Our nation’s opioid epidemic is complicated and concerning. Thousands of lives are being lost needlessly due to opioid addiction and overdose. Education of prescribers and patients is desperately needed. Legislation can help to regulate opioids available on the market and how they may be used.
States must implement availability and training for the use of naloxone and opioid agonists for overdose and weaning. Healthcare professionals must learn to collaborate with pharmacists, nutritionists, and behaviorists who work with those who have chronic pain to offer more options for pain management. Schools and public officials such as law enforcement must be enabled to improve security that will dissuade drug sales.
These proposed strategies to fight our national opioid crisis are at various stages of development, and implementation and take time. The cost to implement programs, educate stakeholders, and evaluate any negative consequences to appropriate treatment plans for pain is considerable but necessary. Become and advocate for decisive government action to address this opioid epidemic.
In the meantime, small efforts can save lives. Your effort to learn more about the opioid epidemic is a beginning!
The ASAM Criteria; Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions, Third Edition.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V)