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Tackling The Opioid Crisis

Every day, at least three individuals in Tennessee die as a result of an opioid overdose. Some users just do not want to experience opiate withdrawal. This is something that a lot of people in Tennessee like.

Opiates include both prescription and illicit drugs such as Oxycodone and heroin. These substances are highly addictive. Although opiates have been around for hundreds of years, health care providers try to keep their use to a minimum due to addiction concerns.

However, beginning in the 1990s, a variety of factors, including increased attention to pain management as a clinical goal and the marketing of a new generation of addictive prescription opiates, led to an increase in the use of prescription opiates. This increase in prescriptions was linked to the increased availability of illegal opiates like fentanyl and heroin.

What can we do to combat the opiate epidemic?

Taking on a health crisis of this magnitude is a difficult task. We can work to prevent people from becoming addicted to opioids, as well as to assist people who have already become addicted to the drugs in treating their addiction and reducing the risk of harm or death. There are four strategies to choose from.

Prescription opioids should be used in moderation.

Physicians have prescribed opiates at higher rates than ever before in the last 15 years. In some states, each person receives multiple prescriptions for opioids each year. Some overprescribing is the result of unscrupulous "pill mills," or doctors that issue prescriptions without a therapeutic necessity. Patients may also see several prescribers to get prescribed opioids. In other instances, when little amounts or less powerful medications would suffice, physicians can utilize prescription opiates to treat pain.

The pandemic is driven in two ways by the misuse of prescription opioids. To begin with, it exposes patients to an addictive drug, increasing their chances of developing an opioid use disorder. Second, it produces a constant supply of opioids that may be diverted from their intended use.

Reduce the flow of narcotics that aren't lawful.

Many opioid-related fatalities are linked to illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl. Even though there are no easy answers, localities have started to engage in law enforcement operations that target big opiate trafficking networks.

To exchange information, collaborative activities across boundaries are required. The government has aided in the sharing of information across agencies, allowing federal and local law enforcement authorities to react to trends. Because of this shared information, law enforcement authorities have been able to bring cases to drug trafficking groups.

Encourage people to get therapy.

There are a variety of therapy alternatives available for individuals who have already developed an opiate addiction. Experts think that “medication aided therapy” is the most effective treatment for certain individuals (MAT). MAT entails taking medications that are designed to prevent opiates from being misused. These medications may help with cravings and prevent users from becoming addicted to opiates. Some of the medicines used in MAT are opiates in and of themselves.

In 2016, just 17.5 percent of individuals who needed specialist treatment for prescription opiate abuse got it. Treatment was hampered by a lack of insurance coverage for individuals who needed it, difficulties locating providers, and the addicted person's reluctance to seek treatment.

Lowering the risk of damage

Policymakers may consider harm reduction, which refers to reducing the risk of opioid use disorder.


The widespread availability of Naloxone, a medication that may reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose quickly, is one of the most significant methods to address harm reduction. By making Naloxone accessible to first responders and people, the chance of mortality from an opioid overdose may be drastically reduced.

Prisons and detention centers

People who have just been released from jail are 40 times more likely than others to die of an opioid overdose. Making Naloxone accessible to individuals who are about to leave jail is a very effective harm reduction approach.

Exchange of needles

Opioid abuse may lead to the use of IV drugs, which can lead to the spread of diseases including HIV and Hepatitis C. Making needles accessible to minimize the danger of users contracting these illnesses also implies that users will have access to important health care services. When users with opioid use disorders are ready to seek treatment, needle exchange programs may connect them to resources.

If you are an opiate addict who does not want to go through opiate withdrawal, Tennessee offers several treatment facilities that may give you MAT, which alleviates withdrawal symptoms. When it comes to getting off opiates, Tennessee opiate addicts should look into treatment facilities.