The protocol on prescribing opioids has changed for the better.
Two years ago, it was, “Here’s a prescription. Take it whenever you feel any pain. Oh, it’s just a painkiller. It’s just a bit stronger than ibuprofen, so take it in case the pain is a bit stronger.”
Nowadays, it’s “this is oxycodone. It’s different from ibuprofen in that it’s a narcotic.”
So it’s better. It still lacks the crucial words “opioid, extremely addictive, etc” and some stats on how many people develop an addiction after a certain number of pills and how many convert to heroin in under two years. Ideally, every patient would hear it verbally from a doctor (and in cases of surgery, BEFORE surgery), be given a brochure explaining this with pictures, and have a short resume attached to the bottle. This would be a real measure to battle the opioid epidemic. And it can all be done legislatively state by state. It should be done through hospitals, not pharma companies.
As you prepare to vote, ask your candidates if they are getting behind this kind of measures. Don’t take the empty verbiage about how they are heartbroken over the opioid crisis and will give money to help the victims without taking any measures to prevent drug companies from profiting even more from manufacturing new victims.
Chances of curing this addiction are extremely small. Only after two years of complete sobriety does an addict get a small chance of getting cured. The best way to go is to prevent it. Don’t believe anybody who is telling you otherwise. A candidate who talks about the opioid crisis and doesn’t discuss prevention is fucking with you. Don’t vote for the bastard.
Folks, I’m pretty intellectually sophisticated and very interested in the issue. Yet the first time I took an opioid, I had no idea what it was and how addictive it is. Nobody used the word opioid. It was all oxy-clonopotoxy, which meant nothing to me at the time, and I was fresh out of surgery and very groggy.
Even I didn’t know. What chance does a working class person, who trusts doctors implicitly, stand? Remember that we are talking about a person in pain who is already not thinking straight.
We all know how public opinion shifted on smoking. These days you’ve got to live in a literal cave not to know that smoking is very addictive and very unhealthy. But it’s easier with opioids because we don’t have to wait until lawsuits against companies settle. It can all be done through hospitals, raising awareness, online information campaigns, etc.
You have no idea how many people are still completely unaware of what the oft-discussed opioid epidemic entails and how you can get addicted after filling a legitimate prescription from a real doctor. Even people who have addicted relatives have told me that the addiction happened because their relatives didn’t have enough will power. It’s heartbreaking, folks. Whole villages around here dying out.
P. S. It would also be a good idea to let people sell back unused opioids (for destruction and not reuse, obviously) at a good price. Like a gun buyback thing.
P. P. S. I know everybody’s detests long posts and I try not to publish too many but in seeing this around me all the time, and it’s killing me.