Originally posted on https://www.kitv.com/story/40899042/how-to-solve-the-opioid-crisis-expert-insight
The opioid crisis is at epidemic levels with more than 700,000 people dying from overdoses between 1999 and 2017.
Everyone wants to know how to solve the opioid crisis. It’s a problem that kills people of all ages and backgrounds?
The key to stopping opioid addiction starts at the doctor’s office and ends in the halls of treatment centers across the country. Opioids cause severe withdrawal symptoms that in some cases can be deadly. We must help people suffering from addiction in a nonjudgmental and humane way.
Many people don’t become addicted to opioids through heroin or other illegal drugs. They become injured in an accident or are in pain after surgery. The doctor prescribes pain killers such as Vicodin or Percocet and it helps them deal with the pain.
After a while, it’s not about the pain anymore, but the feeling of euphoria that comes with taking the drugs. For people with chronic pain, they need more and more of the drugs to maintain the level of stability needed to survive.
Eventually, the doctor stops prescribing it. They crave the drug and end up getting it through illegal means. They soon move to harder drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
There are legitimate reasons why people need pain medication, but doctors need to treat the patient slowly and notice the signs of addiction. If a person can be stopped from becoming addicted at all, we’ve already won the battle.
Once a person is addicted to an opioid, their body needs it and without it, they’ll go through withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be devastating and they’ll lie, cheat and steal to get their next fix. They need professional help because they likely can’t kick it like cold turkey.
Anyone that has tried to quit smoking understands how difficult it can be, no ramp that up 1000 times and you can begin to understand what an opioid addict goes through.
There are many types of treatment including methadone and rapid detox. It’s only through proper and nonjudgmental treatment can they truly kick the habit. Many times, they don’t have health insurance to cover the cost of treatment.
Instead, they get arrested for possession or stealing and are sent to jail where they go through forced withdrawal without the benefit of counseling and health management.
If you want to truly end the opioid epidemic, then people need access to cost-effective and comprehensive help.
Opioid addiction impacts people of all ages and social backgrounds including the housewife in middle-class America, the CEO or major corporations and the janitor of your local grocery store.
Many times people feel stigma because they feel drug addiction is something that doesn’t happen to them. They’re embarrassed to discuss with their friends and family. It isn’t until things get bad and they start making bad decisions that it comes out.
We need to stop treating them as outcasts and instead embrace them and encourage them to get help.
Everyone wants to know how to solve the opioid crisis. The truth is that is going to take a long time to change the minds of politicians, doctors, and the general public. People deserve proper treatment and the opportunity for a full life.
If you want to learn more about opioid treatment or the crisis, then please explore our site.
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