisastonebuffalogrove.org.


Originally published on lisastonebuffalogrove.com


Claire L Cardwell 16/4/2018 · #5

#4 It is unfair, @Lisa Stone - so many people pop the pills their Doc's prescribe them like candy, not even bothering to check with Dr Google (or indeed to read the package insert) especially concerning side-effects, addiction, drug-drug interactions and the long term health effects... Despite being on the 'no fly' list for Benzodiazepines I can still easily get a script - it's scarey!

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Lisa Stone 16/4/2018 · #4

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Claire, great point about the doctors prescribing dangerous and addictive drugs. It would better serve the doctors to have make med agreements a common practice not just a case by case basis. Med agreement would be something like a contract almost that a patient signs stating they have been counseled on what can happen if you're taking an addictive drug for too long. I'm not sure if it would seem like the federal government was trying to control the citizens by enforcing these agreements in a binding fashion. But, it's something that is at least worth a discussion by our lawmakers. Though it seems they'd rather stick a band-aid over the issue, as you mentioned. It's just unfair.

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Lisa Stone 16/4/2018 · #3

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Thanks for reading, Sandra! I see your point about reallocation from an existing budget. I think this may pair well together with my concerns I have about our government transparency or lack thereof. We don't quite know, as citizens, where exactly our tax dollars are being spent. When we request that information, sometimes we get blocked because it's an issue of "national security" or some other statute that allows the federal government to withhold pertinent information.

So, long story short, I don't quite have an answer to your point about reallocation for more funding. I wish there was more information available to us as citizens to provide such an answer. Alas, here we are! I appreciate you reading the post and your response. I quite agree with you that the desire to change or end an addiction starts with the individual its directly affecting. That said, I still think there needs to be more programs in place for education to help prevent addictions from starting. It's such a vicious cycle, it unfortunately seems.

Thanks again for reading and commenting!

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Claire L Cardwell 15/4/2018 · #2

@Lisa Stone thanks for this post, benzodiazepine abuse here in SA is a very real problem - when that's linked with alcohol abuse (as it all too often is) then we really have an issue and now opiate addiction is creeping in on this side of the world too. Seems like most government's answers to this crisis is to rant about it a bit in Parliament/Senate and stick a band-aid over the problem.

It needs to be treated at grass roots level too. Why are doctors prescribing such dangerous and addictive drugs? Are they monitoring their patients for signs of abuse? Why aren't they using alternative treatment plans?

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sandra smith 14/4/2018 · #1

I hate to say it, Lisa, but having experienced healthcare on both sides of the Atlantic, I don't think things will change much anytime soon. Apart from drug companies being sued and doctors now accusing people with legitimate pain issues of drug-hunting, leading to more misery if that pain cannot be dealt with in other ways.

While the UK health system is far from perfect, some would say close to breaking point in some areas (emergency roooms being one), at least most people know how to get "free" help for addiction issues if they need it.

(I put "free" in quotations because our taxes are *much* higher than yours to pay for socialised healthcare, education, and social security.)

You say the opioid problem needs more funding and meaningful attention- and while I agree - that funding has to be raised by taxation, borrowing or reallocation of existing budget. What would you reallocate? Public school funding? Grants for immigrant business owners? Etc...

Ultimately, how successeful the help addicted people receive is long term depends in large part on the individual and their desire to change, not simply how good the resources available to them are - although that is of course a factor. NA and AA do not cost anything and work for many.

But having counselling and detox programmes available is certainly better than nothing for those that need help not just for opiate addiction but alcohol etc too.

Anyone who risks their life knowingly or unknowingly with fentanyl or a derivative probably doesnt feel they have much to live for. Arguably, that's what needs to be addressed, but of course a much bigger socio-economic challenge.

Good topic, thanks for posting.

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