Opioid Crisis

There has been a 200 per cent increase in overdose from drug use between 2000 and 2014. The overdose death rate is three times the rate it was in 1999. There has been a sharp increase in overdose deaths due to synthetic opioids other than methadone from 2015 to 2016. The use has doubled. The lower income persons are the majorly affected. They are also majorly uninsured persons.

Individuals under the poverty lines are observed to be likely to misuse the drug. According to research, they were twice as likely to have an opioid use disorder, (CDC, 2016). Medicaid recipients and other low-income populations were reported to be at risk for prescription drug overdose. The relation between poverty and prevalence of opioid disorder is a topic that is researched. The relation is essential for policymakers to come up with good laws that will hamper the incidence of the pandemic. Despite the opioid epidemic, the problem hasn’t affected each state uniformly. In large towns with unemployed people, the situation is harsh and predominant. A study shows that the adults who are exposed to the opioid epidemic have a less favourable assessment of economic conditions than those who have not been revealed, (Hedegaard, 2017)

When data from 2006 to 2016 is analysed, various measures can be used to determine the prevalence of opioid use. The number of opioid hospitals in a region is one way. The steps of overdose include deaths due to substance abuse, but excluding alcohol and tobacco. The measures of economic opportunities include poverty rates, unemployment rates and the employment-to-population ratio. It identifies the percentage of persons employed at a certain geographical point at a certain particular time. The employment to population ratio is used in statistical data to bring a clear representation of the relationship between unemployment and opioid misuse.

The American Nurses Association recognises the role that nurses can play in solving the crisis. Some resources are created that promote a relevant approach. Nurses are on the frontline of the epidemic. They are well positioned to help in assessing, diagnosing, and managing a patient’s addiction. With the situation at hand, the approach to the problem should be precise.

The nurses can expand access to medication-assisted treatment. It is a critical step in addressing the epidemic comprehensively. The nurses are also in an excellent position to prescribe education and training to the patients and the public at large. The nurses should be adequately trained so as they can specify correctly the steps to be followed.

According to ANA, more significant investments into research are needed to advance the development, assessment and deployment of abuse-deterrent technologies. Abuse-Deterrent formulations, (ADFs) are tools that aid in preventing abuse. The food and drug administration in the US finds the development of such formulations a high health priority.

The nurses also promote the increased use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). The state nurses work in associations to get the word out on how one can save the lives of an overdosed person. There is also a need for increased access to opioid antagonist- Naloxone. The nurses support increased access to Naloxone for family, first responders, friends, and caregivers that are close to users of opioids. It is an essential tool in preventing overdose by heroin, morphine and oxycodone. The more the civil persons are engaged in the process of healing, the easier it will be to get the desired goals of opioid reduction use, (Ruhm, 2017)

Research demonstrates that economically disadvantaged counties are the most affected by substance abuse. Higher poverty rates and unemployment rates relate to Medicare part D opioid prescriptions, opioid-related hospitalisation and drug overdose deaths. However, the geographic analysis finds that some areas with high poverty levels exhibiting little or no drug abuse problem.

One of the limitations of the research is that it doesn’t identify a causal relationship between the indicators. It also doesn’t address the direction of any possible causal link. There is also some possibility that economic conditions affect or are affected by substance use. Other factors aren’t documented. In cases of traumatic experiences and many other behavioural health issues may affect one’s economic sufficiency and substance use. New studies show that there are occurrences where poor economic conditions may not be directly responsible for the rapid rise in overdose and opioid prescribing because different factors are responsible for different situations in many states of the US, (Currie, 2018).

The nurses should get involved in the planning of houses and to stop overcrowding in a particular area. Poor housing conditions are responsible for many health conditions like respiratory infections, lead poisoning, asthma, injuries and mental health. The housing issues are well addressed by health practitioners who can see an important social determinant that can cause future injuries.

Overcrowded spaces result in poor sanitation, crowding, and inadequate ventilation. Infectious diseases, fire hazards, and injuries are reduced with proper consultation with nurses. Today, public health organisations can deploy multiple strategies to improve housing such as developing and enforcing housing guidelines and codes, implementing healthy homes programs to improve indoor environmental quality assessing housing conditions while advocating for sturdy, affordable housing. It is the time to question these plans that the government has put across for the citizens while advocating for better services.

In terms of childhood development, recent analysis confirms that the influence of housing is the cause of various chronic diseases. Inadequate ventilation, type of water supply and food available are big players to the nutrition of the people. They were the cause of future ill health and disability.

Behaviours like smoking and physical inactivity becomes the norm of a particular town. Air quality is polluted because of the proximity to car exhaust emissions. As a nurse living in this region, my health condition will be at risk of having respiratory complications as also sharing tuberculosis, typhoid and other infectious diseases (Jones, 2017) Noise pollution and improper waste disposal which harbour pests, can infest one’s home. When designing, it is crucial to include schools, green spaces, recreational sites, work and shopping places within walking distances of homes.

It is quite essential for every individual to be concerned with his or her environment. The pertinent issues affecting each state should be addressed on a community level and also on a state level. Cleanliness and overall awareness in terms of what the children are doing are quite remarkable. Social amenities like playing fields, recreational facilities and churches are places where the growing generation can be taught the effects of the opioid menace. Demystifying the wrong information about the advantages of getting into hard drugs should be discussed. Both the boys and the girls should be taught in deep on the curiosities that they have.

The state should work hand in hand with all players. Nurses are in the best position to give information about the problems ailing a community. Their input is quite significant to ensure that longtime mistakes are solved and imminent health hazards prevented. The nurses, apart from playing the position of the community health practitioners, they play another role of being the sisters, mothers and daughters of the people in the society. They have in-depth information on how the health position of a community is. It will be irresponsible not to use their knowledge to better our cities and states.

Overcrowding affects housing at the local level in different ways; Infectious diseases, chronic diseases, injuries, mental health and neighbourhood effects are some of the disadvantages. An infection spreads fast before being treated as compared to other spacious areas. Rodents and insects from one house to another can lead to the spread of viruses or bacteria to many people during a short time.

The housing problem gets to become a national problem when many states share the same issue of drug abuse. In the 1970s the government put drugs as enemy number one of our country. Despite the many projects invested in stopping the sale and use of drugs, the problem has become too big to contain. New ways of fighting the vice can be discussed and put into law. The doctors who cooperate with peddlers to get the drugs into the market should be arrested and strenuous actions against them applied. To solve the problem, the whole community should be involved to find amicable solutions that last from generation to generation.

As a nurse, I am responsible for educating the people around me on the importance of staying sober and keeping away from drugs. Real life experiences of the patient’s struggles can be shared to other school going students on the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse. The overcrowding problem is an issue that I can persuade the ANA association to educate the government on the need of nurses input before planning a mega project in terms of new housing blocks or licenses for private developers to construct.


Hedegaard,H., Minino, A.,M.(2017) Drug overdose deaths in the United states 1999-2016. National health centre for health statistics.

Jones C,M.(2017) The paradox of decreasing non medical opioid analgesic use and increasing abuse or dependence- An assessment of demographic and substance use trends. United States 2003-2014.

Rudd, R, A, Aleshire, N.,(2016) Increase in drug and Opioid overdose deaths, United States. Centres for disease control and prevention.

Hollingsworth, A., Ruhm, C, J. Simon, K.(2017) Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse. J Health Econ.

Currie, J., Jin J.Y, Schnell, M. (2018) US Employment and opioids; is there a connection? Cambridge , MA: National Bureau of Economic research