Drug Abuse and Overdosing Deaths
How it works
Drug abuse and overdosing are a grave issue that is affecting the nation. The death rate has increased intensely in recent years in United States due to Overdosing on drugs with number of deaths doubling every nine years including accidental and unintentional deaths. (Cunningham, 2018). The abuse and dependence to opioids- including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drugs for pain relief is a serious nationwide catastrophe that disturbs communal health and as well as economical, psychological, social, and physiological welfare. The reasons behind abusing drugs include but not limited to stress in life, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, no source of income, and loneliness. There are several drivers to the problem, the problem of easy availability of prescriptions drugs and opioids by medical practices of primary care and pain management providers; lacking oversight to control appropriate prescribing of analgesics; coverage of opioid drugs by insurance companies; and a belief that use of prescription drugs is safe and not hazardous. All these reasons are related to increased usage of opioids causing addiction and overdosing deaths. Therefore, education is needed for public and health care providers to stop its continuation.
Drug abuse and overdosing in United States has increased drastically effecting the economical, psychological, social, and physiological welfare of community. When we talk about economic impact meaning the cost of buying drugs, ER visit cost, and cost of prison. People spend too much money on buying prescription opioid drugs that is easily available to them through their primary care providers and insurance coverage benefits which is impacting the economy of nation. Not only this, the ER visits due to overdoing on drugs is additional along with prison cost. There are at-least 2-5 patient’s come to the Emergency Room because of overdosing on drugs every single day, not only impacting the economy of the nation but also endangering their lives. The economy of United States lost $218.1 billion dollars due to substance misuse and mental sickness in 1985. (Birkenshaw, 2014). Drug abuse not only impact person economically but also psychologically. These people suffer from intellectual damage, psychological dependence, anxiety, nervousness, depression, delusion, and paranoia with depression being the major problem. Depression occurs when person does not get enough dosage of drug to get high and not able to attain state of euphoria. People abuse drugs to get rid of depression which helps until the user is in state of euphoria. As soon as that state of euphoria ends, user goes through withdrawal symptoms which make depression even worse.
How it works
Psychological Impact: Psychological dependence occurs when person is on long term use of drugs or opioids due to some physiological reason for example cancer patients to help with cancer pain or non-cancerous chronic pain due to MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident). Anxiety, nervousness, delusion, and paranoia are all the symptoms of withdrawal that user goes through due to a long-term use of opioids for example, cocaine, marijuana etc. Not only economically or psychologically, a drug abuser also suffers socially and physiologically.
Social Impact: As the drug impact a person’s mind and body, it also impacts their social life, especially their close relationships. Because the drug is an essential part of drug abuser’s life that everything else comes after. The person who abuses drugs acts violently with his/her family to get money to fulfill drug requirement, abuse the family verbally, or even physically. This is the reason there is a high percentage of divorce because drug abusers cannot take care of their family, act violently, and in frustration family quit dealing with such a person. Drug addiction can be very exclusive to the family as the person abuses drugs reach to the point where he starts selling household things to get the next dose. Not only that to get next dose a person can even do illegal activities like robbery and lying to people to get money. There is a high risk of losing a job as a drug abuser cannot concentrate or focus on work. Losing a job can cause further depression and make a person take more drugs. The drug abuser puts his and other people’s lives in danger as they drive under the impact of drugs and often get into an accident causing death.
Physiological Impact: When, we talk about the physiological effect, meaning the impact on a person abusing drugs physically. People often gain weight or lose weight when start abusing drugs. They start to neglect their daily activities like grooming, cutting their nails, start ignoring their family and friends, and they go through sleep disturbances. Drug addiction causes reduced memory and a reduction in intellectual abilities by damaging the brain. Not only this person also goes through withdrawal by showing symptoms of withdrawal physically when missing the dose. Withdrawal symptoms could be abnormal vital signs like High Blood Pressure, High heart rate, increase in respiration, the shakiness of hands, irritability, sweating, mood swings, violent behavior, anxiety, pin-point pupil or bloodshot eyes, and possible seizures.
How can we overcome this problem of drug abuse and overdosing deaths? Drug addiction is like a chronic disease that need time to heal. People just cannot be cured by stop using drugs for a few days. They need a long-term rehabilitation in order to stop using drugs completely and recuperate their lives. Sometimes they need and repeat care. Prime intervention should be to decrease the number of people abusing drugs and to occupy the ones involved in abusing drugs in dedicated treatment plans. (Hawk, Vaca, D’Onofrio, 2015). People with substance abuse can recover easily but need dedication, strong will, and hard work. They should first seek help from family and friends because they will provide social support. There are many other options available to help with depression and to control the addiction if a person willing to seek help. There are many recovery centers available to help the drug abusers recover from drug addictions. There should be control over what prescriptions to be given to patients by providers and for how long if those prescriptions are for chronic use. Education should be provided on a community level to all public about drug abuse and overdosing on a regular basis so people are more educated and aware of drug abuse and its negative effects, there should be set medicinal plans for the treatment of chronic pain.
Drug abuse and overdosing is a grave issue that must be addressed. Community should be educated on the negative effects of narcotic drugs on the body and mind including intellectual, social, psychosocial, and physical impacts. Primary care providers should be careful when and how much of narcotics should be prescribed, what population should be given prescribed medications for example, cancer patients have the reason to get prescribed medications since they are in lot of pain all the time, or patients on hospice. To avert any unintentional overdoses of medications, in kids or infants’ medications should be kept at safe and secure place at home. Primary care providers should also be very careful when prescribing medications to younger generation keeping in mind, they can misuse the drugs. People addicted to drugs should seek help from friends and family. They should seek help from treatment centers. Elderly should be educated on names of medications, what do they look like and how to take them since most of the times elderly do not know the names of medication and often mix them with other medications causing overdosing and death. Education and prevention are the key necessary to help the community on drug abuse awareness. If the community is educated people will not abuse drugs and or die of overdosing. There should also be strict laws and regulations and punishment for people abusing drugs because it is not only harmful and risky for them but for other people as well as they can drive under the influence of narcotics and have an accident killing themselves and other people.