Opioid abuse has become one of the biggest health problems of our time. And it’s not always street addicts who are affected by the drug. Many are everyday people with jobs and families living in quiet suburbs getting prescriptions for pain from their doctors.
Kansas is not immune to this crisis. In 2016, there were more than 300 drug-poisoning deaths in Kansas, and approximately half of those involved a prescription or an illicit opioid. Although Kansas is below the national average for fatal opioid overdoses, the opioid crisis is an emerging threat that remains a priority for the state to address. The Kansas Prescription Drug and Opioid Advisory Committee has developed a four-year plan to provide help to those affected and empower professionals with the strategies they need to reduce prescription drug and opioid misuse, abuse and associated adverse health outcomes.
Women tend to be more affected by opioid addiction than men. It’s a trend Dr. Kim Templeton, an orthopedic surgeon at The University of Kansas Health System, has noticed for some time. In the video, Dr. Templeton explains how, according to her studies, there is a difference between men and women in nearly every health condition, including pain management. She says men and women are different in terms of perception to pain and their response to opioids. She explains that women become addicted over a shorter period of time with lower doses than men, their addiction is worse, and it’s harder for them to get off of the drug. She says many doctors don’t realize the difference, but that more and more are learning about alternatives to opioids, as prescriptions for them are going down.
The video also includes shots in a pharmacy of opioids being prepared for distribution.