The Solutions for the Opioid Epidemic in the U.S.

The United States is In a heavy opioid problem nationwide and the over-prescription of this drug is being wasted. Citizens of the nation have become dependent on the prescription of this highly addictive drug that can be found everywhere, prescribed from the Experient medics for surgical or chronic pain; or stealing medications from others, or buying them illegally on the streets. Later addicts start to experiment with a more dangerous drugs for example heroin because it’s easier to obtain and overdoses are sky high. It is thought that more than eleven million Americans have used or abuse opioids in the years 2016 to 2017. This is a early sign that we should do something to stop or treat this huge problem from spreading to all over the nation before it gets even worse and it’s too late to do something significant. To attack and weakened this ongoing epidemic that’s spreading rapidly all over the nation, we need to find different methods to decrease the problem, one of them is pharmacotherapy, another is more exposure to the risks of the opiates and to find different types of pain therapy for the people that suffer chronic pain.

Then on the year 1806 a chemist, born in Germany called Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner, secluded a material from opium, that later the man called morphine because of a god called “Morpheus” that controlled dreams (“The History”). After that the first outbreak of opioids in the United States was in the second half of the nineteenth century (kolodny et al.). Morphine became a pillar for U.S. doctors to attend pain, anxiety and respiratory problems, this drug was frequently used in the civil war, “Many soldiers came to became dependent on opiates that the post war morphine addiction was known as soldiers disease.”(“The History”). Drinkers feel better over hangovers with opioids. Family moms occasionally took opioids and also gave them to their kids. Some foreign people like chinese migrants took opium as a smoking drug to get high, this practice spread over to the to country (kolodny et al). In the nineteenth century physicians made their patients dependent and in the process they also experienced addiction because there was not enough solutions to problems back then, and the chronic pain was poorly understood, morphine suddenly solved all the problems of the patients and even doctors, this made people continued to get it and inject morphine because seles of this drug were poorly managed and controlled (kolodny et al.). The hypodermic needle was invented in the year 1853 and morphine was used for surgical purposes, raising the medication of opioids.(“The History”). Then morphine was synthesised in to heroin and german chemical company called Bayer introduced it as a remedy for coughing to the population, it was recommended as a substitute for morphine but by the end of the nineteenth century the U.S.banned the opioids for non-medical use(“The History”). On the year of 1909 congress passed the opium exclusion act banning the use of smoking opiate , and this was the start of the famous war on drugs in America. (“The History”). Also in a similar way, Congress passed another act called the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 , that charged taxes on opioids and they required a registration of the drug by professionals in the medical field (“The History”). Later the sales of heroin ultimately stopped because of the passing of a act called the Heroin Act in 1924, there was a lot of mixed perspectives on dependence and opioids in the medical field (“The History”). Then the FDA was created and it could inspect foods, drugs and cosmetics in the nation, the drugs on the nation needed to be proper and secure for the consumption of the population but still there was a lot of seles of different types of opioids, such as oxycodone and codeine morphine were given to population, still knowing of all the effects they produce on individuals (“The History”). One of this drugs these became consumed nationwide was Oxycodone that was passed by the FDA in the 50s as a fusion of aspirin and oxycodone, and since then the consumption of this drug containing Oxycodone was ben a huge issue in the America. (“The History”). Heroin being illegally introduced in the U.S. became to rise dramatically and this is linked by the Nations military in the vietnam war in the 1960s (“The History”). Then in 1959 the World Health Organization started to believe that when they used morphine as a medical relief for patients it will eventually make them dependent on the drug (“The History”). The controlled substance abuse act was passed in 1970 and it strengthen the regulated opioid drugs in 5 different “schedules” they were based on their value as a substance, their addictiveness and their risk (“The History”). The 1980s was described as the year to fear prescription of opioids or opiophobia, and it was such the fear of it that the president of the time Reagan asked the entire nation to join the fight not to tolerate the drugs by anyone, anytime anyplace, ten in the 90s pharmaceutical companies calmed down and told the medical community that nothing will happen, that people would not become dependent of the substance and in consequence health care providers began to prescribe opioids at higher rates and this became really problematic in the future years for The United States and its people (“Opioid Crisis). Then in the 2000s a huge impact stucked the U.S. it was the aggressive marketing of a opioid product the was supposedly safe for consumption and was not addictive because this products was designed to last in the body for twelve hours and later released but drug users became aware the they could get high by just crushing and desulbing the drug, making everything even worse (“The History”). Then in 2016 there was a petition that many healthcare providers participated to stop once and for all the overprescription of this dangerously addictive drug (“The History”).

