Opioid epidemic: Southwest Colorado doctors curb drug prescription

Opioid epidemic: Southwest Colorado doctors curb drug prescription

Opioid epidemic: Southwest Colorado doctors curb drug prescription

Prescription drug abuse has become so rampant in the United States that approximately 12.46 million people aged 12 years or older misused prescription drugs in 2014, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The numbers are quite startling, showing the dangerous effects on the masses, such as substance addiction, suicide attempts and even death.

While steps have been taken by various federal and state bodies to deal with the issue, doctors and medical practitioners have also been doing their bit. Understanding that the first step to form an addiction to prescription drugs is taken at a doctor’s office, hospitals and clinics across Southwest Colorado have started to cut back on prescribing opioids such as codeine and oxycodone to their patients.

The step was initiated after the CDC shared that more than 42,000 people lost their lives due to opioid overdose in 2016. In Colorado alone, heroin was responsible for around 228 deaths and opioid abuse was found to be the cause behind 300 deaths.

Alternative ways can manage medical conditions

According to Dr. William Plauth, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Regional Medical Center, doctors are opting for alternative medications or are limiting the prescription of opioid medications from seven to 10 days. Recommending medications that don’t require prescription can also be a great help. However, the same should not be compromised if the patient’s condition is severe, such as chronic pain or cancer.

A number of alternative ways can also be made available to the patients to help them manage their pain while undergoing surgery. This includes options like massage, meditation, music therapy, aromatherapy, counseling session, reducing anxiety, etc. Apart from the efforts made by doctors at hospitals, keeping a check on doctor shopping is also important, as ignoring it might lead to an easy access to medications.

Seek help to attain sobriety

Mary Dengler-Frey, regional health connector with the Southwestern Colorado Area Health Education Center, said that apart from diabetes and suicide, opioid abuse was the other major health problem affecting the region. She also said that prescription drug abuse is not usually related with drug use and can affect anyone, even high school athletes who are prescribed opioids for injuries. Taking careful steps and prescribing medicines within a limit can help in curbing the issue and help patients to avoid reaching that high.

Seeking treatment can be a great way to attain recovery and lead a healthy life. The two common ways that addiction can be treated are behavioral therapies and medications. Behavioral therapies include options like contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy, which act as a great way to help an individual to develop a healthy mindset as well as avoid any situation that might lead to a relapse.

Medications like buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone are commonly used to treat addiction. But, these are only prescribed if necessary and must be used in combination with behavioral therapies.

Road to recovery

If you are looking for the right prescription drug addiction treatment for your loved one, the Prescription Drug Addiction Help can guide you to a specialized treatment facility for prescription drug addiction. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-623-3847 for immediate prescription medication addiction help or chat online with one of our experts to access the best prescription drug rehab in your vicinity.