Since the increase in use has lead to a larger amount of overdoses and deaths in the community more emergency services are needed to protect the communities and try and combat the problem. These problems worsen the community and scare others away from that area. Stated by Wilson M. Compton, a researcher from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Emergency department visits involving misuse or abuse of prescription opioids increased 153% between 2004 and 2011, and admissions to substance-abuse treatment programs linked to prescription opioids more than quadrupled between 2002 and 2012.Most troubling, between 2000 and 2014 the rates of death from prescription-opioid overdose nearly quadrupled from 1.5 to 5.9 deaths per 100,000 persons.” Communities have become more and more dangerous due to the opioid abuse and with that has come needed intervention by law enforcement and other emergency services. The misuse and deaths tolls rising create a more risky environment, one that is unfriendly to families. Although opioids are dangerous and worsen the area, it leads to other drugs like heroin. Declared by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Coinciding with these efforts to reduce non medical prescription-opioid use and overdoses are reports of increases in the rates of heroin use and deaths from heroin overdose. According to national surveillance data, 914,000 people reported heroin use in 2014, a 145% increase since 2007,and mortality due to heroin overdose more than quintupled, from 1842 deaths in 2000 to 10,574 deaths in 2014. Additionally, four out of five new heroin users reported to have begun abusing prescription painkillers before switching to heroin and a stunning 94 percent of heroin users being treated for opioid addiction stated that they switched to the street drug because it was cheaper than buying prescription pills.” With misuse and abuse of opioids it leads to other drugs like heroin that continue to ruin communities and bring in dangerous drugs. This drug trafficking similarly above causes deaths and ruins the community. Even though there are dangerous aspects to this topic, many communities are banding together and trying to solve this problem.
How are communities trying to solve this problem?
Many communities are worried about the rising epidemic and with that have thought of solutions to contradict the problem. Although not new techniques some have proven to be helpful. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said, “The opioid overdose antidote naloxone has reversed more than 10,000 overdose cases between 1996 and 2010.For many years, naloxone was available only in an injectable formulation and was generally only carried by medical emergency personnel. However, the FDA has recently approved a new hand-held auto-injector of naloxone to reverse opioid overdose that is specifically designed to be given by family members or caregivers.” Although naloxone has been around for decades, it has recently been making strides to fix the opioid epidemic through handheld auto injectors that reverse the overdose. Before these drugs have been limited and harder to help addicts get relief from opioid addiction; however, now that it has been easier to get naloxone safely to addicts, we can reverse the problems and fix the addiction. New drugs are not the only way to fix this problem though. Postulated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “The United States has placed $500 million a year toward the treatment of opioid abuse and to help addicts obtain better treatment.” The government has given money to educate the population about the dangers of opioid abuse as well as treatments to current addicts. These programs help addicts recover and return to productive members of society, and help to prevent youth and adults from making similar mistakes people before them made. All in all, opioid abuse has created many problems; however, many people have been trying to find solutions to this epidemic.