Opioid Crisis Projections, and Some Good News

The projections for drug overdose deaths in this country is grim. According to STATnews, which contacted public health experts in 10 universities, the progression of opioid related deaths will increase over the coming decade. Drug overdose death rates are now about 100 per day. STAT’s experts pointed out, that number, in a worse case scenario, could reach as many as 250 per day. Death rate depend upon whether the spread of opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil are curbed or not. People in hard hits states, like West Virginia and New Hampshire, bear the brunt of these deaths because wait times for treatment for stretch into weeks. People who want to get clean need the opportunity and access to immediate treatment.

Another factor that contributes to the addiction crisis is the resistance of insurance companies to pay for holistic treatment methods like cryotherapy, ice and cooling systems. Apparently insurance companies need hordes of peer reviews for such devices to be covered, but they will pay for opioids. Opioids mask pain, and by their chemical makeup, are addictive and have adverse side effects like sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Cooling machines provide pain management and therapy at the same time, with no adverse side effects. One has to wonder if insurance companies are have secret money-making schemes with drug companies. When millions of people’s lives are at stake, it is hard not to consider which industries may be contributing to the epidemic, rather than working towards solutions.

In spite of all the terrible projections relating to the opioid crisis we must continue to look for positive markers. All across the country, people are coming together to find solutions to the opioid crisis. A judge in Minnesota saw potential in a young woman addicted to heroin and eight months pregnant. According to CBS News, the judge had the woman appear in court every several weeks, 27 times in total. In early December, 2017 the woman was 33 months clean, married and with a healthy son by her side.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, the South Pittsburgh Opioid Action Coalition will hold an evening “community resource fair” tonight, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 to bring together people who are dealing with addiction or who want to help to address the narcotic epidemic.The event was called Coming Together to End the Epidemic.

“We live in a world that is full of problems, and we are the solutions to those problems.”— Julia Butterfly Hill

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