According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Now that doctors understand the risks of prescribing opioids, they try to reduce the prescriptions they write through CDC guidelines. Some physicians also practice at opioid addiction treatment centers to help patients recover.
As someone without an MD, you may wonder what to do to help fight opioid addiction. Everyone has a part to play in the movement against the opioid crisis. These actions will spread awareness about the epidemic and what your community can do about it.
Learn About Opioid Addiction
The subject of opioid addiction awareness covers a wide range of topics. By understanding opioid addiction, you can better advocate in the fight against the opioid crisis. Try these strategies for researching opioid addiction:
- Visit reputable websites from universities or the government for information about opioid addiction.
- If you know how to look up scholarly articles, read current studies on opioid use disorder.
- Find information on websites for trustworthy clinics like MedMark Treatment Centers.
Challenge Misconceptions About Opioid Misuse
Opioid addiction has a stigma that leads to harmful misconceptions about the disease and its patients. When you hear someone repeat one of these ideas, politely inform them of the truth. Common misconceptions follow:
- “Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) replaces one addiction with another.” In reality, MAT treats cravings and withdrawal symptoms to help patients recover.
- “People with opioid addictions need better willpower.” Opioid addiction is a disease that changes the way a person’s brain works and requires treatment like any other chronic illness.
- “I can call a person with an opioid addiction whatever I want.” Negative terms like “addict” and “junkie” contribute to the stigma against opioid addiction patients and discourage them from getting help.
Learn How to Use Rescue Medication
Naloxone reverses an opioid overdose by detaching opioids from the person’s receptors. As part of the fight against the opioid crisis, many healthcare providers and organizations offer free naloxone and training. Learn how you can use naloxone to make your community safer:
- Look into naloxone trainings in your area. During these sessions, you can learn how to use naloxone in the event of an overdose.
- Get naloxone from a pharmacy or organization. Many initiatives and events give you the opportunity to get naloxone for free.
- Keep naloxone on your person or at your home. Nobody expects an overdose when it happens. By keeping naloxone on hand, you can quickly respond.
Teach Others How to Help Fight the Opioid Crisis
Now that you know how to help in the fight against the opioid epidemic, you can pass that knowledge to others. Join a local organization or online community that raises awareness about opioid addiction to get involved in the movement. You can also educate your friends or share reputable social media posts on the subject.
Get Help for Yourself or Someone You Know
If you or someone you know has an addiction to opioids, let MedMark Treatment Centers help. We have locations across the United States that assist patients in recovery. Learn more about our services by contacting our team.