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Opiates Addiction Epidemic Is A Disease According To Us Surgeon General

 Perhaps you have become popular to phrases like “public health crisis” which is sadly replacing the honest plain terms that express the real situation. Opiates addiction is an epidemic and has claimed the life of some 228 victims in 2016 in Cuyahoga County alone. While some consider addiction a self-engaged and created problem that one ought to deal with at personal level, others like the US surgeon general see it as a disease much like heart disease and diabetes. Opiates addiction continues to send many to the grave, recovery hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In 2015, Cuyahoga County registered 195 deaths resulting from heroin addiction. The numbers have only gotten worse since then and heroin deaths are now threatening to surpass top mortality contributors.

US Surgeon General visits hospital where addicts are being treated
In the state of increasing deaths from opiates addiction, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy expressed his concerns during his tour of Rosary Hall (St. Vincent Charity Medical Center) where he met and spoke to recovering addicts. He heard their stories from how they got addicted to heroin and opiates to the recovery and hell they have been through as a result of addiction. The Surgeon General stated that opiates addiction must be approached from multiple fronts and see addiction for what is really is; a chronic disease. As Murthy prepares to release his nationwide report on alcohol and drug abuse later this year, he commented Ohio for their step to make naxolone available. Meanwhile, he emphasizes the need to reform physicians’ prescription practices. For instance, most physicians take money to prescribe buprenorphine which is another opioid given to treat opiate addiction. While this is a legal practice, it creates what is known as a pill mill phenomenon that is much like addiction as the patients now have to seek money to treat their addiction for a high, or use the money to buy opiates for a high.

Where the journey starts - Increase medical reimbursement Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive also joined the Surgeon General in the event, advocating for the medical reimbursement cap to be increased to support 100 beds per facility instead of the 30 currently available. The number of addicts seeking rehabilitation and treatment often rises with increasing number of overdose deaths and the facilities are currently under-serviced. At the time, Rosary Hall has a two week waiting time which is considerably long enough to lose hope of treatment. The facility stated their interest in reducing that duration to 5 days at most. Most addicts are already aware of the consequences when they fall into addiction but hard drugs like heroin are difficult to quit after the first shot. The only logical solution is to expand treatment and rehabilitation facilities so that more lives can be saved from overdose. Reforms in treatment administration and drug prescription are also fundamental in the road to reduce opiates addiction and associated deaths.

Opiates addiction is an epidemic not only in Cuyahoga County but many other states record incredible deaths from heroin overdose and substance abuse. It has become a big problem to keep addicts from the drug and the unbearable withdrawal symptoms are sufficient cause for them to seek quick remedy in form of another shot. With all the statistics and sad evidence, it is time opiates addiction is treated as a serious, chronic life-threatening disease.


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