How the current opioid epidemic in america came to be

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Health Care

Document 1

Opioids examples include heroin which is widely known to be an illegal drug, synthetic opioid which is the fentanyl and oxycodone which is a pain reliever. Apart from being used as a pain reliever, opioids other medical applications include the treating of diarrhea, treatment of coughs and the reversal of the opioid overdose. In recent years, the opioid epidemic has transformed rapidly. This epidemic started with increased opioid prescriptions which were meant for the treatment of the chronic pains. The opioid epidemic has undergone evolutions thus an occurrence of three waves to date (Ricardo et al. The abuse of heroin saw an increase of use in both genders and age brackets. Due to the abuse of heroin, there was an increased number of deaths reported caused by heroin overdose.

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Many users were also admitted during the phase due to heroin-related overdose. The administering of heroin by the users is always through injections. This way of administering continuously puts the users at risks of contracting diseases like skin infections and HIV/AIDS. However, the use of opioids was later challenged, whereby the statics proved that only a small number of patients who had pain and given opioids became addicted to them. This challenge resulted in an extension of administering opioids to patients having pain. The American Academy of pain medicine issued a notice which allowed patients with chronic noncancer pain to be delivered with opioids. Most states passed the pain Acts which led to the removal of sanctions for doctors who prescribed opioids to any related pain patients.

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However, the federal court in the year 2007 found out that the information was falsely provided. The Hospital Consumer of Healthcare was created under the directives of Congress. this was to measure how well can hospital staff handle the patients with pain. This proved to be a good intention, but no evidence showed the patients perception towards healthcare. Reimbursing for patient satisfaction is another event involved. The Deficit Reduction Act required that the various hospitals take part in the survey. Most of the deaths among the victims were related to fentanyl which had more than 28,000 deaths. Death rates from heroin and prescribed opioids remained the same. However, the number of males was high compared to women in gender parity. The united states Department of health and human services under the Government is trying to play a role in preventing and responding to drug overdoses relating to opioids (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).

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In curbing the menace which has proved to be deadly, the Department of Health and Human Services has strategized through putting across certain agendas. This aids in the tracking and monitoring of emerging threats thus prevention of the epidemic. The reports are also educating on the need for response technique. The response techniques include education of the patients, providing safe prescription practices and finally increasing the availability of naloxone. Naloxone being a synthetic drug blocks the receptors in the nervous system. References Bohnert, A. C. Association between opioid prescribing patterns and opioid overdose-related deaths. Jama, 305(13), 1315-1321. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. Vital signs: overdoses of prescription opioid pain relievers---United States, 1999--2008. V. Opioid epidemic in the United States. Pain physician, 15(3 Suppl), ES9-38.

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