Drug Overdose Deaths on the Rise in Indiana Colleges

An addicted woman

The United States is in the middle of a war, not only the wars going on across the globe, but one within its own borders. Opioids are quickly destroying families and taking the lives of addicts every day. The war on drugs platform with which former presidents stood has done nothing, but brings chaos to suspected drug producing countries. What it failed, miserably failed, at doing was reducing substance abuse in America. Instead of reducing or stopping drug abuse and addiction, it allowed big pharmaceutical companies to get rich by selling the country deadly prescription pain killers. These pain killers are the not-so-distant cousins of morphine and heroin. These two drugs are known to be two of the most dangerous and addicting drugs available, so why were they allowed to be pushed on the American society? Regulated by the FDA these prescription pain killers were thought to be safe, but only when used properly. Unfortunately, they were not used or prescribed properly. Stricter regulations should have been placed on their usage; especially the length of time they were allowed to be used. The biggest problem with prescription pain killers is that they can be abused and that they are prescribed for extended periods of time. This is the cause for the rise in drug overdose deaths in Indiana colleges.

Opioid Abuse in Indiana

In 36 states, including Indiana, drug overdoses has become the leading cause of injury deaths. These statistics are from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which provide empirical evidence of the very serious problem with opioid abuse in the country. In southeastern Indiana the problem with prescription pain killers has become a major cause for concern. Scott County has become the face of the prescription pain killer epidemic. The catastrophic damage done by intravenous drug abuse has led to more than 160 cases of confirmed HIV and hepatitis. The problem is nationwide, but affects certain areas more than others. In Indiana’s case, they have several cities and communities that have suffered from generational poverty and substance abuse. When this is coupled with the weak health care infrastructure that Indiana has, the result is Scott country, where injecting Opana, the prescription pain killer of choice, is a family activity.

Drug Overdoses

There were 16 overdose deaths per 100,000 people in Indiana, which makes it the 15th highest in the country from 2011 to 2013. Relying on the three year sample sizes, Indiana’s drug overdose death rate has increased from the previous three years at which time it had 13 deaths per 100,000 making it the 20th highest drug overdose death rate state. This rise makes Indiana seem really bad, but nationally the drug overdose death rate has continued to increase to the point where it has now doubled in the rate of 14 years. It has gotten to the point that it now outranks deaths as a result of motor vehicle accidents; which is not the result of motor vehicle deaths declining. Half of all overdose deaths are the direct result of prescription drugs. The misuse of prescription drugs has also lead to the rise in heroin abuse and addiction in the nation. Most prescription drug abusers turn to heroin because it is much cheaper, easier to get and stronger.

Combating the Issue

When the country ranks states they take into account the services provided for addicts and whether or not the state uses the electronic monitoring system for prescription drugs. Indiana has taken both steps to combat this growing issue. The state had implemented new regulations on physicians who prescribe prescription opioids and has seen a 10% decline prescriptions for opioids.

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