The most valuable lesson to learn about opioid abuse is that it is not just a simple drug problem. It is so much more. It penetrates many aspects of everyone's lives. Do you work? It affects you. Do you pay taxes? It affects you. Do you require healthcare or medicines from time to time? It affects you. Are you worried about crime in your neighborhood? Then it affects you.
Want evidence? Just examine some statistics cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that opioid abuse is costing the U.S. $76.5 billion a year due to healthcare expenses, employee absences leading to losses in productivity, treatments for abuse, and law enforcement expenditures on crimes involving drugs.
- More than 47,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdoses in 2017 alone, whether prescribed an opioid or abusing fentanyl and heroin.
- Opioid overdoses in large cities rose by 54 percent in 16 states from 2016 to 2017, and by 30 percent in 52 urban areas of 45 states.
- The Midwest alone experienced a 70 percent increase in opioid overdoses from 2016 to 2017.
- Though opioid abuse among teenagers is edging downward, overdoses are creeping upward among teens aged 15 and older.
If you're a parent, you're probably relieved to see that opioid use among teens is slightly dropping, but it is the severity of the leap from casual or prescription use to a more serious habit that should draw your concern.
Consider that 4-6 percent of those misusing prescription drugs will ultimately turn to heroin for a faster, stronger high, according to the NIDA. Its figures also reveal that roughly 8 out of 10 heroin users started the habit by first misusing prescription opioids. The numbers are staggering.
As opioids continue to affect the otherwise normal lives of Americans, governmental agencies, treatment centers, and the medical community in general continue to focus on prevention and more effective treatments. In this vein, preventive drug testing providers such as Confirm BioSciences, who have introduced the HairConfirm product, a hair drug test conveniently available at CVS Pharmacy, are developing technologies and methodologies that discourage the use of these dangerous drugs.
As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Therefore, drug prevention serves as the first and least costly step should your teenager or other loved one develop an opioid habit. Needless to say, drug prevention first requires awareness, home drug testing, and your support.
This is where technology's role in drug prevention is made apparent. You might be surprised to learn that said drug testing prevention technology is available within your household. Yes, you can determine if your teenager is developing an opioid habit from the privacy of your home by simply implementing a home drug testing kit regimen.
Home drug testing is simple, discreet, and safe, especially if you use a hair drug test. Hair drug tests are specifically designed to track your teenager's or loved one's usage of opioids or other drugs over a long-term period. Such a window can determine whether their safety is threatened. Moreover, the results of hair drug testing can indicate whether you need to find or provide support.
Hair drug testing detects the usage of up to 14 different drugs, including most opioids, up to 90 days prior to the time of testing, excluding the most recent 5-7 days. It's 90-day detection window gives hair home drug testing an advantage over the other popular testing methods. A urine home drug testing kit only reveals usage going back 3-5 days. So, to establish a history of drug use, you would have to buy countless home drug testing kits for urine. Conversely, a hair drug testing kit need be purchased only three or four times a year to provide a historical view of the entire year and give you the peace of mind of knowing your teenager is abstaining from opioid abuse or needs help.
The opioid epidemic is real and dangerous threat to our youth nationwide. However, cracking down on opioid abuse through preventative home drug testing is essential in curbing this epidemic and preventing future drug use. Overall, preventative home drug testing with hair provides a more surefire method of knowing whether your teenager or loved one needs your help and support before it's too late.
This item was posted by a community contributor.