The state of Iowa has been fighting an opiate epidemic for over a decade. Many addicts were unable to find the help they needed if they did not have private insurance. It is hard for many addicts to get help because when their addiction takes over completely, many lose jobs and benefits including insurance. The Iowa Department of Public Health plans to give out $3 million in federal funding to help provide more treatment for those with addictions to heroin and prescription opiate medications.
The department will be providing those who are battling an addiction to opiates with alternative opioid medications. These medications are said to help with cravings and to help heal the brain, such as Methadone or Suboxone. In many cases I feel these drugs should be used as a last resort because of the long lasting effects on the brain. When you do not have many other options, it is important to take what you can in order to get your life on the right path and keep yourself from abusing opiates. Many times these medications have been used to help those break their heroin or painkiller addictions.
Prescription opioid medications have become very popular over the past 15 years. Doctors prescribe opioid medications more liberally than in the past because patients expect to receive a prescription medication when they visit their doctor. Many patients will not be happy after paying high medical insurance premiums and high co-pays for their doctor to tell them to go home and put "ice on it" and rest up. Doctors will do whatever it takes to make their patients comfortable, which has partially caused these addictions.
As new programs like these in Iowa take on new patients who are in need of help, it will greatly benefit lives that would have normally been wasted because of drug addiction. Since it used to be so hard to find treatment because of lack of insurance, this grant money will go a long way in helping addicts who would have normally have no other options.