The opioid crisis continues to rage on in America, with everyone from those personally affected by it to politicians scratching their heads about what to do. As the death toll continues to rise year by year, society is trying to keep up and put various rules into place to help those who are addicted, and also to prevent new addictions. It is no small task – over two million people in the US alone struggle with opioid addiction, and more and more are facing addiction every day.
Curbing the Opioid Crisis
A big problem with the opioid crisis is the fact that the majority of addictions begin in the doctor’s office. A patient goes in for a routine procedure and walks out with a prescription for oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, or something in that family. The doctor fails to warn them about the addictive nature of the medication in their possession. Even if the patient takes their medication as directed, it can be habit forming, producing unpleasant effects as soon as they stop taking their pills.
As more and more people continue to get addicted, we are left scrambling to pick up the pieces. It is essential for those who are addicted to opioids to get help and get clean as soon as possible. On a personal level, it is important to be informed about any drugs you are prescribed and not to just trust your doctor. Make sure to read up on any pills you and your family members are taking so that you know what to watch for. This can prevent an opioid addiction from starting in the first place.
Changing the trend of the opioid crisis is kind of like turning a huge ship around. It isn’t happening overnight and the process is going slow. However, the rules are changing when it comes to opioids. You may notice more scrutiny when you go to the doctor’s office. Many doctors aren’t as eager to hand out prescriptions, and for good reason. Many addicts “doctor shop” meaning they go to different doctors for the same prescription. This is the only way to keep u with their habit. Doctors who care about causing addiction aren’t likely to hand out dangerous pills to new patients. Pharmacies also have the right to deny giving out any narcotics at their discretion.
What Florida is Doing to Combat the Crisis
In Florida, there is a proposal out for a three-day-limit on opioid prescriptions. Governor Rick Scott’s plan is to put a tighter leash on prescribed opiates in the state so that people are less likely to abuse them. This legislation would require that all Florida doctors who prescribe medication participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to reduce the instances of over prescribed opiates. Only for people who meet strict guidelines, they will have a seven day supply that gets close monitoring with use. CVS, the large pharmacy, is following suit by limiting any opioid prescriptions to a seven day supply.
Getting Help During the Opioid Crisis
For those who are fighting opioid addiction, the scary reality always exists that an overdose can happen. To help save people at risk of overdose, Narcan has been made more available. Almost all first-responders carry it, and many states hand it out to high-risk populations and sell it also. Narcan can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose and saves lives.
While the rules are slowly shifting, the opioid crisis still rages out of control, destroying people’s lives left and right. Opioid use does not restrict to a certain part of the country, a certain race, or a certain socio-economic group. It affects everyone, and no one is immune. On a personal level, the best thing to do is educate yourself as much as possible. This way, you can avoid you or your loved ones becoming a victim to the opioid epidemic.