The abuse of opioids in America has created a serious, national epidemic. With more than 115 Americans dying every day due to an opioid overdose1, new legislation was introduced to help combat this growing problem. Just recently, President Trump signed a new bill into law and many believe it will help curb the crisis.
How the Bill Will Help the Opioid Epidemic in America
This new legislative package, known as the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, directs funding to federal agencies so they can create more access to addiction treatment. Another goal of the bill is to prevent overprescribing and train more law enforcement officials on intercepting shipments of fentanyl at the borders.
Passing this into law was a yearlong effort, but had support from both sides as the crisis affects both red and blue states and both rural and urban communities nationwide. While some opponents say the bill doesn’t go far enough in combatting the epidemic and overdose deaths, others see this is as a great first step in the fight. The bill will also:
- Increase access to addiction treatment
- Allow those with substance abuse issues to access mental health facilities
- Help recovery centers increase their quality of care
Where the Crisis Stands Today
Opioids include prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. Millions of Americans use prescription opioids every year to manage pain, but unfortunately some of these cases have led to addiction. This reliance has led to the worst drug crisis in U.S. history, which killed more than 48,000 Americans in 2017. Also last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a public health crisis.2
While this loss of life is the biggest cost to our country, the CDC estimates the economic burden of prescription opioid misuse is $78.5 billion per year. This amount includes the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement.
Breaking the Cycle
Many hope the SUPPORT Bill will play a key role in combatting opioid use, but effort is needed on an individual and community level as well in order to stop this cycle. If you or a loved one is prescribed a prescription opioid, reach out to your health professional if you are worried, or have a history of mental health problems or addiction troubles. Share your concerns and ask about other pain management options.
It is not always easy to spot the signs of a drug addiction, but you may notice behavioral issues in yourself or a friend or family member. Step in and reach out for help if you see any of these changes:
- Taking an opioid in a way that wasn’t prescribed
- Taking them “just in case”
- Severe mood changes
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Saying medication was “lost” and needing a new prescription
- Seeking the same prescription from a different doctor to have a “backup” supply
- Poor decision making
- Putting him/herself or others in danger
Seek Help Immediately
Opioids have had devastating effects on the lives of millions of people. With opioid overdose now being a leading cause of death in America, you cannot wait to get help. Contact us right away and learn about Footprints combined traditional and holistic approach to fighting opioid addiction. You will get a personalized treatment plan to overcome your opioid dependency. Don’t wait. Get started on your road to recovery today.
1. Opioid Overdose Crisis. www.drugabuse.gov. (Accessed November 4, 2018).
2. What is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. www.hhs.gov. (Accessed November 5, 2018).