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Opioid Crisis and Treatment Care

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Are opioids deadly or helpful?
Opioids are painkillers that have medicinal purposes like treating acute and chronic pain. They are highly effective for recovery from surgeries. Opioids are sedating, fast acting, and induce a euphoric state, also used for anesthesia. There is nothing else out there for pain like opioids. Opioids can also be detrimental. They are highly addictive, and fast acting which makes opioids a drug of choice. Withdrawals from opioids are extremely painful and cause flu-like symptoms. The body builds up a tolerance to opioids very easily resulting in more drug use. These withdrawals are so painful because the opioids use up all of the body’s natural endorphins, opioids also slow down the addict’s heart rate. While the body is withdrawing it craves more and more drugs because they are so addictive we are seeing more and more overdoses.

Opioids have affected (capitalize) Michigan cities a great deal from 2013-2015. (Drug-related deaths and overdoses).
Detroit (447)
Grand Rapids (138)
Westland (133)
Warren (131)
Taylor (104)
Ypsilanti (103)

The opioid crisis has been increasing at a high rate every year, which has brought societal concern. As it is shown with the data above, Detroit has the highest ranking of 447 deaths. In 2013 there were reported 88 deaths, 2014 there were reported 102 deaths, and in 2015 there were 140 deaths reported.
This is a 30 percent rise each year of opioid reported deaths. Among these patients that received the narcotics between 2014-2015 have overdosed or died eight months after they were prescribed the opioids. “About 1 in 6 people I see a day are dealing with some form of opioid addiction,” says Elektra Pavlicek that works substance abuse programs. This is devastating for the families and who suffer from addiction, “but treatment is the most interesting thing, I feel in my line of work” says Elektra Pavlicek.

There are various treatments for opioid addiction, medication-assisted treatment (MAT’s) which is using medication to assist someone with withdrawal symptoms, cravings or decrease cravings, and stops addicts from being able to overdose, some of the names of the treatments are methadone, suboxone, subutex, Vivitrol, naltrexone. However, some of the MAT’s are becoming misused, because these also have addictive properties. Some more treatments for opioid addiction are individual therapy, group therapy, incarceration and going substance abuse residential. “Individuals who decide to stop opiates on their own and individuals who enter a substance abuse treatment facility have an equal probability of recovering from their addiction, which is 7 percent, this indicates the individual has to have the desire to stop using the drug in order to recover from addiction”.
Derrick Miller (substance abuse center Wayne County) says “it’s because of the over prescribers”. He says “the treatments keep them hooked” (the MAT’s). These pills are in the white middle class/upper class. Derrick said, “he had never seen opioid addiction so severe in teens until he went to Henry Ford Maplegrove in West Bloomfield”.

Opioids have made a big impact on advances in medicine, but at the same time, it’s helping people its hurting people. The spread of opioid addiction and accessibility is growing exponentially. While it is affecting all demographics.

The faces of addiction, no different from you.

