Patients, law enforcement officials and medical providers gathered Thursday night to discuss the opioid epidemic that is widely spread in the United States.
It’s been years since opioid drugs have become a method of addiction for many Americans. Unfortunately, these painkillers might be dangerous if you rely too much on them.
According to Dr. Michael Jaffe, a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor with Intermountain Salt Lake Clinic, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, doctors and the entire medical community should be aware of this problem.
Active measures need to be taken in order to make opioids available only by prescription. Plus, the medical field needs to find a new strategy and develop a new method to treat pain without leading to drug addiction.
Experts think that opioid painkillers have too many severe consequences on patients. One good example of an active fighter against the opioid epidemic is the sponsor of the meeting, the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and Pfizer Inc.
Furthermore, this alliance has two missions now. To tackle the opioid addiction and to take care of the community that needs proper medication to deal with pain. Dr. Lynn Webster, past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, underlined that doctors were trained in a wrong manner to treat health problems based on pain.
Worse, two years ago, 290 people in Utah died because of opioid overdoses, four times more since 2000. Nevertheless, even if the officials reduce the drug supply, people will start turning to streets, where a 30-milligram pill of oxycodone is $30. In addition to this, when patients see how expensive bills have become, they switch to heroin, spending from $100 to $150 every day.
Plus, hundreds of other people are in the same situation throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the police force does not have many options to deal with this opioid epidemic and to adequately treat addiction.
During the meeting insurers were also criticized for having high prices on alternative treatments, such as abuse-resistant opioid formulations, behavioral and physical therapy. One of the solutions besides lowering these prices would be a wider distribution of naloxone, an overdose reversal drug.
The opioid epidemic has to be stopped until it’s too late. Officials need to raise awareness regarding this problem so that everyone will be better informed and ready to tackle this situation.
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