It can never be overemphasized that the abuse of painkiller medications and opiates in America has had major negative effects. Since the 1990's, drug induced deaths have tripled even as medical experts forecast that the numbers could grow even more in the coming years. Many possible causes have been mentioned as being behind this menace. The deaths attributed to the abuse of opiates have outnumbered even those caused by motor vehicle accidents. They also are more than those resulting from a combination of cocaine and methamphetamine deaths. As the figures continue to soar, researchers are busy trying to find the best solution to stop the abuse and addictions.
With the revelation that non-medical use of opioids is the cause of addictions, it is important to pose the question, are doctors equipped to deal with this? Maybe, they only are taught to use the drug to help and ease the pain in their patients. They know perfectly how much of a dose to give and when to give it. They give instructions to their patients on how to use the drugs and even monitor their progress. Yet, this practice has not done anything to combat the abuse. In fact, it is like doctors are also helpless when it comes to the abuse and addiction to opiates.
Beside relieving pain and making a patient feel better, doctors seem to have scanty knowledge of other effects of opioids. They fail to detect the symptoms that could be an indication that a patient could be abusing the drugs. Why would a doctor prescribe these drugs to a person who is addicted? Is there not any way a doctor can tell when the patient is falling into addiction? Indeed, the questions are way more than the answers and so, there is a need to look at this puzzle from another angle. Doctors should for sure, be equipped with knowledge to deal with more than just the prescription part and start playing a role in stopping addiction at an earlier stage when it is still easier to manage.
One of the things that can be noted about the addiction process is that it starts when a patient surpasses the prescribed amount. But what is worrying about it is that they will surpass the amounts that the doctors recommended, and still come back to get prescriptions which they easily get. At this stage, the doctor should be able to notice that the patient has been taking more than they recommended. Considering that psychologists say that there are clear symptoms of addiction at every stage, things should be easier for the doctors, but they sadly are not.
With such facts on the table, focus should shift to the kind of training that doctors receive. There is no doubt that their curriculum focuses more on treating pain and so, they understand perfectly how and when to give opioids. They however get scant training when it comes to addiction.