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Is CA Responding to the Ever Growing Opiate Problem

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Across the nation, doctors have been over prescribing powerful pain medications at alarming rates. Often, patients become addicted to these substances due to grossly unnecessary prescribing practices. In fact, 44 Americans die every day from a prescription medication overdose. Sadly, in many instances, these pills can get into the wrong hands if they are not disposed of properly. This leads to more abuse and an increased death toll caused by Opiates. As addiction advances, these users frequently turn to cheaper alternatives such as Heroin, to satisfy their cravings.

As this deadly trend continues to develop, it has been labeled an epidemic by the Center for Disease Control. Fortunately, some states are ramping up their efforts in the battle against Opiate addiction. In fact, California has established several new measures to help end the lethal epidemic that is gripping the nation.


Medication Disposal

To ensure that prescription pills do not get into the wrong hands, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local officials nationwide participate in a Drug Take-Back Day. These events promote the proper disposal of prescription medications and warn of the dangers associated with Opiates. To guarantee proper drug disposal year-round, several counties in California have been successful in requiring pharmaceutical companies to fund programs for the collection and disposal of unused pills. Though pharmaceutical companies fought this requirement all the way to the Supreme Court, California ultimately won the case in 2015.

Community Cooperatives

Several California communities have instituted initiatives to fight Opiate addiction and abuse. These coalitions bring together local officials, community leaders, and health organizations to create a comprehensive program to battle drug abuse. Healthcare providers, insurance carriers, hospitals, law enforcement officials, pharmacies, communities groups, and other major players will come together to provide a wide range of services, with the goal of stemming the morbidity associated with Opiate abuse. The group’s common focus will be on education, prevention, treatment, and support. Specifically, ensuring safe prescribing practices, introduction of Naloxone, and expansion of treatment options.

Partners in Prevention

As the number of individuals requiring treatment for Opiate abuse has almost doubled in about 8 years, it is important to obtain communities partners in rehabilitation services. Over the next few years, California will receive $3.7 million to enhance its war on drugs. These funds will aid community partners in providing the best education, prevention, and treatment for California and its residents. A few rehabs in California that are the best known rehab centers, are located in Santa Cruz, California and as well as in San Francisco, California. Since Opiate abuse has almost doubled in 8 years, drug rehab centers must have a knowledgeable staff and many rehabs available per state.

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Louisa Hoffman

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