Around the world, many nations are experiencing their biggest drug crisises ever, with the effects of Covid and the cost-of-living driving up stress and anxiety, with many turning to the likes of alcohol and opioids to cope.
That’s having a catastrophic effect on people’s lives, with over a hundred thousand people overdosing each year in the USA alone, while more and more poeple are finding their way into a private rehab centre, to try and get help and their lives back on track.
Within the treatment process of addiction, there are a number of talking points, debates and initiatives that will be at the top of the agenda, including:
Supervised injections & the opioid crisis
There has been a lot of talk and a lot of contrasting opinions on how to aid the opioid crisis, and one of the most controversial has been the centres set up to create safe spaces for people to inject opioids.
There has been talk both for and against them, with more and more now being set up, particularly in the USA and most recently San Francisco.
They are in no way designed to prevent addiction, but rather reduce the risks involved with taking fentanyl, that is killing people at a staggering rate. The centres provide clean needles, to lessen the risk of infection, while also have trained medical professionals on site to reduce the chance of overdose deaths.
As an overdose prevention tactic, it is working, and it may be rolled out on a wider scale in 2023, but more needs to be done to reduce the number of people finding themselves addicted in the first place.
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Accessibility of drug treatments
There has been a lot of discussion and debate around widening the levels of access to treatment such as buprenorphine and methadone, which often requires patients to be on specific treatment schedules and programs. While many people are taking up those programs, there’s been a hesitence among many too.
A number of trials have been undertaken to see if by opening up access to treatment more people will get the help they need, and it’s proven to be successful.
One study in Rhode Island found that by allowing pharmacists to offer treatment, more people took up care, and more importantly stuck with it, and there are now calls for this to be rolled out permanently as well as across further states in the USA, and around the world.
It could see a major step forward in addiction treatment, with people then more likely to go through the rehab channels and set themselves up on a pathway of recovery and a healthier and happier life.
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