The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will grant Vermont $4 million to prevent deaths caused by painkiller overdoses. The California Department of Public Health already received a $3.7 million fund to help preventing overdose deaths from prescription opioid abuse.
The grant will be distributed over four years. Vermont and California will be two of the 16 states to get funding from the CDC program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s main aim is to remodel prescribing practices for a better prevention of opioid drugs dependence and overdose. On the long-run, prescription opioid misuse will likely hurt anyone with access to these drugs. American people tend to associate drug abuse with illegal drugs, but the misuse of medicine that is prescribed for pain management is an equally concerning issue.
Opioids are increasingly being used for pain treatment, and as a result, nationwide sales quadrupled in the past decade. In the US, about 16,000 persons died in 2013 alone from prescription opioid overdoses. In the same year, drug poisoning killed 4,300 in California, the majority were from prescription drugs, with opioids at the top. In 2012, there were 41,000 documented deaths attributed to opioid misuse.
The neuroscience of addiction. The majority of humans like opioids because we’ve got internal opioid receptors. Why are they there? Because the brain produces opioids, endorphins, and other similar substances. It’s part of our pleasure system. So what happens then, is if you bathe the brain in what would be massive quantities compared to internally produced sybstances, the brain tries to normalize itself.
The process is called homeostasis. The brain changes, it adapts so there’s this neuro-adaptation process that occurs. After a period of time, these changes become permanent.
With opioids, addiction is different than it is with alcohol and tobacco. What happens is, if you take away the external opioid, whether it is oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, codeine or other prescribed drug, you will have an under-performing internal opioid system.
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