We live in a world where opioid use is becoming a real problem. People die every day from this drug because it is unpredictable. You never know what is going to be mixed in with the opioids until it is too late.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many people fighting to end this war that is taking so many of our young people. Here are some things that need to be done to help stop opioid use before it gets any worse.
How to Help Prevent Opioid Risks
Prescription drug monitoring programs are essential to help stop opioid abuse. Physicians need to be mindful when they prescribe opioids to anyone. They need to make sure that there isn’t another drug that would do the job. They need to watch the dosage and make sure that they prescribe the lowest dose possible. Physicians also shouldn’t hand them out in the hundreds. Only prescribe the amount that is needed.
State prescription drug laws are also essential. There are many resources available for states to help them decide how to handle the opioid crisis. The CDC’s Public Health Law Program and the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control are serious about helping states address the crisis, including the misuse of prescription medications, abuse of opioids, and even overdoses.
We need more patient education. Doctors need to have serious talks with their patients when being prescribed opioids, . They need to talk to them about the risk of taking these medications, including the possibility of becoming addicted to them. They should talk to their patients about how to safely wean themselves off of the medications so that they can easily stop them.
It never hurts to talk about the correct way to handle them. This includes making sure that they are taking them the way that was prescribed, as well as the safe way to store and dispose of them. You should never leave a bottle of opioids around for others to find. We don’t need any more people addicted to opioids because someone found them in their parents’ medicine cabinet. Even worse, someone may try to sell them to make some extra money, only they are making more addicts by doing so.
Because of this, doctors really need to learn as much as they can about the current crisis. They need to make sure that they know the risks and know how to talk to their patients about this. They are going to need to be educated on the correct way to prescribe them and how they can help to keep these medications away from those who are struggling with abuse.
Insurance companies also need to step in. The insurance companies can really make a difference when it comes to prescribing opioids. They should require prior authorization to make sure that they really monitor who is getting these medications. They can also limit how many can be prescribed at a time (and how many refills they will allow). If the insurance companies stop paying for these medications, we may see a drop in the addiction that occurs when someone is prescribed opioids.
How Doctors Can Reduce the Risks of Addiction
The opioid crisis is a real problem, though it doesn’t have to be. Doctors need to know the correct way to prescribe these medications and how to talk to their patients about them. They need to guide them through this time when that is the only medication that will help them through the pain, making sure that they are able to wean off of them when the time comes. They also need to talk to them about the correct way to store and dispose of the medication so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Prescription drug monitoring programs, state prescription drug laws, and the insurance companies can also help. By monitoring who gets the medication and how much they get at a time, we can decrease the amount of medication that is on the street.