The other day, somebody close remarked something along the lines of, “What a treat it is to still be young and dumb without a care in the world. Little booze here, little bit of this and that over there. Ahh youth.” That’s what life is all about right? Finding your way through it and partaking in the different experiences and chemicals heaved your way. Maybe 50 years ago, this was a statement that could be backed when things were seemingly a bit simpler. The unfortunate thing about the world we’ve evolved into is that the drugs are just too good now. The statement that was made was from a perspective of somebody oblivious to how easily an opioid prescription could ruin the right person’s life- regardless of their age.
Unless you have been in a coma or are just coming out of a decade-long hibernation, then it should be no shock to you that the United States is in the throes of an enormous opiate epidemic. At the top of that list is the poor old state of Ohio. Ohio leads the country in opioid prescription overdoses and criminal related activities pertaining to the various forms of opiates. If only addiction and alcoholism we’re a product of being young and it was something you grew out of. Unfortunately, one can only dream.
That all being said, Ohio opioid prescription overdose rates outshined all the other 49 states in the country for 2016. The state is neck to neck with a few others in 2017 as reports of overdose deaths have occurred every single day so far this year! Ohio is towering near the top of the opioid prescription overdose death charts as well as heroin overdose deaths. An overall look at these past couple of years has shown that 1 in 9 overdoses that occur in the United States happen in Ohio. In 2014, it was reported by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that 2,106 opioid overdoses occurred that year with over half being related to prescription opioids. This was a number that exceeded the overdose deaths of California and New York who were close behind. In 2015, the annual overdose deaths reported for that year jumped all the way up to 3,050. With a 2016 total accumulating even higher and 2017 already underway, it’s clear that nothing is going to change on its own anytime soon.
So what is one like Governor John Kasich to do when the death count keeps rising and morgues are running out of room to even store the bodies? There’s only so much that the United States is capable of doing in combat against the drug war- yet alone this one state that is seeing the ugly brunt of it. Well for starters, a new law has been enforced that is going to directly affect the source of the prescription opioids and hopefully decrease the ever rising number of bodies going into the ground. The new order puts limitations on the number of prescription opioids that can be written out to every patient and the amount they can take home per refill. The order holds restrictions so that a maximum opioid prescription can only have seven days worth for adults and five days worth for minors before a refill or visiting the doctor again.
The inconvenience may be one of the first things that came to mind, but the inconvenience to addicts and alcoholics all around could be one for the charts. This, in theory, could chemically starve a lot of addicts into sobriety, or have a lot of them turn to street opiates such as heroin or just another drug of choice on the market. This is the nature of addicts and alcoholics alike, but fortunately, limiting the supply will eventually decrease the demand. It could be a bit of a gamble but more so it will slow down the accessibility to household opiates.
Essentially, there is a plague going on that is wiping out tons of people and taking their lives prematurely. So Ohio and its officials are doing what they can to stop the momentum of this growing opioid prescription problem as quickly as they can. With drugs like Morphine, Valium, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl flooding the streets– it would be wise to start at the root of the problem like Gov. Kasich did. Somewhere down the line, modern medicine made such prescription painkillers too accessible. It’s understandable to an extent. Big Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for many of the advances in modern science and healthcare and basically, have the leverage over our healthcare system. They provide the dollar dollar bills y’all that it takes for our country to advance in the ways that it does. So naturally, of course, painkillers are pushed, (or were for years), and it’s kind of like a revolving door for these companies and the deals at stake. Often times, people want what is easiest and this catch 22 kind of provides the easier solution. We all know that masking a problem for a little bit always works better than fixing it entirely. For the record, I just rolled my eyes.
This seems to be one of the best options they’ve got when there’s only so much funding that the state can provide to go into treatment and rehabilitation services. Unfortunately, addiction never sleeps and saving lives from alcoholic thinking becomes expensive. As one would only assume, prescription opioids aren’t only wrecking the lives of Ohioans and then the epidemic just stops there. No siree. At the top of the list with Ohio in opioid prescription overdoses and deaths are West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Kentucky. That’s just the top of the list because the rest of the states are following right behind in their tracks. Gov. Kasich just may be on to something, but only time will tell.
Wake Up Call
For some, this new law is an inconvenience and an outrage, but for others, it’s a blessing right in plain view. Opiates and the grip they have on addicts and alcoholics of the like is atrocious. Too many good people are passing away before their time should be up because the “high” is worth it. Take it from an addict- it’s not. The misery is not worth it and neither is death. One if not both of the two will always find their way into your life when opioid prescriptions or any other drugs are calling the shot. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.