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How to tackle the opioid epidemic
Opioid addiction severely alters the brain and brings about a drastic change in its functioning. Attaining sobriety is a long and arduous journey requiring intense treatment and coping with multiple relapses.
President Barack Obama seeking nearly $1.1 billion in his final budget, for financial year 2017, to combat opioid addiction echoes the gravity of the situation. He called for better access to treatment, research on effective addiction programs and cures, and scaling up preventive measures.
There is indeed a serious dearth of adequate treatment, especially for the young addicts. Unless there is an upsurge in treatment facilities and innovation throughout the country, opioid addiction would continue to spread its tentacles.
More beds for addicts
Unavailability of beds to treat addicts in hospitals has proved to be a bane in this crusade against opioid epidemic. It has now become imperative to better the capacity at the earliest. It’s also a responsibility of the hospitals and treatment centers across the country to create facilities for more patients to provide them detox treatment.
The Bed Availability Dashboard launched by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services is a big step in this direction. The dashboard shows the availability of space in state-certified alcohol and substance abuse treatment centers.
Lauded by many, this step is going to help addicts look for treatment in a big way. People scouting for rehabs can find out the status of seat availability at a particular treatment center. For instance, a bed availability dashboard in California can help find a bed at, say, Riverside Drug Treatment & Rehab Center.
Another preeminent step is to empower more and more people like nurses and physician assistants to prescribe certain addiction treatment medications like buprenorphine (Suboxone). As of now, only certified doctors are eligible to prescribe these medicines, permissible under the law of the land.
But their reach is limited and curtailed because patients outnumber them by a huge margin. A part of the White House plan is to start a pilot project to provide license to practicing nurses and doctor’s assistants to prescribe the opioid treatment medicines.
Nipping it in the bud
Prevention is always better than cure. It is even more relevant in case of an opioid addiction. Receiving treatment after being addicted is wastage of resources, health and peace of mind. The best way is to nip it in the bud. Early treatment is better than availing comprehensive treatment in a reputed detox center.
The combatheroin.ny.gov reveals that more teens are seeking treatment for opioid addiction than adults. Nine out of 10 teens confess that they started abusing opioids even before they turned 18. This should send a stern signal to schools and other institutions, where most of the children start abusing opioids. Budgetary constraints need to be contained enabling these institutions to dispel this spreading pandemic.
The way forward
Getting enrolled into a detox center with a good track record is crucial to achieving sobriety. Hence, if you or a loved one in the family is struggling with opioid addiction, call at our 24/7 helpline number 951-221-4018. The dedicated members at the Riverside Drug Treatment Rehab Center are committed to assist you through the detox process until there is complete recovery.