Responding to President Trump’s recent declaration of a nationwide public health emergency to combat the opioid crisis in American, News4Jax interviewed Dr. Jeremy Mirabile, Medical Director of Recovery Keys. Dr. Mirabile spoke with News4Jax about what this declaration means, what he’s seeing in the Jacksonville area and what viewers concerned about opioid addiction should do.
The story covers what the declaration means – that while this is a step in the right direction, it does not provide any additional federal funding to the issue. As Dr. Mirabile says, however, this brings the problem to the forefront of the national conversation. The past few years, opioid addiction has been called the silent epidemic, but steps like these are obviously making it not so silent anymore.
According to Dr. Mirabile, many times an opioid overdose or addiction begins with simply being prone to the disease of addiction. Whether a person is then prescribed opioids or uses an opioid that has been prescribed to someone else, it commonly becomes more difficult to obtain. Heroin is often more readily available and even cheaper than prescription opioids. And today, heroin is often also laced with the potent opioid fentanyl, which then leads to overdose.
In Florida, Governor Rick Scott has proposed legislation to address legal opioids in the state. This legislation would include:
- $50 million in funding
- 3-day limit on prescribed opioids
- drug monitoring program
- fight unlicensed pain management clinics
Dr. Mirabile believes this would be a good start, as the legal opioid supply has been overabundant. He also hopes the funds would go toward the pipeline of identifying those people with the condition and getting them the help they need. The Jacksonville task force dedicated to fighting local opioid addiction has discussed identifying those at risk in the emergency department after an incident with opioids and getting them into a treatment facility. Additionally, education and prevention are important, as it is preferable to intervene before an emergency event.
The advice Dr. Mirabile provides to those watching or reading who has a problem or has seen a family member struggling with opioids? This is as prevalent as diabetes – get an assessment, confide in someone, see your primary care physician or a counselor – and get evaluated before you end up in the hospital.
For more information on the opioid epidemic, visit the News4Jax site dedicated to the topic, or reach out to the addiction treatment experts at Recovery Keys now.