Opioids are a certain class of narcotics, and have been commonly used in prescription medications that are used to numb acute pain. In some cases, these medicines are needed, especially among cancer patients and those who have sustained severe spinal injuries. Even though opioids are extremely efficient at giving patients some relief, they are also very addictive. Extended use of opioids often leads to dependency on these medicines to treat pain, with thousands succumbing to opioid addiction every year. Due to the huge risk of opioids and the recent related addiction crisis, societies are now trying to find ways to combat their overuse.
If you are interested in knowing more about how modern societies deal with the opioid crisis, just check out the next few points.
The first step to eliminate the opioid crisis is to prevent unsuspecting citizens from even approaching this pitfall. Many countries have recently launched more awareness campaigns to inform the public about the dangerous side effects of opioid misuse. By harnessing the power of the mass media and even social media platforms, governments can now reach a wider audience, thus helping uproot this problem. These campaigns also aid people in identifying the signs of opioid addiction, which, in turn, will transform normal citizens to key actors. By learning about how they can deal with this addiction, people can now stage interventions and help their friends or relatives once they notice the telltale signs of drug misuse. Currently, societies also focus on teenagers in particular because they are more susceptible to addiction. Visiting schools is now an integral part of any awareness campaign.
If the worst comes to the worst, many governments provide opioid addicts with the required facilities to support their treatment. Also, an important factor that some societies take into consideration is eliminating the stigma surrounding addiction. According to the British experts at rehabclinic.org.uk, people are more likely to seek help if they think that their addiction is not something to be ashamed of. Falling victim to opioid addiction can be sudden; it is a slippery slope. So, by encouraging people to reach out, governments can partially solve this crisis. In addition, ensuring that rehab facilities have trained personnel can go a long way towards giving patients a speedier recovery.
Restricting the Use of Opioids
Opioids should never be prescribed haphazardly. In this spirit, the authorities are continuously trying to limit the use of opioids by ensuring that doctors are aware of their dangers and the limited cases where they can be used. Similarly, doctors are seeking new less-addictive methods of pain management. As mentioned before, opioids are indispensable in some cases; thus, pharmacists should always monitor the patients who come to purchase such medications. Most governments around the world are facilitating the process of reporting opioid addicts and enabling pharmacists to take on a more effective role in breaking this vicious cycle.
Drug abuse can be fatal, leading to overdoses. Every year, thousands of opioid addicts overdose. Therefore, societies are taking a stand to save these precious lives. In 2019, the U.S. budget allocated $74 million to the resources directed towards procuring overdose-reversing medicines. Additionally, hospitals are now training their staff in using these medications to save lives and handling overdose cases in the ER.
Delivering Better Statistics
An important aspect of stopping the opioid crisis in its tracks is research. The more the authorities conduct research, the more they are able to face the problem. By having clear statistics indicating the number of opioid addicts, as well as their age and gender, can greatly help in determining which groups are more vulnerable to this issue. Reports and statistics also show how well the government’s efforts are working so far and the strategies that were effective in curbing this addiction in the past. All this crucial information helps societies to better understand the crisis and effectively deal with it.
Allotting More Funds
Since all the above strategies would not be possible without proper funding, all states are exerting strenuous efforts to provide anti-addiction awareness campaigns, rehab facilities, researchers, and hospitals with the needed money to actually implement these plans. For instance, in 2017, the U.S. offered $800 million as grants to back up opioid addiction prevention and recovery programs.
With the rise of the opioid crisis worldwide, all societies are striving to find new strategies to deal with it. Nothing can be more heartbreaking as addiction, especially if it is caused by a drug that is supposed to help patients manage pain. However, people must know that opioids are not inherently bad, but their misuse is. So, now that you know how countries handle this crisis, do not hesitate to reach out for help.