Opioid Overdose Epidemic

An opioid epidemic is the increased use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs. The overdose of opioid drugs leads to, addiction, use of cocaine, use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and death. This epidemic is a severe national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare of a state. This paper shows the groups involved as the stakeholders in the opioid crises, the policy that has accelerated the disasters, and the changes made in that policy and a scenario experience of a doctor who handles well the opioid crisis.

The key stakeholders in the opioid epidemic are the pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers.and they fall under high power classification. The other stakeholders are the distributors, traffickers and the physician who illegally deals in the opioid business appear under the low legitimacy classification.

The affordable care act is the significant policies that lead to the rise of opioid crises. This policy allowed the physician to hand in a questionnaire to patients who conveyed information on how they were doing. This act enabled everyone to acquire any prescription without struggle and strict monitoring due to its abundant availability and low price and hence increased the opioid epidemic. The affordable care act policy brought the ethical issue of malpractices and negligence. The health care providers either indulged themselves in malpractices where they provided prescription opioids for their benefits or were negligent when prescribing medication to the patient. The ethical change that would correct the results of malpractices and negligence is through a schedule reporting system which is a web-based monitoring system that would help prescription use and regulators that would identify questionable practices by a physician and the abuse by patients.


In the case of Janet Martinez who had a partially torn meniscus, I spent some time to talk to her about her injury and possible treatment. The reason was to show her that the use of opioid drugs was not the first choice. In the second scenario, Mr. Parker did not want to continue taking more opioid pills because they were affecting him. I decided to assess the risk of misuse and then we discussed his pain and care plan. The effective communication between us led to an excellent outcome for Mr. Parker. I introduced the opioid agreement to Mr. Parker, and after finalizing with him, I did not choose to move one before I confirmed that he had understood the information I had given him. The scenario of Keera who was suffering from sickle cell anemia, I decided to consult first with her hematologist on to confirm her body was resisting the pills before she received more.

I changed a few of my answers in some scenarios after I realized they were not the right thing to do. In the situation of Janet, I had chosen to write her a prescription for an opioid, but she needed more physical therapy treatment. In the scenario of Mr. Parker, I had chosen yes after we were all done, but I realized I had not confirmed if he had understood the even instruction. What surprised me most is that the patient got better after listing to my advice like Janet got better and received her insurance for the treatment of her leg. Mr. Parker was able to attend his daughter’s game.

In conclusion, as a public health professional, I would try and teach enough basics to the primary care physicians on how to handle the opioid crisis. For example, including functional goals in long-term treatment plans; considering a multimodal biopsychosocial approach in chronic pain treatment; failing to detect high-risk behaviors such as provider shopping or early refills; failure to recognize medication interactions; screening for opioid misuse.

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