- Not giving people with a self-admitted or demonstrated history of opioid abuse and opioid addiction prescriptions for narcotic medications including opioid pain medications and anti-anxiety medications.
- Regularly visiting a doctor- about every 3 months
These are the three solutions a recent study found could be the solution to the opioid epidemic, or at least cut the amount of people who die from opioid overdose by about a third. The study analyzed over 30,000 medical records of patients treated through the US Veterans Affairs health system between 2006 and 2007. All of the patients had recorded addiction to narcotic drugs. Looking at the missing components or the helpful components for all of the records, the researchers concluded that the three interventions above would lead to a drastic reduction in opioid overdose.
Recent studies have revealed that there is a greater threat to people when they combine medications like opioids and benzodiazepines. Both medications are central nervous system depressants. Opioids run a high risk of overdose because of the way they slow the system down, quite literally from head to toe, and eventually shut down function in the lungs, the heart, and then the brain. Benzodiazepines can worsen this risk dramatically and cause a deadlier addiction. Though many doctors believe benzodiazepines are non-addiction forming, the experience of patients who have become dependent, in the same way regular users of opioids have, prove doctors wrong.
Regularly attending a doctor for actual treatments and check ups can give doctors insight on a patient’s evolution in health and wellbeing. A cluster of doctors visits back to back could indicate a desire to get prescriptions or receive a diagnosis in order to get prescriptions. When doctors visits are regular, about every 3 months, doctors can keep an eye on developing signs of addiction, or at the least, signs that there is a change in mental health.
Lastly, there is a large need for counseling. Anyone who has been clinically diagnosed with a substance use disorder can benefit greatly from working with a counselor or a therapist. Most addiction is a surface issue, with many underlying issues contributing to the problem. Medical doctors are not therapists, but when they notice a medical addiction issue growing they can refer to counselors or therapists in order to address the psychological issue at hand.
If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid and/or benzodiazepine addiction, there is help available. Our recovery services are designed to help you and your family focus on bringing recovery home. Call us today for information: 800-910-9299