The Opioid Crisis: Averting the Damage of Opioids in America
Prescription drugs are given daily to patients around the world, but some can
come with a deadly cost. The continuing opioid epidemic has been spurring around for years,
causing overdose from illicit and prescribed drug misuse. Opioids can come in many forms,
most often used in painkillers, such as oxycodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and found
in the illegal drug of heroin. The peak of the opioid crisis came in the year 2015, where drug
overdose became the leading cause of death in America, recording over fifty-thousand deaths,
thirty-three-thousand being due to opioids. As the crisis had been continuously silenced, it had
been a very late response when President Donald Trump had finally pronounced the crisis as a
national health emergency. In the New Yorker magazine, Margaret Talbot draws attention to the
issue, laying out the facts of the crisis, including the damage and harm it has done for the nation
during the past two years of its peak. Throughout the article, the writer puts in context how
life-threatening the opioid crisis has grown and how close it is to society today. With the matter of the crisis being drawn to attention by many people in the media, the opioid epidemic is gaining general awareness and the public are now further investigating how to decrease the results.
In response to the complex opioid epidemic in America, one solution can come
straight from the source. The beginning of an extension of education on drug addiction will help
alter the way doctors and citizens handle addiction situations. As most doctors are not formally
proficient in addiction medicine, the facts of addiction are usually held in the hands of the
psychiatrists. With this unfortunate fact, most doctors do not do proper diagnoses and result in an improper prescription for opioids. With improving the education of addiction medicine to doctors and health employees, there could be a decrease in the misusage of opioids in America
As more doctors become educated on addiction and drug misuse, the information can easily pass on to patients and result in fewer opioids being prescribed for the wrong reasons.
We should not limit education to the doctors and other health employees but also
increase education towards the people within the nation. Drugs are not usually incorporated into
today’s education system and are rather seen as a “side-note” in American high schools with
periodical presentations. Improving the education of drug misuse and overdose to the youth of
the community would reinforce the prevention of overdose deaths in the long run. Starting with
the youth would create a more educated future generations and can result in a drop of drug-related deaths.
As well surrounding the public with information on drug use could potentially
decrease the number of people who are intrigued by opioids and decrease recreational use.
Providing information on how to use opioids properly and safely can easily be educated from the
doctor’s office at the time you are prescribed the drug. Given prior information before choosing
options would also decrease the negative effects of opioids. Overall, giving the public education
about drug abuse and misuse would help aid in the prevention of opioid use, and therefore
decrease opioid addiction and overdoses.
Though prescribed drugs have been a deathly cause of drug overdoses, illegal
opioids also majorly effect the number of deaths in today’s nation. The safety of the public is at
risk when purchasing illicit drugs from untrusted sources. In the illicit drug of heroin, it is very
hard to spot when it has been tampered with and could potentially lead to the immediate death of a person who has consumed the drug. People who deal with heroin addiction find ways to
obtain the illicit substance illegally, causing the risk of mixed drugs or laced drugs, which puts an
overall risk. The prohibition of illegal drugs can have a direct impact on accidental overdoses.
Not only will the drug only contain handled substances, it will also be controlled behind the
counter and given to those who truly need it. If illicit drugs were made as prescription drugs, the
control of the users would be a lot more secure. As more users contain prescribed opioids, the
risk of overdose from laced drugs would decrease, and users who truly need the illicit opioid
would get a safe benefit.