Out guest blogger, Matt Rhoney, is a writer and avid researcher on the impacts of substance abuse. He is currently writing content on the impacts of the opioid crisis and how communities can pull together to help one another in this time of need. Matt is currently taking an in-depth look at the prescribing rates of the opioid prescriptions and how the prescribed rate correlates with the patterns of heroine use. Learn more about Matt’s outreach efforts by taking a look at the opioid crisis resource.
The opioid issue in our country has become a crisis. In 2016, 341 people died from overdoses in Alabama alone. These overdose-related deaths included heroin, prescription opioids and synthetic opioids. Although these statistics are alarming, they prove to show that Alabama is striving to do more than other states to give people with this addiction treatments that could save a life.
In 2013, open-data shows that Alabama was one of the highest prescribed opioid states in America at 141 prescriptions for every 100 people. Three years later, data would reveal a rate of 7.5 deaths out of 100,000 as it pertains to opioid overdoses. Fortunately, this has since decreased.
With a decrease in the number of opioid-related deaths, many are noticing that Alabama is doing more than most states to provide people with an opioid addiction access to life-saving treatments. In fact, Alabama is noticed for having one of the highest buprenorphine provider-to-opioid overdose death rates in the country. With the buprenorphine treatments more readily available, more people can seek the help they need for their opioid addictions.
In addition to providing a sustainable treatment option, there are legislative policies that can alleviate the impact of an increase in opioid use. To take a closer look, syringe exchange programs, whether or not prescribers are required to check PDMP, and whether or not jurisdiction has completed CDC consultations could be contributing factors. With states taking a closer look at this issue and seeking a medical and helpful legislative approaches, the issue of addiction can be helped.
For more information about Alabama and other states, check out this opioid crisis resource.