It is no secret that the United States is currently caught up in an epidemic of epic proportions stemming from the abuse of opiates. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently that showed prescription rates for opioid medications are lower than they have been in a decade.
While that does indeed sound like good news, is it enough to stem the overwhelming cycle of opiate abuse that seems to have this country in a vice-like grip?
In 2012, opioid prescription rates hit their peak with a rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 persons. According to Axios, the rate has come down since then, and the prescription rate in 2016 was the lowest its been in a decade at 66.5 prescriptions written for every 100 people.
Sadly, while this news sounds incredibly promising, experts warn that much more needs to happen before Americans can free themselves from this epidemic.
STOP THE INSANITY
First, it should be noted that although prescription rates are indeed lower than they have been in a decade, opiate medications were still prescribed about three times more often in 2015 than they were in 1999.
“We’re still seeing too many getting too much for too long,” said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. “The amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks.”
In 2015 alone, drug overdoses were to blame for over 52,400 deaths. Nearly two out of three of those overdoses involved an opiate.
Last year, President Donald Trump declared the opiate problem a national emergency but immediately declined to budget any funds whatsoever for a fix. Since then, however, along with his opioid commission, Trump has come up with a plan to combat the crisis.
Advocates praised a few of the points and absolutely cringed at the others. It’s not difficult to tell which plans belong to Trump and which ones came from the experts.
First, the experts.
Surprisingly, Trump’s plan includes a few solutions that might actually help.
First, the plan will increase access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. Secondly, the plan called for an increase in evidence-based, medication-assisted treatment programs.
In addition to that, Trump didn’t have much to do with it, but in the most recent spending bill passed by Congress, there was a $2.8 billion increase for research into opioid addiction and prevention.
Experts claim that the things mentioned above could help. It’s Trump’s other plans, however, that reminded everyone that the man in the Oval Office is still Trump.
TRUMP’S OTHER PLANS
Trump’s other plans are horrifying. In his infinite wisdom and endless fascination with dictators, Trump wants to be just like one of his heroes: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and simply murder drug dealers.
Yes, you read that correctly. Your president, Mr. Law & Order himself, wants to execute drug dealers, and he got the idea from a bloody dictator in the Philippines.
As of this writing, the Justice Department is working on a plan to implement Trump’s death penalty plan.
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