Opioid Crisis: What Are The Solutions?
The opioid crisis affects people from all walks of life. For more than two decades, the epidemic has been unfolding. Opioid-related deaths have been increasing. The epidemic has been defying the efforts put towards combating it. Today, opioid abuse is a major problem in the public health sector. This explains why the crisis is now getting focused attention from more stakeholders in the government. Basically, there is no single cause of illegal opioids abuse or a single party that is responsible for the epidemic. Similarly, the opioid crisis doesn’t have a single solution.
Causes of the Opioid Crisis
The number of people seeking help with opioid-related problems in free rehab centres (check here) is increasing by the day. But, what exactly is the cause of the opioid crisis? Well, there are many possible causes of this crisis.
The social upheaval experienced in the society over the past decades is one of the major possible causes of the opioid crisis. The society has faced rising wealth inequality, poverty, and unemployment levels over the past decades. This can be attributed to neoliberal austerity measures as well as the fraying social safety net. Social capital has been supplanted by hopelessness and isolation feelings in disadvantaged communities. Meanwhile, the government has used drug interdiction efforts, which have led to the upsurge of the deadly, synthetic alternatives in the black market.
The result of these processes that seem disparate is what the society is facing today – increasing opioid overdoses and diseases caused by despair. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services attributes the crisis to the pharmaceutical companies. In the 1990s, these companies made a reassurance that opioid pain relievers would not lead to addictive behaviours among patients. Therefore, healthcare providers started prescribing them at higher rates.
Increased opioid medications’ prescription led to their widespread misuse before the realisation that the medications were highly addictive. Today, people seeking free drug addiction help developed the problem while trying to relieve minor pains with opioid medication.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids are currently the major causes of deaths from drug overdose. 47,600 overdose deaths involved opioids in 2017. This is about 67.8% of all drug overdose deaths. Drug overdose caused a total of 70,237 deaths in the US in 2017. Clearly, the opioid crisis needs urgent intervention from all stakeholders. Everybody is a stakeholder in combating the opioid crisis. Here are possible solutions to the opioid crisis.
People that might misuse prescription medication as well as dentists and doctors that over-prescribe drugs should be educated about the effects of their actions. Free drug and alcohol classes can be offered by the state, especially to young people with easy access to illicit drugs.
Criminal laws should be enforced by going after the opioid traffickers and dealers in a more aggressive way. These are the people that profit from the deaths and miseries of others. Drug dealers push heroin on individuals that are already affected by the opioid crisis. Heroin is readily available, cheaper, and deadlier than prescription opioids.
Effective treatment is crucial when dealing with the opioid crisis. Some people affected by the opioid crisis need free drug addiction treatment because they can’t afford paid treatment. Medication assisted treatments play a significant role in promoting recovery, especially when combined with community support and therapy.
In nutshell, combating the opioid crisis requires changes in different policies and involvement of different stakeholders. Possible solutions include prevention through education, enforcing the criminal laws, and promoting access to treatment.