Opioid Epidemic; Growing Number of Death Due to Drug

Opioid epidemic has been a hot button issue around the media. It is defined as the growing number of deaths and hospitalization contributed to by opioids, which includes illicit drugs and the analogues. The proliferation of the usage of opioids gained traction in the year 2010, which raised alarm in the United States. The statistics indicate that about 40,000 people die as a result of opioids epidemic, which is estimated to close to 115 people per day (Wasan,2018). The notorious impacts of this phenomenon, therefore, has compelled the government to impose laws against the use of narcotics, but the problempersist. In order to get a deeper understanding of the topic, it’s essential to comprehend the meaning of the term Opioids.  It is classification of drugs derived from the synthetic form of opium (Wasan,2018). One of the most commonly known is morphine, and its relation with pain relieving. Due to medical advancement, the analogues of morphine were designed such as methadone and heroin, and their misuse has resulted to many deaths in the United State(Setnik, 2017).

The phenomenon is termed as epidemic because it resulted to increased deaths, and people contracted related diseases that made them inactive. The epidemic is categorized into three stages. The first one occurred in the year 1991, where the pharmaceutical companies and medics allowed the prescription of opioid, as a pain reliever to patients who had no cancer(Wasan,2018). As a result, Opioid became potent legal to retail, and many people embraced the drug. The second wave, which shed the sign of possible misuse of the drug happened at around 2010, where deaths from heroin increased by 286% from 2002 to 2013(Sigmon&Kennedy,2014). By the year 2016, about 200,000 deaths were witnessed which made the state to act against this vice(Setnik,2017).

The major cause of the epidemic is the continued use of the Opioids and its analogues in the manufacture of pain relieving drugs. To make the matter worse, the patients are allowed to access the same medicines over the counter, which heightens the misuse of the drug. The solution to this is seeking other alternatives of pain relieving, rather than relying on the Opioids. This way, the deaths contributed to the overdose of this type of drug would be significantly abated. In the same vein, the US government should come up with punitive actions against the persons caught misusing the drug.

Reference

Setnik, B. (2017). Opioid overdose protection: An inevitable need to address an alarming epidemic. Journal of Opioid Management13(6), 363.

Sigmon, S. C., & Kennedy, PharmD, A. G. (2014). Editorial. The prescription opioid abuse epidemic in rural America: A look at how it begins. Journal of Opioid Management10(4), 225.

Wasan, A. D. (2018). Physician Responses to the Opioid Epidemic in the Context of Population-­Based Pain and Opioid Care. Commonwealth20(2-3).

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