Two Campaigns to Combat Opioids Deep in the Heart of Texas
Local and federal authorities are stepping up. They are putting out the word about the dangers opioids pose and managing the risks.
Federal Campaigns for Opioid Awareness in Texas
KFDM/Fox 4 reported that the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas is hitting the airwaves. In a Public Service Announcement (PSA), Joe Brown is taking a proactive stand to keep Texans safe. The statistics tell the story. Last year, 70,000 people died from drug overdoses throughout the U.S.; however, 3,000 of them occurred here. Even though Texas represents a small fraction of the total, any number is a tragedy. It’s not only regrettable, but also hopefully preventable. That’s the purpose of this campaign – to inform residents and take steps to stop this tragic situation from growing.
U.S. Attorney Brown wants people to understand that addiction often is insidious. It can affect upstanding people, like many we know. He explains: “When we’re talking about opioids, we’re talking about people who generally start using them because of legitimate purposes.” He goes on to say: “They’ve been prescribed by a legitimate doctor and they become addicted to them, so we’re not dealing with drug users on the street. We’re dealing with middle class people who have gone to a doctor and have been over-prescribed.”
What can southeast Texans do? Be aware. Take action. Report suspicious activity, such as an office or business that appears to be a pill mill. The same goes for doctors or pharmacies that are freely dispensing opioids. In the words of the U.S. Attorney: “we want doctors and pharmacists to know regulators are watching.” To do so, log onto the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Other Campaigns in Other Cities
In other efforts, KSAT ABC News 12 discussed new federal bill to help doctors act faster to save lives. Recently filed, it seeks to reduce red tape to make buprenorphine more accessible. This substance is in the same drug class as methadone. And a UT Health San Antonio psychiatry professor is taking the lead here to train medical colleagues to qualify to use it.
Dr. Potter explained that “Buprenorphine reduces the risk of overdose death by 50%.” However, in order to prescribe it, a doctor needs a government waiver from the DEA. Only after a set amount of extra training, a practitioner can apply for the DEA “X Waiver.” However, that demands time – 8 hours for a doctor and 24 hours for a nurse practitioner and physician assistant. And, that requirement is a barrier.
As politicians and other stakeholders wage the “X the X Waiver Campaign” to press for lifting restrictions, Dr. Potter is waging one of her own. She is spearheading a massive statewide training program to provide practitioners with the X Waiver training. The aim: equip them with what they need to start prescribing buprenorphine now. For this initiative, the CDC gave Dr. Potter emergency funding. She is going to 30 communities in Texas and has trained 230 professionals, who now meet requirements.
For Help: Turn to a Trusted Medical Source
As described, activities are underway throughout the state to stem the tide of opioid addiction. However, individuals struggling with substance abuse have a trusted option of their own. In the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Greenhouse Treatment Center is a premier licensed treatment facility. It provides clients with a full continuum of care. From detox to residential treatment services, clients receive the services that put them on the road to recovery.
The highly qualified multidisciplinary team designs a plan for each client. The top-quality program engages clients in a range of therapies and activities keyed to their needs. The rehab, located in a former Neiman Marcus spa, offers a luxurious and tranquil setting. Clients have the peace of mind that comes with being at an accredited rehab in the American Addiction Centers network. And, as such, they receive a guarantee. Successfully complete the 90-day treatment program and stay clean and sober. If not, come back for an additional 30 days. The cost is on us.
To get started, visit our online admissions page. As we say, “Your Recovery Begins Here.”
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