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Addiction by Doctor’s Prescription

In TIME Magazine’s Special Edition: The Science of Addiction, author of “Addiction By Doctor’s Prescription,” Jeffrey Kluger says that “well-intentioned pain policies plus powerful opioid meds led to the current epidemic of addiction and death. But there’s new hope.” Read on to find out more about the addiction to opioids that so many Americans face.

Your brain learns to crave what it loves

Penny was a mother to a son with cancer. She often looks back fondly on that time, because at that point, her son was not addicted to opioids. Penny explains that while her son had cancer, many people were there for their family. However, once he was cancer-free, he was left with an addiction to OxyContin, an opioid prescribed to him while he was going through cancer treatment. After cancer, people did not understand or support the family as they did when he had cancer. This lack of support is not uncommon. Addiction is often misunderstood, and those dealing with it are left to face their demons alone. This lack of understanding has contributed directly to rising death tolls. Because of the increase in opioid-related deaths — 1 in every 65 deaths in the U.S. in 2016 were due to an opioid overdose — the government has taken action. Before 2014, the government listed opioids as a Schedule III drug, which means that it has a “moderate to low” risk of dependency. Since then, it has been moved to a Schedule II drug, which means that it has a “severe” risk of addiction.

“Killing the buzz”

There is hope out there for those struggling with an addiction to opioids. Congress passed the Support for Patients and Communities Act in 2018, which made some efforts to address opioid use. These steps include “developing a national workforce to deal with substance abuse disorders, requiring that state children’s health insurance programs include treatment for substance abuse and that Medicare screen beneficiaries for signs of addiction.” In addition to this act, addiction treatment as a whole has been more accessible. Hospitals and clinics have begun to enforce drug-disposal protocols and opioid education, says Kluger. 

What’s next?

More can be done to help put an end to the over-prescription of opioids, however. Kluger proposes a few solutions, such as “improving electronic pharmacy records, making it easier to track and prosecute doctors who are overprescribing and patients who are drugstore-shopping, getting pills in multiple locations at once.”

Villa Tranquil Recovery can help you if you are struggling with opioid addiction. Call us today for more information at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to hear from you.