The Role of Rehabilitation Centers in the Fight Against the Opioid Crisis

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Health is a multifaceted term with as many connotations as denotations. Some humans use the word health to describe their physicality while others reference their mental well being. For some, health is the type of diet someone has. But the word health is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury. The important thing about health is that it should be reasonable for all people who are suffering from a health related infliction to receive proper care or treatment.

Being healthy is not just eating fruits and vegetables or getting exercise; it is so much more about actually being health from mental all the way to physical well being. It is important to understand how to treat and manage illnesses with a chronic diagnosis. For the unfortunate patients who suffer from cancer or other diseases that are not always preventable, we treat them with medical care, and provide them with the necessary rehabilitation services to get cured. But unfortunately, for those suffering from addiction, we do not always treat them with the right care.

For many unfortunate reasons, some people with an addiction disorder are treated as though they somehow chose their condition. Addiction along with many other mental disorders are often pushed aside because they cannot be seen by the naked eye. The lack of empathy specifically for those suffering from addiction is disheartening.

Many media outlets and social media trolls aim to demonetize addiction because they simply have little understanding of how to treat the disorder. Some western media aims to act as if addiction is in someway a crime. Because some drug-related incidents lead to legal action and crime, people tend to associate drugs with crime, and in turn, associate addiction with crime. Suffering from an addiction does not necessarily constitute criminal activity.

The opioid crisis used to be in rural localized regions, but has since began migrating throughout the United States. Specifically, some of the poorest states like West Virginia and Kentucky have some of the highest rates of opioid addiction. In the southern part of the state of West Virginia, some maps showcase the number of opioid prescriptions per county or per doctor to give a visualized number effect of how over prescribing can lead to addiction. The worst part of the opioid crisis is finding a solution.

One of the first ways to fight the opioid crisis is providing rehabilitation centers that promote sober living. In states and locations with high economic disparity and disadvantage, the opioid crisis is also at an all time high. To combat this issue, it would be wise for local and federal governments to start thinking about a treatment plan with a bottom up approach.

Rehab centers that are focused primarily on opioid and prescription drug addictions will be helpful to combating the disease. It’s important that we treat addiction as a disease in society instead of continually acting like the people who suffer from addiction wanted to have an addiction. Instead, those with an addiction need to get to the root of the issue of why they chose to take the drug in the first place. Because having an addiction is a mental disorder, it should be treated as such. Rehabilitation center can provide patients with medical care as well as psychological care. Often these centers provide patients with group and individual therapy to help them find themselves and be resilient when entering back into civilian life.

The opioid crisis is often at the blame of pharmaceutical companies wanting to make more money, but it is honestly a crisis with many angles. Producing too much of the drug is one part of it, but also, over distribution is another negative effect in the industry. When taking inventory, pharmacists in charge of ordering them need to order only what is needed and not just have extras laying around. Another section of the crisis deals with the realm of doctors and physicians themselves. Physicians are not always completely competent when treating patients. Treating patients as though they have things wrong with them that they don’t or just treating pain in general instead of actually taking the extra step to find out what is wrong can be damaging to the patient’s health. Some patients with addictions will make doctor visits just to try and get more opioids. It is the doctor’s job to be the sleuth for  the opioid crisis and find out who truly needs the pain medicine and who does not actually need it. There are so many reasons that the United States suffers from opioid addiction, but each industry is willing to blame someone else for the problem instead of working together to do research on how to actually find solutions to the problem. The worst part about the opioid addiction is the amount of overdoses that are killing people. When lives are at stake, it is crucial for the government to step in and find answers to problems.

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