The Opioid Crisis in America Continues to be a Crippling Problem for Many Large Cities

On year ago you had a very long day.

You and your three girls were in a car accident, and although everyone was fine it was the beginning of a very long journey that has had you dealing with Vicodin withdrawal and more information than you ever wanted to know about opioid addiction. The girls did very well, the car seats, seat belts, and airbags all did exactly what they were intended to do. When the other driver ran a red light and crashed into your car, however, you banged up your knee a bit. At the time you thought that the accident meant that you would just be hobbling around on crutches for a while. You were so thankful and blessed that it was not worse.

You were assisted by very kind fire fighters, police officers, and one random stranger. That stranger witnessed the accident and helped with the girls until grandma and dad were able to get to the scene.

You were thankful for the numerous well wishes you received, and gave special thank you to neighbors who came to watch the kids that first night so you could get your knee looked at. You were so thankful that you mother in law was close and able to help! You were thankful to your husband for everything he did that night.

Last year at that time you found yourself car shopping for a mid-sized SUV with third row seating and you thought that was going to be your greatest challenge.

A year later, however, a new car is the least of your worries. You have exhausted your neighbors and in laws, and your husband often seems to be at his breaking point. After bouncing from one pain medication to another you have found yourself fin a place that you never imagined. You are not dealing with the signs of heroin use that you so often see portrayed on television, but the problems with oxycodone withdrawal have been significant. You have been working with pain therapists and dealing with insurance companies. You are exhausted, your husband is frustrated, and your girls are scared.

Pain Medications Can be Problematic for Some Patients

When the pain in your knee did not go away, the doctors determined that you would need surgery. This is when the real problems began. the problems that made the initial accident look minor in comparison. The surgery revealed other problems that were likely caused by a lifetime of exercise. Now, instead of having an active life with your daughters you find yourself battling pain and trying to navigate the responsible use of pain medications. You do not know the exact signs of heroin use, but if your situation is anything like what you see in the latest news reports about the opioid epidemic you feel for these addicts and their families.

Changes to government recommendations and aggressive pharmaceutical company marketing have led to a dramatic increase in the last 25 years in prescriptions of oxycodone for long-term use in patients with chronic pain. Unfortunately, the nation is just now dealing with these ramifications. And while the signs of heroin abuse can seem like a distant problem to many of us, the fact of the matter is there are many times when Vicodin withdrawal and the transition away from other high powered pain medications can be problematic as well.

In fact, more than 2 million Americans each year are affected by prescription opioid misuse and many people would be surprised to know that the signs of heroin use and the signs of prescription medications abuse are somewhat similar. As the entire nation attempts to come to grips with the signs of heroin use and the abuse of prescription drugs, both lawmakers and doctors have some differing opinions. Amid their differences, however, there is really no way to avoid the topic that so many large cities are facing. The cost of the opioid crisis in many parts of the country is overwhelming the resources of not only local hospitals, but entire city government agencies. This is a crisis that will eventually require significant amounts of money if it is going to be solved.

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