The Battle to Defeat the Opioid Crisis is Far From Over
The opioid crisis plagues the United States, and finally the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s data suggest the addiction rates are plateauing. This drop can be attributed to more thoughtful prescribing of medications by doctors and an increase of public awareness of the issue. However, despite this progress the country still has much to do before the fight against opioid addiction is over. It is more important now than ever that we do not stop the battle yet there is comfort in the fact that the work we are doing is having an impact.
In this eye-opening article found on Vox, Dylan Scott details how despite the plateau the crisis still rages on. Scott explains the data provided: “It was the first decline BCBSA had measured in eight years, since it started tracking opioid use disorder diagnoses. It also comports with other national data sets we’ve seen recently.”
Scott was able to interview Eleanor Artigiani, the deputy director for policy at the University of Maryland’s Center for Substance Abuse Research who goes on to say that the “data from BCBS is certainly good news and promising” Scott was also able to speak with Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University who said: “The decrease in new cases of opioid addiction is likely due to the trend in more cautious prescribing and greater public awareness of opioid risks.”
Scott goes on to say: “this data doesn’t mean the opioid crisis is winding down just yet. Overdose deaths reached new highs in 2016, when more than 60,000 people died of drug overdoses, most of them from opioids. Millions of Americans are still living with opioid addiction. More powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl have made the risks of just one relapse even deadlier.” All of the numbers do show that America is on the right track however, there is still more to do.
It is also imperative out national government gets involved. Scott is able to highlight the potential of congress while also noting that experts believe it may not be enough: “Congress is looking at some new steps to improve access to addiction recovery, such as allowing doctors to prescribe medication-assisted treatments to more patients, but lawmakers have yet to make the kind of financial investment experts think is necessary to fight the crisis.” In the end this news is good but it does come with stipulation: we can not ignore the fact the crisis is still ongoing. Scott is able to articulate a reason for a call to action: “So the BCBSA data is good news, with ample caveats. We do seem to be getting better at preventing over-prescribing, and addiction rates do seem to be stagnating. Nevertheless, we need to do a lot more if we are to stop setting new records every year for overdose deaths”
Like any other crisis America has faced the people need to rally once progress is made. It is easy to begin to neglect the work needed to further the progress. Now more than ever it is important to continue battling all kinds of addiction in order to continue down the path towards ending the crisis. Here at BrainSpark Health we are dedicated to constantly working towards helping those with any kind of addiction. Our aim is to treat the source of the dependency and craving: the brain. We do this by jump starting it with a chemical spark, combining holistic, alternative medicine and social reprogramming instead of the conventional treatment currently available and proven to have over 85% failure rate. Click here to learn more about our Addiction Recovery Treatment
Ciara Levine – Clinical Director (Psychiatric Nurse, MSN, RN, PMHCNS)
Ciara is our Intake Coordinator/Mental Health Professional that offers an atmosphere of support so that together we can work to alleviate distress and make lasting changes. We will have the opportunity to make positive and healthy improvements to your life. My professional and personal journey have led me to be compassionate, direct and goal oriented with my clients. My approach is interactive, utilizing the theories of cognitive behavioral therapy and family systems therapy.
As a registered nurse for 22 years and an advanced practice psychiatric mental health nurse for 18 years, I have had the opportunity of helping countless individuals achieve behavioral changes that have resulted in lasting improvements in their lives.