Essay on the Opioid Crisis
No one truly adjusts to the constant reports of overdoses and drug raids or the constant sounds of ambulance and police sirens. As a citizen, you become mindful of the phenomena of the town. Living in southern West Virginia, more specifically, Mercer County, fashioned a strong obligation that I, among others in my generation, must work to combat the prolonged opioid crisis. It is not uncommon for you to see someone suffering from opioid misuse or abuse. These individuals have a distinct appearance. Some will appear exhausted, confused, malnourished, and filthy. In some cases, the needle marks or bruising are visible on their arms or legs. As a young individual, to ensure that the community around me will grow successfully, I am held accountable, and I hold myself accountable.
To begin, I believe that the foundation of the opioid crisis is wrongly prescribed medications by doctors. For example, upon a doctor’s visit an individual is prescribed a serious pain medication. Upon follow up visits to see the doctor, months after the pain has stopped, the doctor writes the prescription for the same pain medication. This type of practice is common. The improper prescribing of pain killing medication leads to the misuse of opioids. While, patients often mislead, or lie to their prescriber about the pain to receive the medication, the prescription is the gateway to their addiction or dependence. Consequentially, doctors are an initial factor in the opioid crisis in my community.
In addition, illegal substances are an alternative route to the problem at hand. Constant opioid use changes behavior and as we all know, leads to addictions and overdoses in my community. Some of the socioeconomic factors in Mercer County such as employment, education, and income, play a key role in individuals deciding to recreationally use opioids and other controlled substances.
Finally, I believe that there should be a safer way for the individuals to get what they need. For example, I have seen several needle exchange programs. This way, people are minimizing the spread of serious virus like HIV and AIDS. Equally, a program could be implemented where patients are supervised or monitored while taking serious medication. The supervision would consist of watching for common signs of addiction. Signs such as: anxiety, nausea, vomiting, sweating, weight loss, lack of control, and irritability. At the same time, all individuals are different, and the prescribers should also have supervision as to how much they prescribe, reducing the problem with opioid misuse or abuse. With that said, since there is an ongoing problem in my community, I would want to make sure that all individuals had access to treatment programs. As for the other factors at play, I believe it is important to provide physical therapy to patients who have chronic pain. I would also like to implement a safe way to dispose of unwanted prescriptions. Most people collect them or throw them out in the trash, which is unsafe.