The chances of you reading this article and having known somebody close or a friend of somebody close who has overdosed from some form of opiates are extremely high. The drug epidemic in this country is an ever growing problem that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The “war on drugs” as it’s been so infamously called throughout the years, has been classified as a joke by many members of congress and our own United States government.
Addiction and alcoholic thinking will always be around, despite how hard our government cracks down on such matters. On the other hand, there are things that can be done to not only stop the crime but to limit the amount of deaths and incarcerations that follow along with the disease every year. Unfortunately, one of the largest problems out there in regards to drug addiction is the problem with opioids and the DEA is ready to start making some drastic changes.
It’s About Time
I was on the street in my town the other day at the local Starbucks and was speaking with a local city cop. We were briefly discussing addiction and alcoholism and in which case he informed me of the number of overdoses for that month just in town. The number was a revolting 89 overdoses for the month with sadly an extra 2 days to spare before the calendar turned the page to the next one. It’s shocking to see the number of people dying from the drugs that are roaming the streets. Opioids happen to be one of the biggest problems out there because of doctors over prescribing their patients. The thing about opiates is that they for one are not a cure narcotic. They are painkillers generally used to treat symptoms or alleviate pain of some sort, but they will not fix the ongoing problem behind the scenes. Often times doctors will dish out painkillers left and right rather than go through the effort of finding an immediate solution. It’s a shame to say, but there are hundreds of “dirty doctors” out there that write prescriptions to such medications because they get a pay cut from various pharmaceutical companies. Or even in some cases, you have licensed practitioners that are in on some scam with their patients. Then you have the lazy physicians that as mentioned before, would rather just dish out some pills rather than try to fix a problem. It’s a shame, but what can you do?
Well the DEA can do quite a bit I do suppose. The law enforcement agency has officially set the rules and limited the amount of opiate painkillers to be manufactured and produced in 2017 by 25%. Seeing as there are many different variations of painkillers, the DEA has made sure to enlist morphine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and mainly fentanyl. Fentanyl is the main culprit for the shockingly high number of deaths and rising overdoses that continue to happen every month. Fentanyl is one of the strongest forms of painkillers that can be prescribed and is nothing to really play around with. Heroin dealers have started cutting heroin with it in many regions of the country. The results from fentanyl-laceded heroin have been detrimental to addicts and alcoholics of all shapes and sizes.
The DEA has made several minor attempts throughout the years to try and contain the outbreak of opioid abuse. It was recorded that the year of 2014 holds the record for the most overdoses in one year. Ironically, in the most recent years, opiate prescriptions have been written less and less. The CDC dropped new laws with the guidelines for medical personnel and how they have to go about prescribing such pain killing medications. Certainly, the prescription writing has gone down with the rising growth in addiction over recent years and the threat of doctors having their licenses revoked so easily. The sad truth that follows with that statement is the number of people turning to heroin in recent years due to the crackdown on painkillers. As mentioned previously, many heroin dealers are now cutting their heroin with synthetic opiate such as Fentanyl. This, in turn, is causing more deaths as well as overdoses. It has gotten to a point where it is now required for law enforcement, EMTs, and Firefighters to now start carrying Narcan with them regularly. Narcan is the opiate overdose reversal drug for those that don’t know. It is a synthetic opioid in itself and helps to bring somebody back who is on their way out the door from a lethal dose of the drug du jour that day.
At the end of the day, to the dismay of many, there are only so many steps that can be taken to limit the dangers that opiates provide us. Even the DEA who is cracking down on such matters can still revoke their statement. They have the right to change the guidelines of the law if there is a skyrocketing demand in the future or if new manufacturers essentially struck the right deal with the right people. Basically, nothing is set in stone. The good news is that the intensifying number of deaths circulating the United States is starting to catch the attention of the higher ups. Drugs are becoming a normal way of life now, and that’s including the illegal or prescribed narcotics. However you look at it, addiction and alcoholism will find a way no matter how much change is made. Only time will tell if this concentrated effort really provides any positive difference. In the meantime, it’s imperative to remember that opiates will steal your soul and it’s wise to avoid them at all costs.
Never Too Late Until it’s Too Late
Statistics can be boring and cliché. However, the statistics are a real factor and are real numbers. People are dying left and right from the disease of addiction and some never have the opportunity to really reach out for the help they need. It’s a shame and time for our country to start taking action and make a change. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-844-489-0836 or visit www.firststepsrecovery.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.