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POP And Obama Agree There’s An Opiate Crisis — And There is Help

Diagnosis - Addiction. Medical Concept. 3D Render.

In the past few days our President addressed the nation about a crisis that is impacting the entire nation and suggested we may be losing it unless we change our course. People are dying on the streets and in their beds. People are being

People are dying on the streets and in their beds. People are being misprescribed opiates which make them dependent. Then they are treated as criminals when they could be better treated as people with medical problems and prescribed more suitable, nonaddictive medications.

Obama said:“This is affecting everybody — young, old, men, women, children, rural, urban, suburban.”

Opiate addiction has become an epidemic.  Although it has impacted so many, maybe you didn’t know:

  • 20% of our Seniors suffer from substance abuse
  • 1/4 of all prescriptions sold in the U. S. are for our elderly
  • From 2007 to 2011, the number of Americans 55 and older seeking drug rehab increased46%
  • In 11 years the number of seniors dying of drug overdoses has nearly tripled.

Because of the importance of this issue, we present President Obama’s proposed solutions to this tragedy in longer form than our ordinary blog post.

  1.  Better educating physicians and making sure Medication Assisted Treatment programs are more widely available.

“Concentrating on physician education in terms of how they prescribe painkillers to prevent abuse.  Making sure that the treatment — Medication-Assisted Treatment programs are more widely available to more people.  Making sure that the — not antidote, but at least means of preventing people once they have overdosed from actually dying is being carried by EMTs.  So we’re taking a number of steps.  But, frankly, we’re still under-resourced. “

  1. Taking parallel steps to tackle this problem as we have with smoking and safe driving.

“And I think that one of the things that’s changed in this opioid debate is a recognition that this reaches everybody.  So there’s a real opportunity — not to reduce our aggressiveness when it comes to the drug cartels who are trying to poison our families and our kids — we have to stay on them and be just as tough — but a recognition that, in the same way that we reduce tobacco consumption — and I say that as an ex-smoker — in the same way that, as I mentioned earlier, we greatly reduced traffic fatalities because we applied a public health approach, so that my daughter’s generation understands very clearly you don’t drive when you’re drunk, you put on your seatbelt, and we also then instituted requirements for things like seatbelts and airbags and reengineered roads, all designed to reduce fatalities — if we take the same approach here, it can make a difference. “

  1.  Teaching our seniors how to live more healthy, balanced lives.

“We wait until people get sick and then we treat them. And we don’t spend enough time thinking about how do we keep people well and healthy and balanced and centered in the first place.”

  1. Developing better coping skills as a society 

“We live in a society where we medicate a lot of problems and we self-medicate a lot of problems.  And the connection between mental health, drug abuse is powerful.  Anxiety, folks who are trying to figure out coping skills — we have an entire industry that says, we’re going to help you self-medicate.  And the line between alcoholism, which is legal, and folks who are taking Vicodin and then on to harder illegal substances isn’t always that sharp, particularly among children.

“And when you look at the staggering statistics in terms of lives lost, productivity impacted, costs to communities, but most importantly, cost to families from this epidemic of opioids abuse, it has to be something that is right up there at the top of our radar screen.”

Opiates are not the right drugs to be prescribed for chronic pain. Our Mom’s and GrandPa’s are suffering opiate overdoses and death!

If you feel that you, an aging parent or loved one has a problem with drug addiction, realize that there is help available.   Get in touch with one of our Certified POP Family Coaches  to help your family through any drug addiction problems that may be present.

If you like what you’ve read here and are interested in reading more, buy the book, “Oh My God! We’re Parenting Our Parents: How To Transform This Remarkable Challenge Into A Journey of Love.

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