Almost everyone is aware to some extent by now that there is an opioid emergency in America, with Minnesota being affected just like everywhere else. But Minnesota state officials and local municipal governments are taking action to battle this pervasive and deadly threat with these 5 ways Minnesota is tackling the opioid crisis.
Passing New Legislation
State lawmakers are passing new legislation to increase the oversight of legal prescription drugs and grant more power to stem the flow of illegally produced drugs. This is complemented by actions being undertaken at the Federal level to keep fentanyl off the streets.
Suing Manufacturers Of Opioid Drugs
Though many drugs that kill people are illegally produced, a problem still exists with prescription pill opioids, and the manufacturers also allegedly bear responsibility for minimizing the risks of opioid-based pain medications in the past. One way in which Minnesota is tackling the crisis is by suing drug manufacturers. Such actions can potentially recover funds for dealing with the current crisis, and can also dissuade drug manufacturers from turning a blind eye to large orders of pills that are suggestive of abuse.
Finding New Funding For Treatment
Agents of the state are also seeking to expand treatment options by finding new funding and working to obtain available federal grants to bolster state resources that are available. This involves ensuring existing treatment programs are fully funded and also seeking out new medicines and treatments to help those affected to manage their drug addiction.
Stricter Guidelines For Prescriptions
The state is also using its power by warning doctors who benefit from its programs that they will no longer receive state payments if they continue to flout the new guidelines. These guidelines aim to limit reckless prescribing of powerful opioids that can easily lead to addiction. This includes prescribing opioids for shorter periods and requiring more doctor supervision, and encouraging the use of non-opioid alternatives for treating chronic conditions.
Improving Outreach And Education
This involves bringing the message home about the risks of abusing opioids of all forms and emphasizing that there are options for those who develop a problem. The emphasis is on managing the problem effectively with treatment and prevention, rather than viewing it simply as a law enforcement issue. This also involves teaching parents and guardians the signs of drug abuse in teens, so they can intervene more quickly.
If you know of a teen who is struggling with opioid addiction or any other type of drug problem, contact Anthony Louis Center to learn about programs and treatments that are available to help.