The drug problem in the United States can be blamed on various factors. One of them is the easiest accessibility. This guide will address this specific issue and what needs to be done to curb it.
If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs they can easily access, help is not far away. Attending a detox center will be part of the process. Then, you’ll be able to go through a treatment plan that will help you conquer it once and for all.
Now, let’s talk more about drugs and how it could be possible to acquire them as easily as one can think.
How did this start?
One of the drugs that had ease of access from the beginning were opioids. The start of the epidemic can be traced back to the 1990s. How it started was medical professionals prescribing such medications to patients.
Assuming they have done so in good faith, they unknowingly unprescribed such medications. From there, patients took advantage of the overabundance of opioid prescriptions and abused them. Even to the point of addiction.
Since then, there have been efforts to curb this from happening. Despite this, opioid drugs (including prescription drugs) are still easily accessible. Likewise, there are medical professionals who may also be supplying their patients through illegal means.
As the years and decades passed, opioid deaths were tied to either heroin or prescription drugs. However, synthetic drugs such as fentanyl made their way onto the streets at the start of the 2010s. It didn’t take long before synthetic opioids were linked to overdose deaths.
Even more alarming is that the number of deaths increased dramatically since 2013. Since then, they have far outnumbered the overdose deaths of heroin and prescription drugs combined. These drugs are easily accessible as they are also affordable in terms of price.
Especially when they are being sold on the black market. What makes fentanyl such a force to be reckoned with is its potency. It’s more potent than any opioid available.
So much that even a very small dose can kill one person. A small, Glad bag amount may be enough to kill millions. The accessibility goes beyond the street.
People can acquire these drugs through the dark web and online marketplaces that can’t be found on the mainstream web. With sophisticated technology, it has allowed drug traffickers to take advantage. On top of that, cryptocurrency is being used for transactions for such illegal activity due to its difficulties in being traced.
Drug traffickers who use online means for business will utilize cyber-technology to make it hard for law enforcement to track them down.
How can easy access to drugs be curbed?
Curbing the easy accessibility of various drugs will be a challenge. Thus, it is important to come up with a plan that tackles it from numerous angles. Here are some ideas we believe might ensure that we’re going in the right direction:
Even though this is a measure already in place, it can still prove useful. Medical professionals need to be wary of who they prescribe opioid medications to. They must also keep a list of which patients are currently taking such medications.
It may be important for them to monitor their dosage to see if they are following directions. A protocol should be in place should a patient wish to increase their dosage. Indeed, a patient may build up a tolerance to their prescription opioids even if they are following directions.
The standard procedure for this would be for the patient to inform their doctor about this. The doctor will have the final say on whether the dosage should be increased. Doctors should also watch out for any unordinary or unusual scenarios such as patients requesting a refill well before their supposed due date for an actual request.
For example, if you prescribe a 30-day supply of a prescription and they are asking for refills two weeks in advance, this can be a red flag.
Expand evidence-based treatment for addiction
Those dealing with addiction may be denied help. Especially when they need it most. Some of them may be set off to the side because their situation isn’t ‘severe enough’.
Not only is it careless on the facility’s part, it’s also neglectful. This may give an addict the green light to continue so they can further damage their body and risk an overdose. This should never be the case.
Increase public health and safety funding
Curtailing easy access to drugs will take an effort from local, state, and federal authorities. It will take adequate funding for campaigns to make people aware of the drug problem. At the same time, law enforcement officials will need funding and resources in an effort to track down and prosecute those responsible for the drug trade.
Drug trafficking is an issue that goes beyond the borders of the United States. That is why all levels of government must work together to fight back against a much larger network of drug traffickers. The goal to end drug trafficking, illegal drug manufacturing and distribution will be a challenge.
It will be an ongoing effort that will continue for years, even decades. We can only do so much in our communities to ensure no one is caught up in a drug problem that can end their life in a flash.
With drugs still being easily accessed, reports of overdose deaths will continue to be a thing. That’s why it is important for us to be aware of what is going on. And, we should do our part to ensure that illegal drugs are off the streets and the trade is disrupted.
We can only do what we can. At the same time, we must trust the proper authorities to handle whatever they can on their end to stop easy drug access. All we can do is help others who are battling addiction or using drugs on a regular basis.