Opioid Epidemic Essay


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Opioid Epidemic Essay

Opioid Essay: Introduction

Opioids are a chemically similar drug class. Illegal heroin is also an opioid. Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the human body and brain, and they are known to prevent pain. In addition to relieving pain, they create a feeling of relief. Opioids quickly cause addiction in people who form tolerance. This addiction leads users to take more doses for a sense of relaxation. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a severe national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020). The opioid outbreak is one of the gravest public health crises facing the U.S. If this situation cannot be prevented, the substance that provides assistance, will cause deaths that will increase day by day, contrary to its purpose. This national crisis will be addressed in all its aspects, and discussions to prevent new opioid addiction cases that may arise will be discussed.

Body Paragraphs

Based on data available for analysis in 2020, an average of sixty-eight people in the United States dies every mouth overdose of a drug, and fifty states of United States had drug overdose death rates that just got higher each year. This rate increased as about 21.959 predicted the number of deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Moreover, if we involve the deaths caused by other opioids, such as synthetic, prescription opioids and heroin, this number will increase for at least fifty percent. Between 2017 and 2018, deaths caused by opioids decreased by 2%, 13.5%, and 4.1%, respectively. Prescription opioid-involved death rates decreased by 13.5% from 2017 to 2018.

While rate during 2017-2018 decreases occurred among females; persons aged fifteen and fifty-four years; non-Hispanic whites; and in the small metro, micropolitan, and noncore areas; and in the Midwest and South regions. It increased among persons aged sixty-five and under years, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics, and in the Northeast and the West regions (CDC 2020, Table 1). Seventeen of the twenty states experienced a drop in prescription opioid-related death rates, and there were no significant increases in any of the states after that. The largest relative decrease occurred in Ohio (–40.5%). In contrast, the largest absolute decrease occurred in West Virginia (–4.1), which also had the highest prescription opioid-involved death rate in 2018 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020) Although these decreases were happening though, illegal production of opioids that occur in illegal fentanyl raids may cause this number to increase again in the future.

The complete removal and banning of opioids are not a solution to reduce the deaths to zero. However, those drugs also have medical benefits. Morphine and codeine natural opioids are substances that act as pain relievers and have morphine effects. Those are essential substances in analgesia usage. In the first instance, it is recommended to use opioids for pain therapy on patients with, particularly cancer pain, several chronic noncancer pains. When used appropriately for medical purposes, opioids are effective and safe analgesics opioids should be prescribed and used with great care. They should also establish an accurate balance between the analgesic effect of opioids and side effects (American Cancer Society, 2019). Due to its potential side effects and abuse features, some doctors prefer not to use it. Afraid to use opioid group drugs with potential side effects called “opiophobia.” Which word was first used in the medical literature by the American pharmacologist John Morgan in 1985. The causes of opiophobia originate from a wide range of topics, from the physician’s inability to trust his knowledge to the patient’s and the patient’s owner’s trust. As a result, patients are sentenced to suffering pain that they should not suffer. (Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 2014, p.638). It should be clearly understood that the usage of opioids kills the pain, not the patient.

How to overcome this overdose Crisis? The best way to prevent a situation starts with knowing how the event occurred. It also requires community involvement in better coordination and finding solutions to end the opioid crisis. Combating this epidemic requires urgent, evidence-based approaches that address clinical, research, and education issues, Dr. Freeman said (U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health,2017). As we mentioned above, the overuse of opioids can easily cause addiction. Educating providers and patients on these drugs can minimize opioid abuse; current approaches include prescription monitoring programs, preventing prescription/medical errors, checking patient identification at the pharmacy, referral to pain specialists, and the use of abuse-deterrent opioid formulations. (U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health,2011). It is an essential point whether incoming patients have a drug-related problem in his/her medical history or treatment. It is not the right option to give opioids to the person who has been interfered with due to addiction. Another solution is Overdose prevention centers to take control of the regions.

These centers are a proven approach to reducing drug-related deaths. Such centers interfere with any situation related to overdose with trained professionals. The third is to ensure drug control and a safe supply process. Users are not aware that most of their medicines may contain fentanyl. In this case, consumers should be warned that the drug should not be used at all, or it should be used very carefully, and prescription follow-up should be done. Fourth, by saying to the drug user, ‘this is bad,’ won’t prevent him from taking the dose. In this regard, specific programs should be created to train and educate drug users and their family members about risk of harm, or even death possibility, such as comprehensive drug prevention curricula in the world D.A.R.A. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).

Opioid Epidemic Essay: Conclusion

In conclusion, sanctioned penalties for drug possession and even low-level sellers should be implemented, and those who are caught should be subjected to get treatment if needed (Drug Policy Alliance, 2020) because every drug user or seller who has not been given a particular penalty or treatment will continue to play a role in its spread. If these are not taken into account, an increase will be inevitable. So, in the end, is it worth it to deal with this issue and all these solutions when there are other problems? The answer is yes. Such issues pose a critical danger due to mental disorders and increased drug diversity. Every person starts by just trying it and becomes dependent on the brief relief he needs. This can happen to any person and his/her family member at any time. Furthermore, a short moment of relief can result in eternal silence, death. Recognizing those who become addicted to these substances, consciously or unconsciously, and preventing the situation, play an essential role in protecting the country’s citizens.


American Cancer Society. January 2019. Opioids for Cancer Pain. By the American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. https://cancer.org/treatment/treatments and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/pain/opioid-pain-medicines-for-cancer-pain.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. 12 Month-ending Provisional Number of Drug Overdose Deaths. https://cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 2020. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2017–2018 and Table.

Drug Policy Alliance. 5 Bold New Solutions to the Overdose Crisis. (n.d.). 2020. Retrieved from https://drugpolicy.org/EndOverdose

Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 2014, Is fear of prescription drug abuse resulting in sufferers of chronic pain being undertreated? , Robert J Gatchel, page 638,

National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2020. Opioid Overdose Crisis. https://drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis#one

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