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The Opioid Crisis: Preventing Addiction Proposal Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2022

For the role specialization of a family nurse practitioner, it is crucial to have advanced skills in providing health care for families and individuals of various ages, nations and social status. Therefore, it is important to practice individual care and focus on a patient’s health disorders, including those that might appear as side effects of the treatment. The research of opioid crisis is proved to be necessary nowadays because of increasing cases of addiction to opioid drugs used for pain relief.

To obtain updated information on the given problem, certain library research strategies were defined, including thorough analysis of the latest medical articles published over the past year. As some researchers state, the threat of opium crisis is a reality, and more than half a million people may die from this drug in the near future (O’Brien, 2017). Excessive use of such opioid medications as tramadol, methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine causes addiction and may lead to overdose. Therefore, the main goal of healthcare professionals is to prevent addiction by appointing appropriate treatment and varying the time of opioid drug consumption according to the psychological characteristics of a patient. It is also crucial to treat patients properly if they became addicted to the drug. There is an opinion that “the detoxification system for opioids should be re-engineered with the creation of a “system of induction centers,” rather than a system of detoxification centers” (O’Brien, 2017, p. 44).

The detection of present addiction to an opioid is essential to make proper decisions on the treatment. Some researchers mention studies about the risk factors for a patient who is prescribed an opioid drug to get addicted to it (Shappiro, 2017). It is noted that women with pain diagnosis are more likely to use opioid medications chronically after the prescription. It is also mentioned that the increases “in probability of continued use was noted when: the first prescription exceeded 10 or 30 days, the patient received a third prescription or when the cumulative dose exceeded 700 mg of morphine equivalents” (Shappiro, 2017, p. 28). Therefore, it is also important to observe the notices of a patient’s addiction to the drug. They might include requests for early refills and increased doses, as well as other signs of losing control. Keeping the balance between efficient treatment and over-prescribing of drugs is regarded to be essential in medical care.

Detoxification programs play a significant role in treating opioid-addicted patients. It is believed to be the most compassionate and secure way to withdraw from the drugs with minimum of complications. Therefore, the potential innovative approach to battling opioid crisis might be timely detection of addiction and its effective treatment at the early stages. Some researchers indicate that “Treatment with naloxone and naltrexone produces neither physical nor psychological dependence” (Benéitez, & Gil-Alegre, 2017, p. 3). The alternative to this treatment is using polymeric systems. Nowadays, there are many methods to produce biodegradable polymers including bioactive agents. They have many advantages such as easy administration and control of drug doses, as well as good biocompatibility. Such drugs are believed to have a positive therapeutic effect after first administration. Still, all these kinds of treatment should be combined with behavioral therapies to achieve maximum effect.

The given research proposal dealt with the problem of opioid crisis and studies to prevent its outspread and ensure appropriate treatment of drug-addicted patients. The latest medical sources were reviewed to identify the main issues and challenges of implementing adequate approaches. As a solution to the problem, the potential innovation was identified and discussed.

References

Benéitez, C. M., & Gil-Alegre, E. M. (2017). Opioid Addiction: Social problems associated and implications of both current and possible future treatments, including polymeric therapeutics for giving up the habit of opioid consumption. BioMed Research International, 2017(5), 1-7.

O’Brien, G. (2017). Problematic projections: Opioid crisis expected to get worse before it gets any better. Healthcare, 5(8), 35-44.

Shappiro, J. (2017). Recognising opioid abuse: Prescribing for shorter periods reduces abuse. Podiatry Management, 36(6), 27-30.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Opioid Crisis: Preventing Addiction." May 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-nurse-practitioner/.

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