Who’s to Blame for the Opioid Crisis?

There are many differing opinions on who’s to blame for the opioid crisis in this country. Understanding the causes of the crisis is an approach that puts the emphasis on solutions, not fault. Statistics show over hundred individuals die each day of an opioid overdose or complications related to addiction. These are sons and daughters, parents and grandparents. We need better prevention, education, funding, and outreach—not blame.

In Missouri, Attorney General Josh Hawley pointed out that his state’s epidemic is the, “direct result of a carefully crafted campaign of deception carried out by [pharmaceutical companies].” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the industry is responsible for “unleashing a health-care crisis,” and “fueling Ohio’s opioid epidemic.” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter declared drug “companies are culpable for the tragic, heartbreaking number of Oklahomans who have become addicted or who have died as a result of the opioid epidemic in our state.”

In a September 2017 an article in the National Review, Dr. Glenn W. Simon argued that with coalescence of the, “lax health-industry accreditation standards, the treatment of pain as a “fifth vital sign,” the practices of insurance companies, and the transformation of our health-care system into what is essentially an assembly line,” are the culprits for the epidemic.

The first four vital signs for a physician to treat are: blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. The fifth vital sign was designated by the American Pain Society in 1996. Doctors don’t test or measure anything without the intent to treat the problem. Making patient pain the fifth vital sign obligated doctors to address pain by a more aggressive means. The onus was on the doctor to relieve the pain and this, in some instances, was tied to a their fee.

Another issue was that alternative therapies weren’t paid for by insurance companies. This resulted in the patient with health insurance having to choose between living in pain or taking the opioids prescribed by their doctors. Because of cost, many patients choose the drugs. Had their been laws to educate and allow patients to choose alternative therapies, along with provisions for drug oversight, the epidemic may not have occurred on such a grand scale. Still, another contributor entered the money making business of drugs with illicit sales through the internet.

“The soul selects her own society—Then—shuts the Door.”—Emily Dickinson

The first step in your restorative journey is to remove chemical toxins and mentally prepare for recovery. At Infinity Malibu’s gorgeous and fully private rehab, a team of experienced physicians and clinical staff will assess your condition and create a customized plan for your recovery. Without alcohol and drugs infinite possibilities abound. Talk to someone today by calling 888-266-9048

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