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Opioid Epidemic: A Painkiller Into an Addictive Drug

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After more than ten years, the opioid usage has reached peaking levels and has not declined. It’s caused 42,000 deaths in 2016, clearly showing that the U.S. drug epidemic is not in control.

Researchers found that older patients suffering from chronic pain depend on this “prescription,” but it is a highly dangerous medication. Opioids are a class of illegal drug heroin that provides pain relief, but doctors often prescribe an excessive amount that makes it more life-threatening for the patient. This medication offers a feeling of pleasure but is risky since it leads to addiction, decreases the heart rate, and eventually may lead to death due to overdose. This may be in fact one of the deadliest, most potent drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history.

Medicare patients have greater access to opioid medication compared to privately insured patients. This increased the risk of overdose by four times, and many insurance groups are reluctant to cover the cost of integrative pain treatment of opioids. The insurance policies contribute to the reasons why opioid regulation is failing.

When Will This Outbreak End?

To slowly diminish the national epidemic, federal prosecutors have found that the drug wholesale distributor is Amerisource Bergen. Serious lawsuits are suddenly being pressed upon them, and the FDA is spending millions of dollars to diminish the pharmaceutical companies such as these. Many other manufacturers and distributors such as Mekesson and Cardinal Health are in the process of subpoena as well. They control 85% of the U.S. drug market, and their “suspicious reports have started since 2012.  

More and more states are joining the nation’s outcry of the opioid epidemic. Many hospitals are beginning to alter their approaches for prescribing this drug as a treatment. For example, Chicago is using enhanced recovery after surgery to help patients with pain management in the hospitals. New York takes a different road and swapped marijuana to help with opioid withdrawal. Despite the unfortunate outbreak, we can let out a sigh of relief that companies, hospitals, political lawmakers are all stepping in to alleviate the large situation.

 

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Lifestyle

Coffee is not just a lifestyle, it’s a lifesaver

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Every morning, I wake up, and the first task on my mind is to brew a hot cup of coffee to get my day started. Coffee is indeed a lifesaving delicacy. It’s no wonder why you see the big line at Starbucks extending past the doorway at 8 AM every morning! It’s even crazier in New York, where the population in a single location drinks seven times more coffee than the rest of the U.S.  

All things have to come in moderation. Here’s a list of the benefits of drinking coffee:

  • Reduces depression and risk of suicide
  • Less risk of heart disease
  • Black coffee prevents cavities by killing bacteria
  • Contains more antioxidants than certain servings of fruits
  • Lower risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Lower risk of Type II diabetes
  • Plus…the taste itself is pretty good.

Keep in mind the number of servings. It’s not wise to go out and drink 5-7 cups a day because you’re exhausted. We may not be mindful that it is an overdose of caffeine intake. Thus, having a cup a day or in moderation can still be beneficial. It’s fine to incorporate coffee into a healthy diet, but may not be beneficial for everyone.

Pregnant women and children are not recommended to drink coffee as it may interrupt with their long-term health. It also depends on genetics and how well your body is able to metabolize the caffeine intake. Some of us may feel jittery up to 9 hours, but others may feel a slight increase in alertness for a few hours. 

Comment below what your favorite coffee recipe or recommendations you may have!

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