It's been over 20 years since the onset of the opioid abuse epidemic.
Since that time, 841,000 U.S. residents have lost their lives to an opioid overdose.
A stunning number.
Particularly stunning is that the crisis was fueled by pharmaceutical greed and abetted by physicians unwilling to see the obvious damage caused by these drugs.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have just released the results of a new study that looks at pediatric opioid prescriptions in 2019. For their study, published in the journal Pediatrics, they looked at over 4 million prescriptions.
The data showed that 3.5 percent of U.S. children and young adults (20 or younger) had received at least one opioid prescription during that time. Over forty-one percent of the prescriptions for patients receiving opioids for the first time exceeded a three-day supply and 3.8 percent exceeded a seven-day supply.
As disturbing as that data is, the researchers found that 45.6% of the prescriptions were considered a high-risk prescription (potentially dangerous for the patient).
Perhaps most alarming, so-called "high-volume prescribers" wrote 53.3 and 53.1 percent of prescriptions and high-risk prescriptions, respectively.
Over 60% of the prescriptions were written by dentists and surgeons.
So, this first question is – who are these high-volume prescribers? And how are they able to do what they are doing?
Have they not gotten the memo? Do they not know that 841,000 are dead in just 20 years from opioid overdoses? Do they not understand the brain-altering, dangerously addictive nature of these drugs? Or are they not competent enough to find a safer path?
We say – enough. Enough of the insanity. Enough of the carnage. We must protect young people from these drugs by taking advantage of the many other far safer pain treatment options, and we must start now.
If you're struggling with an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs and need help in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, Southern Maine, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more, please contact one of our Recovery Specialists.