American Medical News is pleased to have Dr. Nicholas Kardaras weigh in on escalating heroin use amid the recent opioid crackdown. The relationship between opioid and heroin abuse is an important one, especially in light of the opioid epidemic in America.
Shuttered pill mills, caution about prescribing opioids and easy accessibility of heroin are driving people to the illicit drug.
In recent years, state and federal officials have taken steps to prevent prescription opioid abuse, including the implementation of pill monitoring programs and shuttering pill mills. The heated topic regarding opioid abuse has made many physicians cautious when it comes to pain medicine prescriptions.
Unfortunately, the added scrutiny on pain medication has driven heroin use upward among those who are unable to access “legal” pain medications.
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras Voices:
“In addition to being more affordable and accessible than prescription opioids, heroin has the same neurochemical affect as commonly prescribed pain medications”, stated Nicholas Kardaras, of The Dunes East Hampton.
“It’s the same high, but you don’t need to go through certain gatekeepers to get it,” Kardaras shared.
Risk Of Opioid and Heroin Abuse Use
The escalation in heroin use has many physicians worried about its implications to health and public health alike. Those injecting heroin risk contracting a number of infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, from shared needles. Injections may also lead to skin abscesses and bacteremia, which may eventually lead to fatal endocarditis. Due to its legal status, users are mostly unaware of what ingredients the drug has been cut with.
Physician education appears key to tackling the issue. This includes an understanding that opioids are not intended as a cure-all pain medication, but rather to alleviate pain to the point that a patient may function to a particular degree until the issue is under control. By teaching a holistic approach to pain management, people can lower their chances of falling victim to opioid and heroin abuse.
What Doctors Need To Do To Help Prevent Heroin Abuse
When opioid medication is discontinued due to suspicion of abuse, physicians should make sure to recommend proper treatment and guide the patients in the next steps to prevent further abuse of opioids and to help prevent them from moving on to heroin. If a patient already struggles with opioid and heroin abuse, it’s time for them to find a drug addiction treatment center or residential treatment program. Having a firm grasp on addiction and pain specialists can help physicians lead patients toward the care they need to enjoy a healthy and sober lifestyle.
See The Rest of the Article: Opioid Abuse Crackdown Puts Heroin Back In Style
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