The problem of opioid addiction is surging ominously in the United States. Opioids have emerged as the main culprit behind 64,070 overdose deaths that occurred in 2016. Owing to the widespread menace of opioid abuse, the Arizona administration has initiated a few bold steps against the epidemic, responsible for the death of approximately 790 residents in 2016. In fact, Governor Doug Ducey has declared it as a public health emergency.
The state of Arizona has decided to take some concrete steps to curb the increased opioid abuse by putting a cap on the number of pills doctors can prescribe. Making the fight against opioids stronger, the state of Arizona passed the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, which addresses the problem by focusing on preventive measures against opioid abuse. The legislation limits the initial pain fills to five days for the patients new to opioids.
As a comprehensive legislation, it incorporates the key suggestions of the stakeholders, prevents the uncontrolled prescription activities and promulgates preventive measures against opioid abuse. The driving principle of Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act is to rectify the structural gaps in the treatment of opioid addiction, such as the inclusion of patients who fail to qualify for insurance coverage. It will be applicable to the pain clinics as well. Ruling out the fears of the sceptics, the advocates highlighted that the legislation will not affect those suffering from chronic pain.
Opioid addiction can occur due to reasons ranging from environmental stressors to genetic predisposition. Other factors, such as the increased prescription of painkillers, sharing of prescription and consuming opioids for non-medical purposes, contribute significantly to the rising rate of opioid abuse, especially among youngsters. Adding to the woes of the above-mentioned problem is the misconception that opioid addiction is less harmful than the addiction of any other illicit drugs. Consequently, the disorder has majorly afflicted the teenagers, women and elderly population. Besides, it continues to remain common prevalent among war veterans and patients suffering from chronic pain.
Tracing the origin of the crisis, experts believe it to have originated from central Appalachia, a region encompassing much of West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. Apparently, people living in this region became vulnerable to pain by working in physically exerting industries like coal mining, agriculture and timbering. This led to increased dependence on opioids to live a pain-free life. Their quest to lead a pain-free life led to the exposure to prescription opioids, such as OxyContin and Vicodin. However, with time, the persistent use of opioids transformed into misuse and abuse, resulting in opioid crisis.
As opioids and painkillers are the first line of treatment for chronic pain and critical illnesses, it has become important for the authorities to take bold steps like those enunciated by Arizona to curb opioid abuse. Additionally, they should introduce awareness campaigns to educate the masses about the hazards of the prescription drug addiction. As prescribed opioids include the calculated amount of various chemicals to cure a specific ailment or discomfort, prescription drug addiction is more harmful than any other addiction. Therefore, the chronic abuse of opioids like painkillers can inflict long-term changes in the natural composition of the body, resulting in irreversible damage.
In the light of the new guidelines related to the prescription of opioids, doctors should be guided to encourage their patients to opt for alternative methods for alleviating their pain, such as therapies, meditation, yoga and exercise. Additionally, people should be motivated to seek immediate medical help.
Amidst, if you or your loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, you can seek help from the Arizona Prescription Abuse Helpline. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-692-3563 or chat online with our experts to know about the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Arizona.