The opioid epidemic is related to expanding of the diagnoses where prescribing of painkilling drugs is relevant. The substances are addictive, causing overdoses and deaths, and many individuals cannot give up the addiction even if the treatment is over. The main factor contributing to the opioid epidemic is the existence of illegal options to access drugs with fake prescriptions or convincing physicians to prescribe them. Another crucial point is the change in pain management practices and health policies that broaden the range of patients who can receive the substances for medical purposes.
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Singh et al. (2019) claim that “during the past 20 years, there has been a rise in the therapeutic use and abuse of opioids, with hydrocodone becoming the leading prescribed medication in the US” (p. 94). Lastly, the society-based factor contributed to the epidemic development among all socioeconomic, age, and racial groups representatives (Singh et al., 2019). Indeed, the culture of working extra hours leads individuals to start using painkillers to increase productivity and calming chronic issues. Furthermore, young people perceive drugs as a fashionable trend displayed through music and cinema, and opioid substances become the most available option.
Opioid epidemic elimination requires tremendous forces to be involved in the process because this health crisis affects individuals both mentally and physically. The most effective treatment option is to provide the affected with proper care and substitutes such as oral methadone or sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone, sublingual buprenorphine (Singh et al., 2019). Individuals who got through the recovery process would become the most effective fighters against opioid substance abuse, and their examples would be appropriate to prevent the epidemic. Besides, healthcare providers must be aware and educated about the difficult national situation and consider it in selecting the treatment options for patients. The most convenient approach is to make evidence-based decisions that address a client’s conditions and current non-drug therapy.
Singh, G. K., Kim, I. E., Girmay, M., Perry, C., Daus, G. P., Vedamuthu, I. P., De Los Reyes, A. A., Ramey, C. T., Martin E. K., & Allender, M. (2019). Opioid epidemic in the United States: empirical trends, and a literature review of social determinants and epidemiological, pain management, and treatment patterns. International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS, 8(2), 89-100. Web.