The people that face opioid addiction are no different from you, everyone has the potential to have some sort of serious addiction. Some of these addictions/diseases are pretty serious including; sex, gambling, anorexia and bulimia, nicotine, alcohol, DRUGS. Opioids are the drug addiction that’s killing the fastest next to fentanyl another serious and deadly drug that the drug industries use to cut heroin. The people that have these opioid addictions are dealing with emotional pain, stress, and a lot of physical pain that they have to deal with every day. These addictions affect all classes of society. The lower class is having their feet swiped from beneath them when they buy opioids or take the opioids because they are already struggling, by not having money to support their family, working too many jobs at once so they are stressed. The upper class is also highly influenced by the opioid crisis because of doctors overprescribing. Say one of your family members have had a surgery or severe injury, some doctors will overprescribe; narcos, Vicodin, Percocet, oxycontin. These drugs are highly addictive, the people prescribed these drugs can withdrawal and not even realize it. The middle class is also being affected by these drugs, they start them and basically never stop, and when their addiction gets too expensive they turn to cheaper and more deadly street drugs like heroin. Heroin is becoming more deadly because of what they are cutting it with. The street dealers are cutting it with fentanyl which is a synthetic drug. That’s what these classes and our society are turning to.
The middle-class women are being impacted the most. These women are getting addicted to the same drugs; narcos, Vicodin, and Oxycontin, but when they can not buy these drugs or when their prescriptions are out they are turning to heroin.
According to the CDC, the use of opioids and heroin during 2004-2013 doubled in middle women. The problem with this opioid and heroin crisis in middle-class women, it could be your mom, sister, neighbor, or friends. These women aren’t the stereotypical drug abusers like the drug abusers who you see on the internet and or television and social media. These women are working, intelligent, college students and mothers. These women are turning to opioid and heroin addiction because of stress, pain, and depression. They are getting these prescriptions from their doctors and or physicians. They will get addicted to the opioids because of the amount they are prescribed, for example, if they are prescribed too much for their incident or ailment. ( by Hayley Krischer).
All of these classes and societies are suffering from opioid addiction, not just lower class not just the middle class and not just upper class. Yes, some of these classes and societies are suffering more than others but they all have a problem with opioids. This opioid crisis should not be a crisis. These drugs are supposed to help the people not hurt the people. Change needs to happen within the pharmaceutical exchange. People should not have to turn to heroin because it is cheaper. People should not be going through withdrawals from these drugs that are supposed to help the people heal.

Families Against Opioids
Have you ever wondered how the Opioid abuser’s family feels? Opioids impact the families not just the abuser. Most of the time the abusers will manipulate the family members, more likely, parents and grandparents. They take advantage by asking for money and overstaying their welcome. The abusers will find a way to make family members feel guilty and responsible for the Opioid abuser’s actions. These family members are so fed up with the Opioid crisis that they are suing the Opioid companies.
According to Joanna Walters, a freelance writer for the Guardian Weekly magazine (June 12, 2018), writes “Opioid lawsuit targets rich family behind drug (Oxycontin) that fueled US crisis”. These families have a representative that cares about their Opioid addicted family members. Her name is Maura Healey and she is the Attorney General for Massachusetts. Attorney General Healey has sued the maker of Oxycontin (Purdue Pharma) overly this deadly epidemic. Attorney General Healey as expressed how deeply she feels about this, she has tweeted about the crisis [ ] and has used various other ways to try to have people acknowledge this crisis. Purdue costs the state more than $6 billion dollars, they owe this much because of how many deaths Purdue pharma has caused. Purdue Pharma is killing kids and their parents and not taking responsibility for this.
Unborn babies are dying because of this opioid crisis, along with the mothers that are addicted to the drug. If the mother is still doing heroin when she’s pregnant during 1-2 weeks the baby can become addicted. The if the mother knows she’s pregnant and decides to stop, the baby has a better chance of surviving. The baby will be born addicted to heroin or the methadone treatment, it is very painful for them, these little newborns are withdrawing. Nurse Valerie who works at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn, she works with babies that are withdrawing. Nurse Valerie says “The number of addicted babies varies but the number is on an incline” she continues to speak about how this number is inclining, this is not a good thing. Nurse Valerie brings up this program called the cuddler program she says “ Volunteers come into the hospital and comfort the babies while they are withdrawing” she says this program is very successful. When these babies withdrawal they can develop the shakes, seizures, loss of weight, vomiting, fevers. If they survive past this point of their life when they grow up they can have developmental problems or visible disability such as drooping eye syndrome, which is when one of their eyes is higher than the other.

