What happens when a prescription drug becomes a problem drug? What happens when the nation as a whole rolls down the “slippery path of addiction” which only culminates in the abyss of death? The catastrophe of opioid abuse encircling America is gradually taking more people in its grip.
As law enforcement agencies, policy makers and healthcare providers come together to combat the growing opioid menace, the federal government announced in March 2016 a grant of $1 million to New Jersey for the development and expansion of opioid and heroin treatment facilities. The grant will make medication-assisted treatments accessible to over 28,000 people who sought treatment for heroin and opioid addiction in New Jersey in 2014, according to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Of all substance abuse cases in New Jersey, approximately 49 percent were found to seek help for heroin and opioid addiction, with heroin admissions exceeding 24,000 owing to an increased restriction on prescription drugs by the government.
The statistics not only paint a grim picture of the severe opioid crisis in New Jersey, but also bring forth the impending gloom that people suffer owing to an increased dependence on drugs. Heroin has become popular lately as it is a cheaper and easily available alternative to prescription drugs. The number of admissions for heroin addicts showed a steep rise from 35 percent in 2013 to 41 percent in 2014.
Jackie Cornell-Bechelli, regional director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said, “Access to treatment is one of the biggest challenges we face.”
The Senate passed a legislation in March 2016 to provide more first responders with Naloxone, referred to as “opioid antagonist” and is used to reverse the impact of drug overdose.
New Jersey Senator Robert Bob Menendez said, “We need to do whatever we can to address this national opioid addiction epidemic that continues to grip and devastate New Jersey families. Addiction to heroin and prescription opioids has negatively impacted countless families and cost too many lives not to act.”
United States Senator from New Jersey Cory Anthony Booker said, “We cannot stand idly by and watch this growing epidemic jeopardize the health and welfare of so many of our friends and neighbors.”
The legislation comes at a time when the state of New Jersey is shaken up by the surge in heroin-related deaths for the fourth straight year in a row, which has also led to an increase in demand for more evidence-based therapeutic interventions and substance abuse treatment facilities.
According to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a 200 percent increase in opioid-related deaths in America. This implies that more Americans are dying of drug overdoses than in road accidents. Another CDC report stated that an estimated 47,000 people succumbed to drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2014 alone.
Someone who is physically dependent on opioids or heroin not only harms himself, but also hurts others. Commenting on rising drug abuse among U.S. population, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that high drug dependence acts as an impediment to the achievements of modern medicine.
If you or your loved one is addicted to a substance and is looking for treatment, you may contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for more information about various drug addiction treatment centers in your area. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for expert advice on best drug rehab centers.