Limiting Opioids – Preventing Addiction
September 29, 2017
If you have become addicted to prescription opioids, then you know that stopping is not an easy task. Even if you have never tried to quit taking them, you probably have missed a dose before. What you experienced was likely the beginning stages of withdrawal. Feelings of restlessness, irritability and slight nausea. Such feelings likely prompted you to take a pill as quick as possible for fear that your symptoms would worsen. The hooks of opioid narcotics go deep, removing them is not without pain.
There is one aspect of the American opioid addiction epidemic that people have trouble grasping. The fact that many of the people living with opioid use disorder had no history of addiction prior to opioids. They didn’t have track record of vice and debauchery, diverting resources for responsibilities for want of instant gratification. Many of the over two-million Americans meeting the criteria for opioid addiction today, got there by a series of bad decisions. For example, there was an injury or a surgery performed, which led a doctor to prescribe opioids. Painkillers like Vicodin (hydrocodone), Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen)
and OxyContin (oxycodone HCL).
Americans prescribed the aforementioned medications thought they had nothing to fear. After all, the pills came from an educated doctor. The pills they were prescribed, both dosage and number of tablets, were carefully considered, right? Obviously, you can probably detect the sarcasm. You are likely aware that the billions of pills prescribed in the last two decades were nothing short of reckless. Resulting in millions of new addiction cases, and thousands of overdose deaths.
Too Many Opioids
Opioid painkillers are effective. They work well at killing pain. Taking in low doses, for short periods of time, the risks are relatively small that addiction will result. However, nearly two-decades later, opioids have not been prescribed responsibly. And when that happens, prescription opioids go from killing pain — to killing people. Which is how we find ourselves where we are today.
There has been a significant push in recent years to encourage doctors to take a more reserved approach. If the condition being dealt with isn’t cancer or other terminal conditions, there is no reason to get carried away. Think about it, does a broken leg require 3 months-worth of 80 milligram OxyContin pills? Even if there is residual pain from such an injury, it is unlikely that three 80-milligram pills-a-day are needed. What’s more, anyone who takes that much oxycodone, for that long, is guaranteed to develop dependence. There is a little way around it. When said patient runs out or is cut off, they are at risk of turning to the street if treatment options are not available. Thus, begins the journey of addiction.
Limiting Prescription Opioids
A significant number of physicians in the U.S. have not been receptive to being told how to prescribe. They don’t like the idea of somebody else calling the shots for their patients. And, that is fine. At the end of the day, do they really need to like it? What’s important is saving lives and preventing addiction. Reducing the scope and scale of each prescription written can have that effect.
The pharmacy chain CVS seems to realize the role they have had in the opioid addiction epidemic. They also seem to grasp the hand that doctors have had. CVS has announced plans to limit the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed, USA Today reports. CVS will:
- Limit the number of certain acute prescriptions to seven days.
- Limit the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the drug.
- Require the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed.
The company also announced plans to increase funding for addiction programs, counseling and safe disposal sites for opioids.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
Are you are one of the many Americans who has become dependent on your prescription painkillers? If so, please contact Christians Drug Rehab today. We can help you detox and begin the lifelong journey of addiction recovery.