Prescription opiates are narcotics that are used to treat moderate to severe pain. They are very powerful drugs that work very well in masking pain. The problem with opiate prescription painkillers is that they should not be used for long-term treatment of mild pain. It has been well documented that prescription painkillers have been prescribed at an increasing rate over the last decade. Over-prescribing of these medications can lead to abuse very quickly. If you do not have severe pain and take these medications, you will develop a craving for the euphoric way the drug makes you feel. This pleasure that painkillers provide is something that makes the person want to feel it again and again. When the patient is prescribed the medication from a licensed physician, they believe that they are under good care and do not think anything of the fact. Before the patient knows it, they are addicted to their medication and are scared and clueless as to what to do from there. Many doctors are not very educated on addiction and will look for another drug to prescribe to help with it. A lot of Doctors quickly look into Methadone or Suboxone as a treatment and that can open a whole new box of problems.
The state of Maine was just announced as having the highest rate of prescription painkillers prescribed to it citizens out of the fifty states. This is news that has brought great concern to the state and their officials. According to the CDC who did a study on the rates of prescription painkillers being prescribed says that, "The study has found that the state of Maine currently owns the lead in the amount of high-dosage prescription pain opiate prescriptions". CDC experts believe that this piece of information is a sign to take action, since many people often overdose from abusing those types of medications. The study, which measured long-term use is significant because opiates are not meant to be used over a long-term period of time when it comes to minor pains. Based off the study, some experts recommend that Maine not only looks at the numbers but also considers alternative ideas that could help offset opiate abuse. The CDC was not able to determine the reason that Maine was the leading state in prescribing opiates.
One doctor from the Maine Behavioral Health Board recommended that the state pay not only go after the supply of opiates but to also find a solution to the problem. The director of one organization, MaineCare, confirmed that the state has worked with the organization to carefully monitor opiate hand-outs, leading to a major decrease in prescriptions. Experts also recommended trying to change the perception of patients, who believe they should be 100% pain-free. MaineCare is currently hoping to serve as a model for other doctors in the state. The state of Maine is looking forward to being able to change their statistics in the near future.