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The number one health crisis in america right now is the opioid epidemic sweeping across the country,affecting the inner cities and the suburbs. President trump has declared war on addiction but has offered no real answers.
More drug rehab centers are needed that will accept addicts with no health insurance. In many states there are no state or federal funded addiction treatment facilities. One solution may be providing health insurance to heroin addicts that would cover private substance abuse treatment, not medicaid which will not cover any private drug rehabilitation centers.
There is also medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction. These medications include suboxone, subutex, and vivitrol. Again this is not cheap. The physician visit is usually $300 for the first visit then 200 a month after that not including the prescriptions, which cost at least 200 a month.
There are some non profit charities providing treatment like the salvation army and faith farm but this is a fraction of the amount of the help needed for the present day crisis. Instead president trump offers a wall which will take years, putting drug dealers to death which will never pass, and research on a non addictive pain killer which will take years.
The latest academic studies of the opioid crisis provide evidence that the narrative of naïve opioid patients getting addicted to their medicine, or worse, replacing them with heroin and fentanyl, is mostly not factual. Indeed, according to ricardo nemitz, the notion that your friendly local physician is the cause for the current heroin and fentanyl addiction is a process of misguided media hype, not facts.
About 71 percent of American patients are prescribed narcotic pain killers at least once during their lifetime. If as many get addicted and move on to heroin as some studies provide, there would be tens of millions of heroin addicts and hundreds of thousands of overdoses annually. But that is not the case.
Recent university studies say that few patients who get hooked on painmeds move on to heroin. Fewer than 5 percent of patients who abuse prescription pain meds started using heroin within five years, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study.
The New England Journal of Medicine determined in 2016 that among people taking opioid pain killers long term, “rates of carefully diagnosed addiction have averaged less than 8 percent in published studies.”
JAMA, a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association, showed in 2016 that most surgery patients weaned off oxycontin without trouble.
640,000 surgical patients studied , had never previously taken opioids, only a few used the percocet for more than three months after recovering from surgery. Rates of addiction varied from less than 0.11 percent for women who had C-sections up to 1.5 percent for male patients who had knee surgery, the JAMA review showed.
Nemitz also said that if doctors were the responsible culprit behind the heroin addictions, the cycle of opioid-to-heroin use should have been broken once the DEA and healthcare regulators began closing the pill mills. But it hasn’t been.
There are also natural alternatives to prescription drugs. Kratom is possibly the cure for the opioid crisis. It eliminates the cravings for drugs like heroin, dilaudid, oxycontin, and morphine. It acts on the brain to help addicts stay off these substances and become productive members of society.