Arizona Opioid Law & the Impact on Drug Rehabs in Arizona
11/05/18: Arizona Opioid Epidemic
Arizona Opioid Law & the Impact on Drug Rehabs in Arizona
Opioid addiction in the United States has already surpassed epidemic proportions. The Centers for Disease Control has reported 46 people die every day as a result of opioid overdoses. With the recent introduction of the 2018 Arizona Opioid Law, the Grand Canyon State’s legislature hopes to see this epidemic combatted with brute force. Drug rehabs in Arizona are just now beginning to learn the potential impacts of the law, both positive and negative.
With illegal prescriptions flooding the market and drug cartels filling in any voids with synthetic opioids, many states, including Arizona, are fighting back. The Arizona state government desperately wants to curb the consumption of opioids in order to protect vulnerable individuals from the pain drug misuse can cause. The new Arizona Opioid Law is the first attempt at slowing down and hopefully stopping the epidemic.
Breaking Down the Arizona Opioid Law
The purpose of the new law is to increase and encourage effective communication between physicians and pharmacists to reduce the abuse of medications and to help curb the epidemic. The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act was introduced in 2018 and implements tighter restrictions around the distribution of a controlled substance.
As a result of the law, doctors must check over the last 12 months of a patient’s use of opioids before prescribing any drug in the opioid family. This includes benzodiazepine, and both doctors and pharmacists must be signed up for an online patient portal. The portal allows for the monitoring of how many prescriptions a patient has had, as well as the dosage, before administering the drug in question.
Furthermore, the law now restricts the supply amount of opioids to a 5-day supply for the first prescription. For patients requiring post-surgery prescriptions, the supply is limited to 14-days.
The Arizona Opioid Law has also placed restrictions on in-house prescriptions and can no longer dispense schedule two opioids except for medically assisted treatment for drug misuse. In general, it has been ordered that the dosage be lowered for the majority of patients. Exclusions were provided for hospitalized persons and those needing morphine at the end of their lives.
In addition to the lowering of dosages, starting in 2019, prescriptions for opioids must be sent to pharmacies by electronic means. The new requirement is an effort to fight prescription fraud which has become rampant nationwide.
Proponents of the bill are happy to see tighter restrictions on the distribution of opioids. Supporters hope to see a noticeable decline in the number of drug-related deaths, as well as a reduction of opioid-related crime because of the wider socio-economic issues stemming from drug misuse. Opponents, on the other hand, including those working on the frontlines of the epidemic have their concerns. Most of these concerns surround the impact that these new laws will have on the treatment of drug misuse.
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Drug Rehabs in Arizona Show Concern
With the new drug law comes tighter restrictions. Rehab clinics will now see a reduction in the amounts of drugs and dosages allowable to give to patients - if they can give them prescriptions at all. Rehabilitation centers are concerned that with the reduction in prescription-based recovery care, many who would normally seek treatment will shy away due to the added pressure of potentially experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms when in detox and recovery.
For those not familiar with the detox process, a doctor will often prescribe a combination of drugs to help you slowly withdraw from the substances used, one of which is benzodiazepine. Many rehab clinics fear the results of the harsher restrictions on their clients. Ultimately, centers worry that they will see a relapse in drug misuse with these tighter restrictions.
There is also the issue of patient safety. Some drug abuse sufferers cannot go cold turkey. When users stop drug or alcohol use, almost immediately their bodies begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. In severe instances, individuals have died as a result of going it on their own. To those who now may face such outcomes, they may begin blaming the government for deaths caused by drug users going cold turkey in lieu of seeking non-prescription recovery.
It Is More than Just Misuse
Misuse is cited as one of the top reasons as to why we should be restricting the prescribing and access to opioids. However, what about those who have no other way to relieve their pain, but by the use of these drugs?
It has been documented some Americans have been exploited by their Doctors. These are the same people they are supposed to have complete trust and faith in. Unfortunately, some medical professionals have received kickbacks or perks for prescribing dangerous opioid pills. One can’t help but wonder sometimes if the patients really need the pills in question. When the propensity to become dependent upon such drugs is highly likely, it would seem to be less than a moot point to say restrictions need to be tightened across the board, not just in Arizona.
If the Arizona bill is going to do more harm than good, the alternative of leaving the prescription drug manufacturers and local drug dealers with a monopoly on pain and suffering would remain the other option. What is seen to be a road to recovery for the country as a whole, may just be another hole in an already sinking ship.
What About the Rest of America?
On the coattails of the recent Arizona bill, President Donald J Trump is considering a 600 plus page bill to tackle the issue of the opioid crisis. The bill seeks to stop patients from being preyed upon by those who seek to make money off their pain and suffering. Components of the bill limit the kickbacks offered by pharmaceutical companies and instituting fines for Medicaid fraud in relation to the prescribing of opioids.
Although this is a great step, it may simply not be enough. A new threat to worsening the crisis that includes brokers signing patients up in private insurance, enabling doctors to keep the cycle of opioid misuse going. The reality is this, without tighter regulations, there may not be an end in sight for this epidemic sweeping across America, destroying precious lives and happy families.
Seeking Treatment at Drug Rehabs in Arizona
Opioid addiction is a serious issue that requires skilled professionals to help those affected. Through medications, holistic therapies, and counseling, individuals addicted to opioids can have a path leading to a drug-free life. If you or someone you know is suffering from an opioid addiction, please reach out to someone at ArizonaAddiction.com today for help.
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