The opioid crisis is ravaging through communities, taking somewhere around 178 lives a day. The crisis has been charted since 1978, and the deaths per year have been increasing exponentially since. Since 1978, there have been over 600 thousand deaths due to opioid overdose, proving that this issue is of extreme importance, and action must be taken now. ( The HHS reports 10 million cases of prescription opioid misuse in 2018, a total of 3% of the entire US population. ( The opioid crisis is growing rapidly, but how did it start? To answer this we must begin with how people end up overdosing. Often, people are overprescribed drugs such as oxycontin or hydrocodone, and become reliant over the course of a couple months. At that point, it is likely that they will be taken off the medication and suffer intense withdraws, or continue to be prescribed and gain an even greater reliance on the medication. In some cases, people who are no longer able to get an opiate prescription will turn to street forms of the drug, which are far less safe and harbor a greater chance of overdose. Others will begin buying prescription opiates off others, or continue to be prescribed a progressively growing dose. From this we can trace back a huge rate of opioid death to the widespread use of opiates as the leading pain treatment solution. 

Recently, the US government has taken action in the form of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2019, which counters the affects that the opioid crisis has had on America. The act assists mothers, restricts access to addictive drugs and much more. The purpose of the act is to proactively reduce the harm of the opioid crisis in all the ways it affects the American people. The act is seen as a huge step in addressing the opioid crisis.

In the past, people have made efforts to inform people of the dangers of opioid medications, and even filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, notably Purdue, the creator of oxycontin. Purdue originally claimed that oxycontin was non addictive, and had to lobby heavily to get it approved for use beyond treatment for pain involved with cancer. Purdue even exchanged favors of dinner parties and under the table cash bonuses for those doctors that prescribed great amounts of oxycontin, “Physicians who attended the dinner programs or the weekend meetings wrote more than double the number of new Rxs for OxyContin compared to the control group,” this confirms the shady nature of Purdue’s actions. Now however, Purdue has been sued to the ground and is filing for bankruptcy, and is mandated to increase awareness and supply of anti overdose drugs, which actively save lives every day. From this we find our first solution, which is more of a band aid fix. Increasing awareness of anti overdose medications will lower the number of opioid deaths, however not fix the issue at large. A more effective long term solution would be in the prescription of opioids themselves, as they are the first choice for intense pain management. If we were to lower the time that people are prescribed opiates for the immediate pain, and to use other methods of resolving long term pain. Our artifact is designed to raise awareness of the issue, hopefully increasing the number of people who support the production of anti overdose drugs, and to incentivize the funding of addiction clinics.

I invite you to comment and respond to this post, all are welcome.

Oxycodone by The Drug Users Bible on 2019-04-17 08:32:15

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January 6, 2021 1:43 pm

Opioid addiction is a very important topic that needs to be talked about. This is a very big problem in our country and needs to be solved.

January 6, 2021 4:56 am

This is an issue in America where opioid usage has came to a point of it being crisis is ridiculous. This brings me to the point of what is so wrong with cannabis? Compared to the number of overdoses and deaths that PRESCRIBED pills are doing and the number of deaths cannabis has come up with, its 0-millions. These drugs are not only legal, they are given to us by doctors. They are given to us for pain, that is all to most surgeries, most er visits, and if you look up what opioids prescribed for it tells us coughing and diarrhea. After reading how many prescriptions are given it has come to a sketchy number, the only thing that is good is the awareness of what is going on and how wrong it is

January 5, 2021 11:52 pm

What a lot of people have trouble understanding is that drugs like this are not hard to come by. You can get them in nearly any city. Doesn’t matter if it’s a small farm town, or a big urban city. You can get them almost anywhere. A lot of sellers target young kids, because as we all know kids love to try anything that is new to them. Or they can get peer pressured into it. It’s a harsh reality that I don’t think we’re doing enough about. Out of any country, the United States prescribes the largest amount of opiates. We prescribe them sometimes just because people want them, not because they need them. It’s insane.

January 5, 2021 8:23 pm

I agree, the opioid epidemic is a problem that needs solving. Opioids take a lot of lives, at the cost of a larger profit margin for a big pharma corporation. The impact of opioids is perpetuated by the glorification of addiction in American society referencing substances like nicotine, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, etc. A big change needs to occur in what we put in our bodies and what we view is acceptable to be reliant on.

January 5, 2021 8:12 pm

Opioid addiction is an extremely important topic that must be addressed. The article states that in 2018 alone, more than 10 million cases of opioid misuse were recorded. This is an important topic for me because currently Utah has an extremely bad opioid problem. Just in 2018 alone, over 500 people overdosed from this drug. Doctors need to use opioids only as a last resort in order to stop the spread of addiction.

January 5, 2021 3:54 pm

I think this is an important topic because many people have had examples of this in their lives. For me, I saw the use of prescription painkillers help my mother through chemotherapy, to fight cancer that was taking over her body. While I have not seen abuse, I can see the importance of education and proper awareness to be raised over the issue.

October 9, 2020 6:51 pm

It is my belief that it is extremely important for the American people to do all we can to try to halt this epidemic. Opioid usage is a crisis and even though the 2019 Opioid Crisis Response Act was indeed a very important step towards coming up with a solution, the underlying problem still exists. I think that the relatively new practice of doctors prescribing methadone pills in order to help wane addicts off of powerful opioids while also lessening the opiate withdrawals is important but it will not fix much. The base of the problem must be eliminated, which is the overprescription of powerful opiates like hydrocodone and oxycontin.

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