America’s addiction to opioids is a testimony to the fact how abuse of medicines, meant to treat pain or other primary diseases, can wreak havoc even in the most developed economy of the world. As Americans continue to struggle due to increasing problem of opioid abuse, a recent study revealed that constant monitoring of doctors who prescribe opioids can help tackle the growing menace of opioid abuse in the country.
PDMPs raised awareness about controlled substances
The researchers studied the effect of implementation of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in various American states. They found that rigorous monitoring of pain prescriptions and physicians who prescribed them resulted in a 30 percent decrease in prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances. “We found that the implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program was associated with more than a 30 percent reduction in the rate of prescribing of Schedule II opioids,” said the authors.
The study, published online in the journal Health Affairs in June 2016, pointed at the decrease in the rate of prescription of opioids and associated drugs immediately after the launch of the program, the effect of which continued for a period of another three years after the launch.
Commenting on the findings, the authors said, “It is possible that the implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program by itself substantially raised awareness among prescribers about controlled substance misuse and abuse and made them more cautious when prescribing pain medications with a great potential for abuse and dependency.” They also said that doctors avoided prescribing Schedule II opioids, to some extent, after knowing that their act of prescribing was being “watched.”
However, the study could not establish the reason behind the reduction in opioid painkiller prescriptions.
Tackling opioid scourge
American communities feel besieged by the opioid scourge that has penetrated their lives to the core. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 28,000 people died due to opioid-related causes in 2014 alone.
Elucidating on the large-scale devastations caused by opioid abuse, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a news release, “The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders.”
As per a CDC report , published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in 2015, there was a 9 percent increase in deaths caused by prescription opioids, compared to 2013. The report also revealed that among the total drug overdose cases in 2014 in the U.S., an estimated 61 percent overdose cases was attributed to opioids.
Road to recovery
The cost involved in the abuse of opioids in America is far more than that of any other preventable disease. Till date, scientists have not been able to identify any single reason that influences people to use painkillers in dosage and manner not prescribed by their doctors. With life and reputation at stake, opioid addicts approach various de-addiction centers in the hope that the treatment would help them get their lives back on track.
If you or your loved one is battling opioid abuse, seek assistance from relevant prescription drug abuse treatment centers in the U.S. The Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline can help you connect to one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment clinics that have revolutionized opioid treatments by customizing the recovery process according to the patient’s severity of abuse. Our de-addiction experts are among the best addiction treatment advisors in America. For more information, chat online with one of our representatives or call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 450-1557.