According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 72,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2017; a very substantial increase in statistics. With the rising number of overdoses, the most substantial increase occurs in the number of overdoses involving opioids. Opioids are common for treating acute pain and include such medications as morphine and fentanyl. Fentanyl is especially dangerous because it takes only a small amount for one to overdose and is often used to cut other drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Fentanyl has no taste or odor, making it undetectable to most people. For this reason, it is easy to see why President Trump declares an opioid emergency in the U.S. ― The question is how to end this problem.

Use Management Techniques

Some people think entirely blocking the use of opioids is the answer, but experts agree this could be more problematic than it is helpful. Opioids are useful after serious surgeries or other medical procedures that cause pain during recovery time. For this reason, executing better management is a more fit choice. Some management methods include prescribing lower doses and fewer pills at a time. People who need pain medication but have a history of addiction may also ask their doctors to work with a family member to help manage the pills and hopefully prevent the risk of addiction. Implicating improved management techniques will also require working with pharmacies, though they sometimes refuse to fill a prescription even if the doctor authorizes it.

Make It Easier to Get Treatment

Perhaps the biggest problem with the opioid crisis is that it is easier to get the drugs than it is to get treatment for the addiction. Only ten percent of Americans have access to specialty treatment for opioid addictions. While Congress has added more than $1 billion in addiction care via the 21st Century Cures Act, experts argue that battling the crisis will cost tens of billions of dollars and that there is still not enough money going towards proven treatment methods, including medication-assisted treatment.

Stop the Over-Prescription of Opioids

Sometimes, the doctors are at fault for the Trump opioid crisis. Though most of the time, it is not intentional, some doctors tend to over-prescribe these medications when a non-addictive medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen would work just as well. The number of doctors prescribing stronger medication than needed has fallen from its highest number in 2010, yet it is still more than three times higher than it was in 1999. With that being said, doctors who are unintentionally over-prescribing should undergo specialized training in pain management and the prescription of opioids.
If you are interested in learning more about the opioid emergency in America and how to get treatment, we can help. Contact Anthony Louis Center for more information.