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Tuesday, April 24 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Opioid Epidemic Of 2018 In The Asheville Area And Proposed Solutions

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America is facing an epidemic that killed over 33,000 people in 2015 across all ages. Substance abuse among teenagers and adults are only increasing due to the widespread addiction to over the counter drugs and prescription painkillers. Healthy People 2020 has made substance abuse a very high priority, particularly among youth. Rates have increased since reports in 2005 for nonmedical use of prescription drugs. The thought that pain relievers are less harmful to ingest and both increasing availability and access to these drugs has created an epidemic. The opioid crisis has a top down, and bottom up effect. Meaning doctors are prescribing medications to patients with chronic disease allowing the patient to be addicted to the medication. The bottom up aspect is in reference to the lack of knowledge or awareness that individuals have with taking medication. This paradox creates an unfair and problematic cycle in the distribution and abuse of prescribed medication. Millions are impacted by this every year, and it is only becoming more prevalent. I believe the approach to a solution should be multidimensional. First we must build an awareness in the community. This could be done by health educators through seminars, posters, and media. The other direction should come from health care providers. They should be required to educate about the possible effects of taking a medication and also possible alternatives to the medication. They should also be required to follow up with the patient after a week of being on the medication to look for alternatives to the prescription drug. This both verifies the appropriate use, as well as gives the patient a healthy more holistic alternative.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm PDT
Sherrill Center Concourse