It is no mystery to anyone that opioid addiction has more negative effects than positive ones, like any other kind of addiction. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warns against the use of opioids, and the warning goes both for consumers and prescribers. His initiative is part of the project Turn the Tide.
Turn the Tide is actually a national campaign, which was initiated only a month ago, and it is meant to raise awareness on the risks to which opioids can lead. Vivek Murthy manages a website dedicated to the project, where pharmacists can find all sorts of useful information on the matter. The purpose of this initiative is to convince prescribers and pharmacists to take an active role regarding the situation, and not encourage patients seeking for the drugs. Pharmacists are also asked to provide customers with alternative treatments.
This week began with the Surgeon General ‘s implication in the New Jersey’s situation with opioid addiction.
PR Newswire reports on the current situation of New Jersey regarding this issue:
“Heroin deaths in New Jersey are up 160 percent since 2010, with more than 1,200 overdose-related deaths last year alone. In 2015, more than 28,000 New Jerseyans sought treatment for heroin or opioid abuse, significantly outpacing previous year’s figures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and heroin-related deaths more than tripled from 2010-2014 with approximately three out of four new heroin users report first abusing prescription opioids. Veterans are twice as likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose as non-veterans, according to a 2011 study of the VA system.”
Vivek Murthy’s opinion on the matter is that The United States are facing some kind of “opioid epidemic”. He further explains the need for more information on the subject:
“Both patient and prescriber education are crucial if we are to make inroads in preventing this epidemic.”
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy also thinks that addiction is like a disease and struggling with it takes a lot of effort. He addresses health care providers and citizens alike that they should think twice when it comes to opioid addiction:
“Addiction really is a disease of the brain. It is not a moral failing. It is not a bad choice. This is a moment where more professionals can stand up and lead – and not just within the walls of the hospital.”
Image source: Wikipedia