Experts recommend a combination of drug education initiatives, expansion of naloxone programs and even legalization and regulation of heroin. While it might sound crazy, regulating heroin could keep addicts alive long enough to get them into opiate rehab Florida has to offer. Studies have also found that educating family, friends and police – the real first responders – about what to do in the event of a drug overdose can save lives and give addicts that little bit of extra time they need to get help from opiate rehab Florida has to offer.
The United States continues to struggle in the grip of an opiate addiction epidemic that claimed more than 16,000 lives in 2010. With recent surges in heroin overdose deaths thanks to the emergence of fentanyl-laced heroin, those numbers have been climbing. What can we do to stop drug overdose deaths?
Drug Education at Opiate Rehab Florida Facility Prevents Overdose – And Addiction
These days, prescription painkillers serve as a gateway drug for heroin. Over the past 15 years, prescription opioids have become easier to get and their use has skyrocketed. While plenty of the people using opiate drugs are using them for legitimate medical reasons, many others are using them just to get high.
The trouble is many people don’t understand these drugs’ dangerous addictive potential. Teens and their parents alike overwhelmingly believe these drugs are safe for recreational use. People who abuse prescription drugs don’t realize that they’re throwing themselves headlong down the slippery slope into heroin addiction. They’d probably stay away from prescription painkillers altogether if they realized that they could end up in our opiate rehab Florida program – or worse, in a cemetery.
But people who are already addicted need and deserve education, too. Lives could be saved if heroin addicts understood the dangers of mixing alcohol or sedatives with heroin, for example. Addicts and their friends need to be taught how to recognize the signs of overdose, where to get naloxone and how to administer it, and whether they are subject to Good Samaritan laws that protect them from prosecution on drug charges if they call for help in an overdose situation.
First Responders Should Be Better Equipped to Deal with Overdose
First of all, it’s vital to recognize who the real first responders are in an overdose situation. It’s often not the paramedics, or even the police. The real first responders are typically an addict’s friends or family.
In order to protect addicts from overdose long enough to get them into programs like our opiate rehab in Florida, the friends and family of addicts need to be trained to recognize the signs of an opiate overdose and know what to do. Bystander training programs have already saved 10,000 lives since 1996.
When help is called for in the case of an overdose, police are often the first to arrive. Though paramedics might arrive on the scene of an overdose only a few minutes after the police, those minutes are the ones that count for the addict in question. Officers need to be trained to understand why addicts use drugs, what an opiate overdose looks like, and how it can be treated with naloxone. According to researchers, most police officers don’t know what to do when they arrive on the scene of an opiate overdose; training them could help more opiate addicts stay alive long enough to make it into our opiate rehab Florida program.
Naloxone Should Be Made Available to Everyone
Naloxone is a safe, easy-to-administer, generic drug that has been used for decades to reverse the effects of opiate overdose. It knocks opioid molecules off of the opioid receptors in the brain, stopping overdose in its tracks and potentially saving the addict’s life. It doesn’t do anything else. It doesn’t get you high, so it can’t be abused. It’s next to impossible to administer incorrectly. Making this drug available through community outreach programs or even over the counter could help thousands more addicts stay alive long enough to make it into programs like our opiate rehab in Florida.
Opiate Rehab Florida Says Heroin Should Be Regulated
Though it sounds excessive to many, regulating heroin would prevent countless overdose deaths. Why? Regulating heroin would ensure that each dose is of the same strength and quality and that it’s not cut with anything, like fentanyl, a much more potent opiate. The majority of overdose deaths occur because addicts get their hands on heroin that’s stronger than what they’re used to, or contaminated with something. While regulating heroin wouldn’t solve the addiction crisis, it would help to keep addicts alive long enough for them to get help.
If you know someone who is struggling with addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, our opiate rehab Florida facility can help. Call 833-596-3502 now – before it’s too late.