Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.
Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.
With 91 Americans dying each day from an opioid overdose, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid addiction has emerged as a potential health threat in the United States. Causing the worst drug crisis in the history of America, the opioid epidemic took more than 33,000 lives in 2015, according to a 2016 report by the CDC. Opioid addiction has long been associated with chronic illnesses and pain.
It is believed that a continuous popping of pills to reduce pain and related symptoms end up in an addiction to opioids. However, the risk of opioid dependency can increase due to an array of factors ranging from peer group relationships and family problems to lack of social support and employment issues. And now a recent study published in the Journal of Urology suggested that the risk of opioid dependence and overdose is higher in people undergoing urologic surgery for conditions such as prostate cancer and kidney stones. Further, the risk was found to be higher in patients who were younger, underwent inpatient surgery, had longer hospital stay or had a history of depression or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Urology is the branch of science that deals with the diseases of male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. Urologic surgeries basically involve kidney stone removal, hernia repairs, as well as surgeries involving the prostate, kidney and bladder. All the surgeries involve major risk and complications. However, extreme post-surgical pain tends to be the most debilitating condition that needs proper care and management.
Thus, effective pain management is a critical component of the perioperative process, with opioids representing a mainstay of therapy. In case of urologic surgeries, some patients undergoing severe pain and disturbances of gastrointestinal functions might require intravenous opioids.
As part of the study, the researchers reviewed the records of 675,527 patients who underwent inpatient and outpatient urologic surgery between 2007 and 2011. However, the study did not include the patients who were diagnosed with opioid dependence or overdose (ODO) prior to the surgery. According to the researchers, one in 1,111 urologic surgery patients was identified to suffer from postoperative ODO. The highest rates of ODO occurred among patients who underwent kidney stone procedures (0.15 percent) or major kidney surgery (0.12 percent). “Risk factors for ODO included younger age, inpatient surgery and increasing hospitalization length, baseline depression, tobacco use, COPD, as well as insurance provider,” observed the study.
Almost all surgeries are associated with the risk of opioid dependence. Although the risk cannot be eradicated completely, physicians can reduce it by implementing measures such as screening patients for the possibility of developing ODO when undergoing a surgery. They should use such medications for the shortest duration and in lowest doses. Additionally, precautions such as restricting prescription of opioids for not more than two weeks and carrying out mandatory re-evaluation of patients who need refills can further control the surging rate.
Today, doctors are trying to cut down their opioid prescriptions and use the drugs as a last resort, to be given only in cases of acute pain. Medical schools are also making students aware of the dangers of prescribing opioids. Since these measures are not entirely sufficient to tackle the opioid epidemic, more research is needed to investigate the type of patients who should be treated with opioids, duration of treatment and appropriate dosage.
Therefore, if you or your loved one is suffering from opioid abuse, it is imperative to seek professional help. The Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline can assist you in accessing the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in Colorado that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915 or chat online with our medical advisers to know more about the prescription abuse treatment centers in Colorado.