Hospital in Jersey Finds Other Means of Treating Patients
It has been widely known for quite some time that the nationwide heroin epidemic is in large part a direct result of the vast over-prescription of opioid painkillers. More than half of all cases of heroin addiction reportedly begin with an introduction to narcotic pharmaceutical medications – and many of these fated introductions take place in hospital settings. The painkillers most frequently used in emergency rooms across the country are Vicodin, Percocet, and oxycodone, all of which have a long history of life-threatening abuse. It is extremely common for heroin addicts to initially be prescribed painkillers, usually to treat temporary pain that could easily be treated through other means. St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center has become increasingly aware of this, and recently announced that it would be the first hospital in the country to implement a program which will manage the pain of its patients without the use of opioid painkillers.
Big Strides in the War on Opiate Addiction
Dr. Rosenberg, the head of the emergency department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, admits that the issue of over-prescription hits very close to home. His 93-year old mother-in-law went to a local emergency department after breaking her wrist. She received 5 Percocet from the emergency room and was directed to see her family doctor, who then prescribed her an additional 100 Percocet. Does a 93-year old woman need 100 Percocet for an injured wrist? Probably not. In 2012, there were enough opioid painkillers prescribed (nearly 260 million prescriptions in total) to give every American citizen (man, woman, and child), their very own bottle of high-potency pills. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that opioid painkillers are essential to treating some chronic pain-related conditions, such as those related to cancer. It is not realistic for all emergency rooms to completely eliminate the use of opioid narcotics, though increased awareness and a cessation of gross overprescribing certainly seems like a good place to start.
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Opiate Addiction Recovery is Possible
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act could potentially provide federal grants to both local governments and state governments as a means of combatting what has become a national epidemic. While this piece of federal legislation is still pending, the future of continued prevention and remission will be greatly aided by grants such as this. On a smaller scale, personal awareness is key – if you are being prescribed painkillers, take a look at whether or not you really, really need them. Just because a medical professional prescribes a narcotic opioid, it does not necessarily mean that it is essential to your recovery. Can you stand the pain will a little high-strength ibuprofen? Then do it! Your future may hang in the balance. And for more information on opiate addiction and opiate addiction treatment, please call us at Lighthouse Recovery Institute today.