Opioid Abuse In America: A National Emergency - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Opioid Abuse In America: A National Emergency

Posted: Updated:

The numbers are staggering. In 1999, a little over 4,000 people overdosed on opioids. In 2015, roughly 20,000. In 2016, 60,000. Yesterday, President Trump announced that the opioid epidemic is a national emergency.

"The opioid crisis is an emergency. And I'm saying officially, right now, it is an emergency, it's a national emergency. We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," said President Trump.

A recent analysis found that drug overdose deaths rose 19 percent from 2015 to 2016. The largest annual jump in overdose deaths in U.S. history. How did it happen? KMIR News spoke with Dr. Huy Ho of the Betty Ford Center. He said the problem started in the late 90's. And it started with pain treatment.

"New opioid medications were coming out from pharmacies and there was a big push to treat pain. Pain was seen as the sixth vital sign," said Dr. Ho.

Doctors began to quickly and freely prescribe opioids to treat pain because of the minimal side effects involved. 

"Those that were started on opioid medications now have become addicted to it and we're seeing the consequences of that today," Dr. Ho said. 

Many people who become addicted to opioids soon find that they can skip the doctors prescription. The fix can be gotten else where. From a different type of opioid. One that is cheap and easy to get...heroin. 

"A lot of patients come in who intitially initially got started on opioid prescription medications and then transitioned over to heroin because it was more accessible for them," Dr. Ho said. 

Medical professionals say pain treatment is still necessary and there are cases where opioid prescriptions are still appropriate. But before that prescription can be made, Doctors need to have a serious conversation with their patients. 

"This is something serious. An opioid medication isn't just a Tylenol or just an ibuprofen. There are consequences to it's use," Dr Ho said.

Today physicians all over the country are aware of the disturbing regularity of opioid overdoses. Doctors have become much more careful when prescribing opioids for pain treatment. They look at a patients background and addiction history. They also take into account the patients family history of addiction.

The statistics are clear and both former president Barack Obama and President Donald Trump agree. America is in a crisis.   
 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • La Quinta

    Man Killed from Solo Vehicle Crash Into Wall in La Quinta Identified

    Man Killed from Solo Vehicle Crash Into Wall in La Quinta Identified

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 5:24 PM EST2017-12-12 22:24:54 GMT

    A man was killed Tuesday morning when his vehicle crashed into a wall in La Quinta. 

    A man was killed Tuesday morning when his vehicle crashed into a wall in La Quinta. 

  • Palm Springs

    Photos: Inside Elvis and Priscilla Presley's Palm Springs Honeymoon Hideway

    Photos: Inside Elvis and Priscilla Presley's Palm Springs Honeymoon Hideway

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 6:55 PM EST2017-12-12 23:55:29 GMT
    Elvis and Priscilla Presley's honeymoon hideaway in the Southern California desert is back on the market.  The Palm Springs landmark designed by influential modernist architect William Krisel has been listed for $5.9 million. The home was famously rented out by "The King" and his wife following their 1967 wedding in Las Vegas.  The midcentury modern residence at 1350 Ladera Circle features five bedrooms and five bathrooms on a little more than an acre of living s...
    Elvis and Priscilla Presley's honeymoon hideaway in the Southern California desert is back on the market.  The Palm Springs landmark designed by influential modernist architect William Krisel has been listed for $5.9 million. The home was famously rented out by "The King" and his wife following their 1967 wedding in Las Vegas.  The midcentury modern residence at 1350 Ladera Circle features five bedrooms and five bathrooms on a little more than an acre of living s...
  • Mother of Bullied Child Speaks Out Amid Confederate Flag Controversy

    Mother of Bullied Child Speaks Out Amid Confederate Flag Controversy

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 6:48 PM EST2017-12-12 23:48:55 GMT

    Kimberly Jones, who posted a viral video of her bullied son Keaton that drew the attention of celebrities across the nation, is now responding to charges of racism following controversial images involving the Confederate flag that surfaced in the wake of her family's new celebrity status. 

    Kimberly Jones, who posted a viral video of her bullied son Keaton that drew the attention of celebrities across the nation, is now responding to charges of racism following controversial images involving the Confederate flag that surfaced in the wake of her family's new celebrity status. 

Powered by Frankly