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Health care professionals struggle as they look for treatment options for recovering opioid addicts after a surgery. Opioid-related deaths continually increase as the years progress creating a health care epidemic.
Every nineteen minutes, a person dies of an opioid overdose. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raises alarm as the opioid epidemic is said to be underestimated, as reported by CNN.
More than a million individuals die of opioid overdose each year. As of the latest update in regards to the opioid epidemic, health care providers explain that 2 people die of overdose each day in Ontario alone, according to News 1130.
“What we’ve seen is that fentanyl, hydromorphone and even heroin involvement in opioid-related deaths really started to rise at that point in time,” lead author of the study, Tara Gomes said during an interview. “That’s a bit concerning because it means that simply changing access or the formulation of one type of opioid isn’t actually leading to the ultimate goal of reducing the rate of opioid-related deaths in the province.”
Aside from the increasing number of opioid overdose across the United States, doctors also worry about the possible post-surgery treatments to be given to recovering opioid addicts. More than one million American are undergoing opioid addiction treatments in 2015 and the numbers are still on the rise.
Max Baker, a recovering opioid addict, made the news after dying due to overdose. Barker was already living a sober life until he underwent an accident that leads him to his OD, as featured on NPR.
Max's father explained his son's tragic death that led hospitals into considering the advice of an addiction specialist post-surgery, considering the patient's background. Prescribing opioids to a recovering addict post-surgery could potentially end up with a relapse and might even cause a fatal overdose.
Dr. Stuart Gitlow, past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, pointed out the importance of having an addiction specialist on board. Surgeons and doctors should have a specialist in a given field considering the patient's medical history prior to the operation.