August 30, 2017
When we think opioid, all that comes to our minds is that people who have died from the drug. The chairman—Dr. A. Omar Abubaker—of School of Dentistry at the Commonwealth University of Virginia had been prescribing opioids to patients for a long while now but things changed when Abubaker’s son overdosed on heroin and ended his life. Heroin is now an opioid!
Abubaker still finds it difficult to talk about certain parts of his son’s death. This single, yet major, event was life changing for him, not only personally, but professionally as well. Suddenly, the opioid is no longer a drug he could recommend to anyone. He began seeing the drug for its harmful effects, the effects that took his son’s life. In the last one year, the drug has taken around 1,133 lives in Virginia.
Fortunately, there has been great awareness on the matter and there are several providers that have even altered their prescribing practices already. The federal data has also shown that there has been a decline in the use of popular painkillers since 2013. This consequently means that Virginia has been seeing far fewer deaths caused by opioids.
During the initial three months of this year, there were 113 people who lost their lives to opioid drugs. In comparison, the first quarter of 2016 saw 124 opioid deaths. This has, however, brought forward another major problem. People who were taken off legal opioids found the pleasure in its illegal forms, particularly in heroin.
This year, while the opioid deaths have reduced, those from heroin have been increased to 127 from 110 last year. Fentanyl—a far deadlier form of opioid—has already taken 190 lives compared to 145 last year.
Abubaker actually spent a year studying about addiction after his son died. He said that he wanted to learn the science behind addiction rather than sounding like an emotional parent while educating others about the drug. He said that there still are a lot of dentists who are overprescribing opioid to patients, not pondering upon what harm it could bring them.
Abubaker told an interviewer that previously, he was doing the same. He did not think about what he was doing. He said that doctors don’t think of it that way. At least 95% of them don’t. It is procedures like teeth removal when people usually come in contact with the drug for the first time. It’s perfect because it keeps the pain away. But what if the person gets addicted to it? A doctor won’t keep prescribing him or her a legal dose. This is where things get out of hands.
Abubaker said that his son was prescribed opioid back when he was younger, after a treatment he had had, but he isn’t sure as to why his son Adam went back to abusing the drug. He sure was having a hard time at school, and then one day, he got news of his mother’s death out of the blue. This could be when he faced trauma and turned towards the drug for relief.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]