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Opioid Crisis Must Be Addressed

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The usage of opioids are rapidly increasing; for medical and recreational use. According to SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 4.8 million people in America have tried heroin at least once in their life, and about 450,000 people are regular heroin users. The most common cause of premature death for people younger than 50 was related to overdosing on opiods. It’s not a coincidence that there’s so many people that are struggling with using opioids. Doctors make getting opioids easy as possible. On average, SAMHSA says, every American adult gets at least one opioid prescribed to them each year.

Three things that can be done to prevent the misuse of opioids are: Forcing doctors to have higher standards for opioid prescribing, find a healthy alternative to opioids, or just simply do a better job at teaching younger children the negative effects of using non-prescribed opioids.

First, the government needs to place stricter laws on regulating prescription drugs (specifically opioids). About one-third of Americans were prescribed at least one opioid in 2015, and it’s become even more common for opiods to be prescribed. The U.S. consumes about 80 percent of the total opioids consumed globally. One of the most efficient way to reduce this number drastically is to set up a high standard that individuals need to be at to receive prescribed opioids.Doctors also should keep better track of when their clients receive that particular opioid, and don’t let them refill (or get more) until the date that the opioid was due.

There is always a healthy alternative to every malicious addiction, and opioid addictions are no different. One safe and healthy replacement for opioids is curcumic. Curcumic is a brightly yellow-colored natural chemical produced by turmeric. The curcumic in tumeric has efficiently been able to reduce inflammation and pain throughout the body. According to nutritionist Kris Gunnars, curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory; it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumic medicines are reletively cheap as well, they cost anywhere between $20 and $100, depending on the brand and the purpose of the medicine.

A much cheaper and easier way to reduce the amount of opioids that are being misused is to inform young children about the dangers and risks of overdosing on opioids.Teaching younger children the deadly effect of using and overdosing on unprescribed (or even prescribed) opioids will mold a much more decisive younger generation than the current unfortunate one. Our school’s S.A.D.D. program, which offers educational programs to educate the fifth graders at the elementary schools about the dangers of opioids and other drugs, is a step in the right direction.

Opioids have a purpose, but only if a person truly needs them. However, a vast amount of people are only using opioids for recreational use and not actual medical use. Deaths caused by opioids have stagnantly increased over the last three years by 540 percent, which is unacceptable no matter how individuals look at this pandemic situation.

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