How is America Affected by Healthcare Policies Due to the Opioid Epidemic?

Opioid Epidemic

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 11.5 million people misused prescription opioids, 116 people died each day from opioid-related drug overdoses, and 2.1 million people were classified as having an opioid-use disorder. The government’s Opiate Action Team began working on this years ago, and several initiatives were outlined by Dr. Francis Collins, NIH director and others from the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in April of 2017. Here is a summary of the policies they discussed:

  • Improve access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services
  • Target the availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs
  • Strengthen public health data reporting and collection
  • Support cutting-edge research that advances our understanding of pain and addiction
  • Advance the practice of pain management to enable access to high quality, evidence-based pain care

Since the latest meeting declaring these initiatives, many have wondered if the government’s efforts have truly saved lives and if our country is going in the right direction. If you are struggling with opioid addiction, you may relate.

According to Business Insider, many people who experience pain due to conditions such as sickle cell anemia, nerve pain, and debilitating migraines are afraid their prescription medications will no longer be refilled or will be denied altogether. Chronic pain, otherwise known as pain that lasts beyond 12 weeks, is a reality for many people and while some have been able to rely on technology, meditation, yoga, and more, others state that pain medications are the only thing that works. One person who has experienced chronic pain for 15 years from diabetic neuropathy stated, “We’re treated like drug addicts”.

Aside from the concerns of many who rely solely on painkillers, it seems that healthcare policies could go either way. Vox states that while we’ll have to see what continues to happen with the opioid epidemic, there are essentially 2 important concerns that must take place: 1) people with opioid addiction need resources, support, education and treatment to fully recover and not go on to use other addictive drugs, and 2) generations who have not yet become addicted need education, support, and resources to help prevent them from reaching addiction.

If you’re currently dealing with addiction, make the decision to reach out for help today. There are so many people who want to see you overcome this. You are not alone.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center in Huntington Beach, CA. If you struggle with substance abuse, make the decision to take back control over your life by seeking help. Call us today at 888-743-0490 for a consultation. Now is your time.