Opioid Epidemic Continues Across United States
Prescription drugs and heroin issues continue to plague people across the Untied States.
The U.S. holds roughly a 40% share of the global pharmaceutical market. Recently, and seemingly more and more each week, prescription drugs are causing serious problems for people across the country and are even leading to heroin addiction.
“We knew that this was going to be an issue, that we were going to push addicts in a direction that was going to be more deadly,” said Dr. Carrie DeLone, Holy Spirit Medical Group Medical Director. “But, we also know that you have to start somewhere. You have to understand what you’re doing. You have to regulate this. It can’t just be business as usual.”
According to The Sentinel, the influx of prescription pills has become such a significant problem that in some areas of the country, particularly in Pennsylvania, the problem had to be addressed immediately in order to save the lives of addicted individuals.
“The initial problem is that we have people who are addicted and now we are not giving them as many pharmaceutical-grade painkillers, so they are moving to heroin,” DeLone added.
The Daily Cardinal reports that far too many children have had their lives lost at the hands of these opioids.
“We want people to know that opioids, though they are prescribed by doctors, can be very dangerous,” said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleeisch, head of the Opioid Task Force.
Sadly, many of these opioid addictions aren’t starting from young people abusing drugs just to experiment, but rather from being legally prescribed after experiencing an injury or having surgery or dental work done.
According to University of Maryland Professor of Criminology Katie Zafft, a multifaceted approach to addressing this heroin and prescription drug issue must be implemented on a national scale.
“When they [addicts] become this entrenched in a community, we need a holistic approach to bend that curve down again,” Zafft added.