Prescribed opioid abuse is a national epidemic

Prescribed opioid abuse is a national epidemic. Deaths have tripled since 1999 from the abuse of certain prescribed medications. In New York, it has been proven that for every 100 New York residents there are 37 prescriptions written for opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. These drugs cause life-altering effects. They can be addictive and can cause death. A bill cited as the Michael David Israel Addiction Transition Law, is sponsored by Timothy M. Kennedy and co-sponsored by Tony Avella and Liz Krueger. This bill sets guidelines for doctors when prescribing high-risk drugs, these guidelines can make the doctors transition from prescribing high-risk drugs to low-risk drugs. The reason this bill has the name of Michael David Israel is that a boy committed suicide because he struggled with prescription drug abuse. Michael David Israel is not alone, there are many cases where patients either die from these drugs or become addicted to them. A study was tested of 75 candidates, 41 percent of these candidates reported that their addiction began from a legal prescription of medication from their doctor.

This epidemic has to come to an end. A solution to this issue is restricting the protocol for the prescription of these high-risk drugs. Doctors will still be able to prescribe certain medications that they deem fit for their patient but they will have to be more cautious and follow the certain guidelines. Some low-risk drugs that can replace these addictive drugs are over the counter Acetaminophen, or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are effective for pain relief and other medical needs, which is what most high-risk drugs are used for. These medications can be just as effective and are not highly addictive. Patients and doctors need to be more cautious and pay attention to what is being prescribed, because of the effects high-risk drugs can cause.

GRACE PARKER

Johnstown