The opioid epidemic can be treated in many different ways and one of this methods to manage this devastating problem is by therapy and pharmacotherapy because it helps the people that are dependent on the substance get detoxified, and it prevents a lot of deaths. that is the case of the article of annual review that firmly establishes that one of the ways to solve this epidemic or try to help it reduce is by therapy measures that will help reduce deaths . According to the article “therapy prevention strategies involve both therapeutic and rehabilitative measures, once a disease is firmly established. The goal of therapy prevention of opioid addiction, is to prevent overdose deaths, medical complications, psychosocial deterioration, transition to injection drug abuse, and infection-related infections. Doing so it accomplished mainly by ensuring that addicted-individuals, can access effective and affordable opioid addiction treatment”(kolodny et al.). This suggests that therapy prevention will actually help people dependent on the narcotics so that they do not overdose and die also Prevent people to use opioids and in consequence get high out of it by consuming or injecting it into their body, in short this will be cheaper and healthier for everyone, so that this disaster can end. Another method to help reduce this huge trouble is by pharmacotherapy because it’s an effective treatment for opioid dependency, and its targeted to detoxify civilians that are affected. The article argues that “pharmacotherapy for opioid addiction, enclude opioid agonists, partial agonists, opioid antagonists, and alpha two adrenergic agonists, which are targeted to ether detoxification, or long term agonist maintenance. Currently there are too general treatment paths, opioid maintenance treatment and detoxification. Most opioid dependent individuals engage in doth, likely in multiple times, during the course of there drug-using carriers. Agonist maintenance therapy is currently the recommended treatment for opioid dependence due to its superior outcomes relative to detoxification (Stotts et al.). This indicates that pharmacotherapy haves two ways to help people that are dependent on the drug; the first one that currently is used is agonist maintenance because it’s suggested that it helps individuals get detoxified much faster and the second one is detoxify people with other substances like agonists and partial agonists medications so that they prevent a relapse, and that the individuals that are addicted commonly thake the two methods, for a lot of times, in there drug abuse craveving.

Other methods to decrease the epidemic of opioid abuse is to boost exposure and dispose of unused medicines because it will prevent new addiction and will lower the dependence rate of the addicts. That is the case of the of the food and drug administration that is fighting to prevent further addiction to the substance of opiates by increasing the exposure of the harmful effects of this drugs with programs directed to workers in the field of medicine. The main point of the FDA is that “it was determined that a REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) is necessary to all opioids analgesics intended to outpatients use to ensure that the benefits of this drugs continue to outweigh the risks.the REMS program requires that training be made available to all health care providers, who are involved in the management of patients with pain, including nurses and pharmacists (“opioid analgesic”). This means that the Food and Drug Administration is trying to implement a program that will educate the health care providers (dentists, optometrists, clinical psychologists, also including nurses and pharmacist ) so that they could prevent more addiction, does lowering overdose, abuse, and even deaths by prescription of the opioid analgesics. Another method that the food and drugs administration has to prevent more people from getting addicted to opiates is to dispose of unused medicines. As the FDA points out “when your medicines are no longer needed they should be disposed of [properly]. Consumers and caregivers should remove expired, unwanted or unused medicines from there home as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that others accidentally take or intentionally misuse the unneeded medicine and to help reduce drugs from entering the environment. Medicine take-back options are the prefered way, to safely dispose of most types of unneeded medicines. There are generally to kinds of take-back options periodic events (temporary collection sites are set up in communities nationwide for safe disposal for prescription drugs) and permanent collection sites” [another option for consumes and long term healthcare facilities disposing of unneeded medicines] (ibid.). This indicates that the other way for less drug abuse and more prevention from addiction, is to safely remove or flush down the toilet, medicines that people currently don’t use or are expired so that someone in there family does not accidentally take them or even abuse them, also that the two currently safe ways to get rid of the unwanted medicine is to go on a periodic event or a permanent collection site that tells the individual how to properly get rid of the drug without causing much harm to the environment and the people around there community.

Another and more interesting solution to help solve or at least decrease the issue with opioids in the united states is by a connective behavior therapy approach because it changes the way people with chronic pain disorder view there pain and This also changes the brain in a particular way making the pain that people feel, less worse, so that they feel more in control of the pain they experience. That is the case that Elisabeth shimmers proposes and encourages people that suffer from the horrible disease of chronic pain, and she knows that by behavior therapy approach people could even start better than ever without even taking any opioid medications. The main idea is that “cognitive-behavioral therapy helps improve pain relief, in a few ways, first it changes the way people view there pain, CBT can change the thoughts emotions and behaviors, related to pain, improving coping strategies”(Shimer). This suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy can actually help people with chronic pain in a significant way by understanding and seeing their pain from a different side and managing to have better coping mechanisms, for every time they experience one of the intense episodes of pain in everyday life. Another case of this method being a good way for people to slowly manage their pain is that this therapy affects the brain in an extraordinary way by changing the physical response of people experiencing pain. She argues that “ CBT can also change the physical responses in the brain that makes pain worse. Pain causes stress and stress affects pain control chemicals in the brain, such as norepinephrine and serotonin, CBT reduces the arousal that impacts this chemicals, this in effect may make the body’s natural pain relief response more powerful”(ibid.). This means that the CBT can help people with chronic pain disorder by actually changing the physical response of the brain where we know what pain causes stress on the body and stress causes the pain control to be more severe, but CBT can reduce this affect on people in a significantly, that makes the stress response decreases and control the pain in a more suitable way.