The benefits of Marijuana
Can marijuana help you or hurt you. Marijuana is a hot topic in today’s media. It has gotten a lot of political attention due to the long battle to legalize the plant to grow, smoke, eat, etc… There are millions of websites, published articles, and research indicating that marijuana does have medicinal benefits such as Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, depression, hepatitis C, HIV, Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and PTSD. There are two main chemicals found in the marijuana plant THC and CBD are what research has focused on. These two chemicals found in the marijuana plant have other chemical forms which have been found to have other medicinal properties. The breakdown of medicinal marijuana and the chemical makeup has become extremely complex since the fight for legalization has taken place. Let’s examine the chemical compound of THC first. THC is what causes the euphoria (the high from taking in the plant), it is the psychoactive chemical found in Marijuana. Since marijuana has been more researched they have found other type of THC. Some strains increase appetite some decreased appetite. CBD does not have euphoric properties, it actually counteracts the “high” of THC. CBD which can be extracted from the hemp plant usually sold in stores and it legal. “Weed” can also be categorized into two different classes Sativa and Indica, which produces millions of strains that all claim to be good for something different in the body. Now people have made a third class which is a hybrid, a combination of sativa and indica. There are various ways people have found to ingest “weed”- there is butter, baked goods, candy, tea, finely ground up (hash), oil, wax, lotion, icy hot rub, spray. According to Pot sativa is the most popular choice, which has more THC. Sativa is not recommended for individuals who struggle with falling asleep and anxious disorders. Sativa reportedly can assist with depressive symptoms. Indica is preferred by those who need help with sleep, anxiety, and pain- this plant also contains higher amounts of CBD. CBD is being used in today’s medicine, kids and adults with chronic diseases are paying large sums of money for treatments that most of the time will not work for their chronic diseases. Kids and their families are having to pick up their lives and leave their home and move to Colorado so these children can receive the help they need. These families have to pack up and leave their homes and move to Colorado because that’s the only place where kids can receive their medicinal marijuana, the kids that need this medicinal marijuana are suffering from extreme diagnoses, such as; seizures, cancer, diabetes, autism. There is a strain that these kids are taking that has the lowest amount of THC less than .3%, this strain is called Charlotte’s web which is named after a little girl with severe epilepsy. CBD is helping tremendously with children and is giving their parents hope, hope that their kids with these diseases will be able to live their life.
How are opioids are being replaced by medicinal marijuana? Opioids are a very effective painkiller like I have previously mentioned but it has some very bad side effects such as being dependent on it and it is highly addictive. Opioids do not help they hurt you, but medicinal marijuana helps you and only slightly causes problems. The problems caused by medicinal marijuana are; the marijuana can stay in your system up to 6 months because of a fatty component that attaches itself to your red blood cells, then there is an acute loss of memory, overeating, sleeping too much. But these cons of medicinal marijuana is nowhere near as bad the medical problems caused by opioids. Opioids are being replaced by CBD.CBD is replacing opioids because it is safer and less harmful to the body, CBD doesn’t slow your heart rate down, it doesn’t cause constipation and you can not overdose from CBD, would you rather get better and or worse? Better? that’s what I thought. CBD can be used for children and adults and they claim it to be very very helpful because it helps with various ailments the good about medicinal marijuana is that you can choose if you want to get THC, CBD, or a hybrid strain. Different forms CBD comes in; nasal spray, oil, hash, crystal, wax, bud, lotion, gel caps, beverages. There are more potent doses of CBD (top shelf) which is very very expensive, which makes it harder for people that are in very serious pain that need it to get it. To receive medicinal marijuana you have to have a doctor prescribed green card, your green does not give free weed. The green card just gives you the “okay” when you are using marijuana and have a run-in with an officer or and law official, for example, your smoking the medicinal marijuana in your vehicle and you get pulled over, the officer will ask if the marijuana your smoking is medicinal or not and after yes its medicinal they will ask to see your green card, but if the marijuana is not medicinal then step on the gas and take off . There are one or more privileges lost when you obtain your med card. When you obtain your med card you are not able to own a licensed firearm, along with you are not able to own or maybe rid of your med card if you have a drug-related charge. Most of this depends on the court ruling, for example, if you are on probation for something unrelated to marijuana or a drug-related mishap, the court might say you are still able to use your med card while on probation. On the contrary, if you have a charge that is related to substance abuse and or a marijuana-related arrest, the court system may rid you of your med card or restrict you from having one altogether. Med cards are very important for the reason of recreational marijuana is not legal in all 50 states and many people do not want to get arrested for the things that are helping them.

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Opioid Crisis and Treatment Care