Drugs continue to be a problem in the United States even today. The ease of accessibility and the rising number of overdose deaths in the past decade alone is enough to sound the alarm – albeit loudly. Addiction is still as serious of a situation than ages before.
The numbers increased during the pandemic. What are the measures the government is taking to control the situation? Let’s take a look now at the following guide below and discuss what’s going on.
Discussion of Addiction is Being Emphasized
Addiction is a disease that affects numerous Americans. It’s no secret that many people need help to beat it and live healthy, fulfilling lives. If you are among one of those seeking it, a Phoenix drug rehab center will be the best starting point.
The number of overdose deaths are often from those suffering from addiction. In fact, the number of individuals dying from synthetic opioids have far outnumbered overdose deaths from heroin and prescription opioids combined.
The government ensured that addiction recovery services were covered by health insurance. This is thanks to changes made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to ensure that every policy covers treatment for addiction as well as mental health services.
Addiction is a disease that still faces a stigma even today. It’s important that more awareness should be made on the seriousness of addiction. It should also give people the opportunity to learn and understand addiction from the eyes of those battling it.
Make Treatment More Available
The availability of addiction services must also be discussed as well. Some have reported while seeking help, they may have been unable to get it for one reason or another. For example, some have claimed that they may have been denied help because the addiction wasn’t ‘severe enough’.
However, the availability should be expanded. If someone requests help for their substance addiction, they should be able to get it. Never mind how serious it needs to be.
Addiction treatment can be effective. Each person is provided with a treatment plan that is based on their needs. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for everyone.
There are different kinds of treatment that are available. Inpatient and outpatient facilities are available for those who need it. However, they may have no choice but to go with an inpatient if the addiction is serious and if the possibility of severe withdrawal symptoms exist.
During treatment, those in recovery can be able to gain access to certain treatments. For example, you’ll be able to gain access to medication-assisted treatment (or MAT). This treatment approach uses certain medications that will reduce their risk of overdose and also the occurrences of withdrawal symptoms.
Policies to Combat the Spread
Governments from the local to federal levels are considering or have approved policies to slow the spread of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking operations are still running rampant in every corner of the country. It is one of the priorities of law enforcement agencies to disrupt these operations and apprehend those associated with them.
These include dealers, suppliers, and distributors. In addition, investigations, seizures, and prosecutions are also regular goals of law enforcement agencies in relation to drug-related crimes. Possession of drugs (without the intent to sell) may come with criminal penalties.
However, it is important to emphasize that having an addiction is not a crime. Possessing drugs with the intent to distribute and sell is. Disrupting drug trafficking operations will be essential in making sure no one falls victim to another overdose due to their addiction.
Education and Prevention Programs
Substance and abuse may start at an early age. For this reason, the importance of education and prevention programs should be addressed. This includes organizing regular programs for children, adolescents, and teens to learn about the dangers of substance abuse.
These programs can also be done through partnerships between schools, law enforcement agencies, and healthcare providers. The objective is to prevent drug use from ever happening regardless of what the drug may be.
Indeed, recreational marijuana is legalized in several US states. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s OK to use. This is one of the messages that these educational programs intend to use.
The sooner children are educated on the dangers of substance abuse, the better. It’s important that a message is emphasized on the health risks involving addiction. This also includes the potential death from overdose.
Precautionary Measures for Overdose
Recently, there have been nationwide programs launched regarding the situation of overdose. For example, the administration of Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose. First responders are equipped to use it in emergency situations.
However, there are ordinary citizens that volunteer to carry Naloxone (where it’s legal to do so). Either way, it takes a certain initiative to prevent an overdose death occurring. If and when an overdose has happened, administering Naloxone is critical.
Emergency medical services should also be called in order to treat the overdose victim. This is yet another precaution that needs to be taken. We must do everything we can to reduce overdose deaths.
Such occurrences tear families apart. The sudden loss of a family member due to addiction can be emotionally taxing. The sooner we combat overdose deaths, the better.
No family should ever grieve the loss of a loved one who died from an overdose.
Governments in the United States are tirelessly continuing their efforts to slow the spread of drugs. Some may say they aren’t doing enough. It’s important that every level of government implements measures and strategies to disrupt drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, preventative education should be useful for America’s children, adolescents, and teens. Addiction itself should also be more of a focus in terms of treatment and making sure people get the help they need as soon as possible.
It’s time to do whatever we can to save lives. Inaction leads to more lives lost to addiction. And it also leads to more drugs running rampant in our streets and neighborhoods.