The CDC invests $20 million in the war against drug overdoses, all in the hopes of a safer tomorrow for Americans.
Recent research has revealed that opioid painkiller overdoses are claiming the lives of more than 16,000 Americans every year. Furthermore, a link between the use of opioids and the use of heroin has been established, thus attributing many more deaths to the use of painkillers.
This is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is starting a $20 million program, set to take place on a four year span, that aims to lower the number of people that resort to opoid overuse.
The program intends to employ several methods to reduce the number of people who become addicted to opioids, such as enforcing a stronger drug monitor program, that could tighten the conditions that people need to meet in order to fill a prescription for painkillers, and conducting awareness campaigns that could teach people just how easy it is to get addicted to these drugs and why it is crucial to use them only as long as the doctors advises.
Other methods include the collaboration between researchers and physicians, so that further research be conducted on the link between opioids and heroin, all in order to put an end to this vicious cycle of addiction.
Furthermore, doctors will be trained to prescribe opioid painkillers only when there is no other alternative to this course of treatment and to thoroughly check the medical databases before giving out a prescription to a patient, in order to make sure that he hasn’t received another prescription for the drugs from another doctor.
They will also explain to patients what the risks of prolonging an opioid treatment plan are and monitor them even after the treatment has stopped, precisely to make sure that the patient has stopped taking the drugs when indicated.
However, when so many alternatives of procuring the drugs, such as online shopping and drug suppliers, remain available to people, it is up to the patients themselves to understand the implications of overusing opioids and make the right choices on the long run.
It remains to be seen how efficient the CDC’s program will turn out to be, but in light of recent research it is definitely time to take action, so that the vast proportions of this issue be reduced as soon as possible.
Image Source: socioecohistory