Inadvertent opioid overdose is among the most common causes of death in people who are addicted to opioids. In 2016, there were more than 53, 000 deaths in the U.S due to opioid overdose (Gomes et al, 2018). The marked increase in the incidence of opioid addiction is the main cause of morbidity and mortality allied to opioids (Dasgupta et al, 2015). Opioid Addiction Crisis in the U.S Essay
The misattribution of the opioid crisis to nonmedical uses instead of opioid addiction has thwarted efforts to tackle opioid crisis since focus is directed on policies for preventing nonmedical usage of opioids rather than committing resources to prevent and treat opioid addiction for both medical use and non-medical use (Gomes et al, 2018).
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Accordingly, because of the apparent opioid crisis that is causing high mortality rate as a result of addiction, it is necessary to come up with strategies to curb and prevent opioid addiction. Strategies should include interventions that focus on preventing opioid addiction and effective treatment of the addiction (Volkow & McLellan, 2016).
For primary prevention, a policy that obligates healthcare providers to ensure careful prescription of opioids for acute and chronic pain should be implemented (Dart et al, 2015). The government should also launch campaigns to educate healthcare providers about opioid addiction, as well as risks associated with regarding risks associated with opioids. Moreover, the prescriber education should focus on correcting misperceptions regarding the safety and efficacy of opioids as pain relievers.
Opioids should be replaced with non-opioid analgesics. In addition, some manufacturers should be obligated to reformulate opioids to ensure they are not easily misused. For instance, manufacturers should formulate administration of opioids through intranasal or injection route, rather than through oral route (Volkow & McLellan, 2016). Since there are also individuals addicted to opioids who use opioids for non-medical uses, more stringent prescribing rules and regulations should be implemented to prevent the use of opioids for nonmedical uses (Gomes et al, 2018). Opioid Addiction Crisis in the U.S Essay
Finally, for secondary prevention, the government should endorse a legislation obligating opioid prescribers to evaluate the prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) prior to making any opioid prescription (Dasgupta et al, 2018).
Dasgupta N, Leo B & Cicarone D. (2018). Opioid Crisis: No Easy Fix to Its Social and Economic Determinants. American Journal of Public Health. 108(2), pp: 182–186.
Dart R, Surrat H, Cicero T, Parrino M, Geoff S, Becki B & green J. (2015). Trends in Opioid Analgesic Abuse and Mortality in the United States. N Engl J Med. 1(372), pp:241-248. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1406143
Gomes T, Mina T, Mamdani M, Peterson & David J. (2018). The Burden of Opioid-Related Mortality in the United States. JAMA Network Open. 1(2):e180217. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.
Volkow N & McLellan T. (2016). Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain — Misconceptions and Mitigation Strategies. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1(374), pp: 1253-1263. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1507771. Opioid Addiction Crisis in the U.S Essay
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