Seven Steps to Addressing the Opioid Addiction Crisis

Author - JD Meints | February 4, 2015

Opioid addiction is a growing issue across the country, focused upon the over-prescribing of opioid pain medications. The response to the crisis has begun but is moving slowly, and it will take support from all parts of the community to provide the education, support, and momentum to reverse the issue. Dr. Richard Juman addresses the tools we must mobilize in order to fix this addiction crisis now.

  1. Provide effective tools for those who are already addicted to opioids. Providing accessible syringe exchange programs, encouraging the upholding of Good Samaritan laws, and making Naloxone available can help keep those already addicted safer.
  2. Provide evidence-based addiction interventions for patients. Mark Willenbring, MD. explains that "the main deficiency of current actions to address opioid addiction is the lack of access to prompt, professional opioid maintenance treatment."
  3. Provide training for physicians and medical practitioners to support the screening, recognizing, and treating of addiction.
  4. Ensure that prescribers have access to "Prescription Monitoring Programs" to consult prior to prescribing opioid pain medication.
  5. Make it as challenging as possible for opioid medications to be used in ways other than intended.
  6. Educate the public about the risks and raise awareness of the possibilities that come with opioid painkillers.
  7. Provide access to therapy for addicts to support recovery.

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