Of course many would probably disagree with this assertion that the opioid epidemic cannot be solutionised by therapy, CBT or even exposing it more to reduce the addicted, that drugs should not be legalized, that opioids should be ban because crime will not decrease if they are still around and that people with chronic pain need them as a last resort for relief. That is the case of Olson who believes that any type of drugs including prescription drugs, should be ban, that they don’t actually have any relation with organised crime and if they make them more accessible to the public it won’t change anything. Olson’s main point here is that “criminals will exploit any illegal avenue to increase profits, to claim that prohibition creates crime and that crime and criminals would largely disappear if drugs would be legalised, is interesting,but hardly convincing (70). This means that crime would not stop, it will find different and more intelligent ways to do there plans, and gain some profit out of it, also that prohibition of drugs creates crime and if it were to be lifted all crime would magically disappear, just like a dream come true. Another side of the huge problem of opioids is that people with chronic pain are desperate to find a solution to there pain control and they find it in opioids as a last relieve resort for all there problems. The author Shuck’s central insight is that “some people with chronic pain said there out of options, and are aware of the risks of opioid use, but they would still choose use the drug to relieve the disabling pain they deal with in a regular basis, they often are not offered other alternatives to alleviate their pain or other methods have failed to help them”(Shuck). This describes that people with chronic pain can’t take it anymore, that they struggle everyday life with and that they take the opiods knowing that they can get addicted or dependent to it, but they just want to feel relieved and that other methods are not working for them or have completely failed.

My own view, however, is that they should legalize or lift the banned for drugs, including opioids, and heroin because drug prohibition is harmful to all of us and that there’s many ways to treat chronic pain without even using prescription medicine, for example CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy. The author Ehrenreich explains that prohibition of any drugs results in more organised crime and if we do not do anything about this it will harm us in many ways. According to Ehrenreich “ we cling with so many self destructive habits: because we like the way they make us feel, powerful, righteous, and militant righteousness has affects not unlike some demon mix with liquor and amphetamines.(27). This means that prohibition does play a really big part on crime because it makes people feel more powerful, by breaking the law, it makes people feel unstoppable, and inmortal buy just doing something illegal, but if we lift it there’s no reason to do crime anymore that it’s just a emotion that people feel and that the money they make will decrease more and more until they don’t have anything because there competing with know the government and other stories. Another side is that people can actually be cured by there chronic pain disease with a connective behavioral therapy approach. As it points out that “ CBT is most often used together with other methods of pain management. They may include medication, physical therapy, weight loss, massage or in extreme cases surgery. But among these various methods of pain control, CBT is often one of the most effective (shimer). This means that this type of therapy is extremely effective among people with chronic pain and that if you add in other methods as well, people suffering this terrible diseases will eventually get better and not even run the risk or consequences of consuming prescription medicines.

On February 5, 2019 in the Pennsylvania house and senate the politician Tom Wolf delivers on the opioid epidemic and it remains a disaster to this day, this directly is linked to the thesis because they state that they need to find different solutions to the problem and try to apply them to the problem. That is what the democrat Wolf says that they need to find different solutions to this problem because it is now a emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. Politician Wolf argues “ that the opioid crisis reminds a disaster emergency, thought there are signs that drug overdose may be declining”(Sholties). this means that the opioid problem is still prevalent to this day but is actually decreasing slowly because they are trying hard to fight this disaster in different ways that is helping the people of their community. Another point that the author argues it that the opioid epidemic is starting to decrease in some parts of the state of Pennsylvania. According to sholties that “ it appears that the number of opioid overdose have decreased in some part of Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2018.” this suggests that the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania is starting to decrease but still the fight is not over, if they want to keep fighting this undying disease in the nation, they will apply the method that this essay has provided and many more, this will help everyone get more stable lifes, also trying at the same time to reduce this atrocity that kills so many american in a single year.

To eradicate the massive problem that opiates produced in the United States, we need to find different ways to fight it, the solutions are; increased exposure of the dangers of opiates on the population, new ways of therapy approaches that help people that suffer from chronic pain disorders and pharmacotherapy, that helps people withdraw the dependency of opiate abuse. some argue that we should ban drugs in general because it does not affect crime at all and that people with chronic pain need opioids, we have proven that they are wrong because there are different types of treatment for pain and that we should lift the banning because crime is related to drug prohibition and we also addressed an issue that the opioid epidemic is still a huge problem but the number of overdoses are declining, therefore, the opioid epidemic has many, many solutions, but we, the people of the nation haven’t even addresses them properly, so it’s everyone’s duty to try and understand a little more about this ongoing problem, that we can actually, save so many soul that have fallen in the deep dark caves of solitude and addiction, we can help make this great nation something better for our future generations that will face this complicated problem to. 

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