New reforms at state level can tackle the opioid epidemic

New reforms at state level can tackle the opioid epidemic

Long-term use of opioids often causes an addiction that’s hard to forego. Something that starts off as a legal means to assuage chronic pain may soon turn into a cycle of abuse and gateway to other drugs. The constant abuse of opioids has also paved way to the abuse of heroin. The past few years have seen an unprecedented increase in heroin use as it is much cheaper and can be acquired easily through dealers.

As the rate of heroin usage increased, the nation saw an increase in the number of overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2014 to 2015, the rate of heroin overdose death rates increased by 20.6 percent and nearly 13,000 people died due to heroin overdose in 2015. A lot is being done to tackle the crisis through treatment-based researches and intervention approaches, educational initiatives targeting schools and communities, and overdose education and naloxone distribution programs. As the shift from pain pills to heroin deepens, a more stringent approach may be required at the state level involving collecting efforts of the health authorities, police and administrative departments. It’s time to examine matters at the micro level to fight the opioid crisis.

Need of an integrated approach

There has been a recent change in leadership of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS), which looks after the city’s mental health services and addiction treatments. The new commissioner David T. Jones, is known as a person who has “the knowledge, the vision and the ability to lead DBHIDS and ensure that those in need receive the best service and treatment possible,” according to Mayor Jim Kenney. With immense knowledge and years of experience in understanding behavioral health needs and bringing community-level change, Jones’ initiatives can offer the citizens a new ray of hope to reduce the number of fatalities. David will be leading the department responsible for implementing the recommendations brought forth in May by the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Crisis.

With many states declaring an emergency in response to the epidemic, another important development has been the coming together of various governors at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in July 2017. More than a dozen governors and health officials joined hands to share ideas and policies, stressing on the need for more reliable data to be collected at the state level to ensure the success of such policies. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo  mentioned about the success of peer recovery organizations in her state, while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper stressed on the importance of health insurance to ensure the success of the new programs. He also proposed providing earlier treatment to those affected to prevent their health from further deterioration and bring down incarceration rates.

Getting help is the key to recovery

Due to the stigma attached, drug users refrain from seeking help. Many of them do not even realize the harm that the drug causes to their emotional, psychological and physical health, and they continue using it as a means to suppress pain. The states need to adopt multi-dimensional approach to save lives of children and youth, especially, who easily fall prey to drug abuse.

If you know someone addicted to any prescription drugs, the Florida Prescription Addiction Helpline can connect you to the best prescription drug rehab centers in Florida where treatment programs are customized according to the patient’s needs. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-292-3211 or chat online with an expert to know in detail about prescription drug rehabilitation in Florida.

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