Drug Addiction: The US Searches for Novel Ways to Prevent Overdoses

December 15, 2021 11:09:29

Opioids are a class of drugs made from the opium poppy plant. These drugs work in the brain to produce various effects, including pain relief. Opioids are usually given as prescription medications to treat moderate to severe pain. However, long-term use of the drugs increases an individual’s dependence and tolerance, which results in higher and more frequent doses and sometimes addiction.

In 2019, almost 50,000 individuals in the United States died from opioid-related overdoses. This number has steadily increased since then, with the most recent figures showing that 100,000 people have died because of overdoses associated with fentanyl in the last 12 months. The opioid epidemic has become a public health crisis, with the increase in injection drug use also contributing to the spread of infectious diseases, which include hepatitis C and HIV.

These alarming rates have prompted relevant authorities to work towards cutting down on opioid use and preventing overdoses. Currently, experts are focused on finding new ways to deal with the issue that allow safer drug use without relying on law enforcement. Some of those ways include the following:

Promoting harm reduction and providing safe spaces

Harm reduction refers to strategies aimed at decreasing substance-related harm and improving the quality of life of individuals who use drugs as well as their communities. In addition, affording users safe spaces to shoot drugs increases their chances of getting help in the event of an overdose.

Opioid and heroin drug overdoses are normally reversed through the use of naloxone. Naloxone is a medicine that acts as an opioid antagonist. It works by attaching itself to opioid receptors then reversing and blocking the effect of the opioid.

Helping identify drugs laced with fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than other opioids. Some dealers mix fentanyl with drugs such as meth, cocaine and heroin, making the likelihood of overdosing even higher.

By making it easier to avoid consuming the deadly drug, we can reduce the risk of overdose and consequently death. This can be done through the use of fentanyl testing strips, which identify the presence of fentanyl in a drug before it can be ingested.

Pilot programs such as the one recently established in the state of Virginia allows these strips to be given to drug users. Experts believe that by doing this, people can use the drugs more safely and, in turn, save more lives.

In addition to this, researchers are also working to find more precise ways that can identify other dangerous components in drugs as other companies, such as Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF), focus on developing new treatments to combat addiction.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MYCOF

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