“As an addiction medicine physician, I would say that stigma and persistent misunderstanding about the role of medication for opioid use disorder is one of the biggest, if not the single greatest, barriers to ensuring people have access to these treatments,” says Dr. Sarah Wakeman, medical director at Havard’s Mass General Hospital Substance Use Disorder Initiative.
The opioid epidemic cost the federal government $26 billion in lost tax revenue between 2000 and 2016, and state governments $11.8 billion, according to a new study published in Medical Care.
As the community has rallied to fight the opioid crisis, the Columbus Police Department is also seeing some progress in the war on narcotic abuse.
Opioid overdose-related deaths in Columbus were down last year by more than 58 percent from a year earlier, according to the Columbus Police Department’s 2018 Annual Report.
The Mission Columbus demolition crews tasked with dismantling a more than century-old Arvin Industries vault, to make way for new office space for the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress (ASAP), could only smile when they were told the old structure in the former United Way of Bartholomew County offices was permanent and probably couldn’t be removed.
“We just assumed that it wouldn’t, or couldn’t come out,” said Doug Otto, the namesake of the United Way building who now serves as its caretaker.
The nation’s opioid crisis began with prescription painkillers – Vicodin, Oxycontin, norco and the like.
When doctors stopped writing so many prescriptions, when illegal pill supplies dried up or buying them off the street became too expensive, users turned to heroin and deaths from that shot up.
But now, there’s fentanyl, a synthetic opioid and the deadliest drug in America. It’s showing up everywhere, taking the lives of people rich and poor, old and young.
The Opioid Crisis has put enormous strain on our nation’s state courts, many of which have been overwhelmed by growing dockets and shrinking resources. In a recent survey of chief justices and state court administrators, 55 percent ranked the opioid epidemic’s impact on the courts as severe. The survey results are unsurprising, given the complexity of opioid cases: it takes an enormous amount of time to figure out what’s best for people who are addicted, how to care for their children, and what resources are available for them. And those who are placed in a treatment program with court oversight may remain involved with the court for years.
From 1999-2017, almost 400,000 people died from overdoses involving an opioid.
But those statistics do not track the millions of children whose parents overdose, are unwilling or unable to get treatment, or simply can’t function as good parents. These children’s tears are largely hidden from public and professional view, yet the traumas they experience can be devastating. Even if the opioid epidemic ended today, the impact will last for decades in an ever-widening ripple effect.
Nearly 200 realtors and elected officials in San Diego kicked off an innovative program aimed at reducing access to opioid pain killers.
Volunteers went door-to-door in the city, handing out information cards and special plastic bags for residents to properly dispose of their unneeded and expired prescription drugs.
When your child is dying from cancer or another serious or terminal illness, people rally around you with support and comfort. You can freely talk about the disease, the course of treatment and how you are dealing with it.
There seems to be some unspoken rule, however, when that loved one is suffering from addiction. Unlike other diseases such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes, there is shame that surrounds the disease of addiction.
Opioid abuse doesn’t just affect someone’s personal life, it also impacts his or her job performance and the employer’s bottom line as it leads to increases in worker’s compensation, absenteeism, health care expenses as well as lost productivity. The opioid crisis has cost the state $43 billion since 2003.