New York State has now passed legislation to address the heroin crisis and the over prescription of pain medication.
There is an important new provision which requires mandatory training of health care professionals who prescribe opiate drugs. They will now be required to complete three hours of education every three years on addiction, pain management and palliative care.
All too frequently what precedes heroin addiction is dependence upon pain medication such as Percocet and Vicodin. Dependency arises all too frequently because of over prescription. One acclimates to the pain killer and seeks greater and greater relief. Heroin then rears its ugly head and produces a more intense and longer high.
Pain sufferers, the 100 million of those chronic sufferers in the United States, according to the National Institute of Medicine’s report in 2011, need not go down the road to full blown addiction. This new legislation will raise the consciousness and awareness of health professionals and have a doctor think twice before cavalierly writing out a prescription at the request of a patient.
One study of Medical Schools found that less than 4% have a required pain course and there is a lack of training in pain management which highlights the need for healthcare professionals to receive mandatory training.
New York’s new law recognizes the growing curse of addiction and the path the leads all too frequently from pain medications prescribed after an accident to full blown dependency and all too frequently abuse leading to the devastation of an overdose.
There is a crisis of addiction in America and New York’s legislation is one step in the right direction.
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