Leahy, Laura G. “The Opioid Epidemic: What Does It Mean for Nurses?” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, vol. 55, no.
1, Jan. 2017, pp. 18–23., doi:10.3928/02793695-20170119-03.
Recent studies conducted show overwhelming statistics pertaining to the United States’ opioid crisis and the effect it is having on society. A study conducted in 2016 found that more Americans died due to an accidental drug overdose than from a motor vehicle accident. The U.S.
Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center also found that there is a growing economic impact from the opioid epidemic amounting to almost $193 billion. These costs stem from the crime and medical costs that are associated with the use and mistreatment of opioid drugs. Many healthcare professionals are studying the widespread misuse of opioids to determine how society can work to curb the use of these addictive drugs. With the United States’ growing opioid epidemic, the role of healthcare professionals has come into question. In 2016 the QuintilesIMS Institute found, “on an average day in the United States, 650,000 opioid drug prescriptions are dispensed, which is enough to allow each citizen one full bottle of opiate drugs in a given year.
” Many of the doctors who prescribe opioids to their patients do not disclose the long term health issues they could face. Initially this was done because there was very little known about the addictive qualities of opioids. However, now there have been numerous studies conducted that show the long term health effects of using opioids and the high risk of addiction that comes with being prescribed opioids as a form of treatment. The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, put out a report on how the growing opioid crisis should be treated. This report, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, stresses that substance abuse is a neurological disease and should be treated as such.
To properly understand the way to treat opioid addiction, the genetics and anatomical causes of addiction must first be understood. Scientists have found that opioid drugs have very powerful agents in them that cause sensations that reduce pain and anxiety in the user. Since opioids reduce pain and cause feelings of pleasure people who have used them constantly seek out opioids to experience these feelings again. 2.
Source # 2: in MLA format Main Points: in your own words and with citation:Davis, Corey, et al. “Action, Not Rhetoric, Needed to Reverse the Opioid Overdose Epidemic.” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, vol. 45, no. 1_suppl, 2017, pp. 20–23., doi:10.
1177/1073110517703310.Many studies attribute the over-prescription of opioids to the inadequate knowledge of those prescribing on the dangers of opioids.Doctors and other medical professionals receive very little unbiased training and are often not kept up to date on the new guidelines and recommendations on how to treat patients with opioids. Davis argues that although there is a consensus among the healthcare community that opioid overdose is an epidemic, there has not been a large enough public health response to change anything.(Davis 20) Many of the policy solutions being put in place to address the opioid epidemic only deal with the issue of overprescribing, not any of the underlying causes. The number of deaths caused by unintentional opioid overdose has been skyrocketing since 2011, from about 41,000 deaths to 47,000 in 2014. One study found that more people die each year from an opioid overdose than died during the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Davis emphasized that Americans need to change their tone and attitude towards opioid addiction in order for anything to change. (22) People suffering with opioid addiction are often stigmatized and denied access to care, which is counterintuitive as the same thing happened to those who suffered from HIV/AIDS. The rise in the prescription of opioids stems from doctors and other medical professionals using opioids to treat chronic pain, something that affects millions of Americans nationwide. Although opioids are very effective in aiding people with severe pain, like those suffering from cancer, it is not the only treatment method. Davis argues that a large reason for the rise in opioid prescriptions comes from misleading pharmaceutical marketing campaigns.
These campaigns frequently put out misleading and inaccurate information about the dangers and effectiveness of opioids.(21) This has led to many healthcare professionals to look to find new methods of treatment that are just as effective as opioids but without the added risk.