September 8, 2021
Since the U.S. saw a dramatic increase in the number of prescriptions written for natural and semi-synthetic opioids (OxyContin, methadone, codeine, etc.), we have been battling an epidemic. This problem was made worse by the introduction of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, into the market in 2013, which caused a third wave of deaths in the epidemic since they are much stronger than naturally occurring opiates and are more prone to being illegally manufactured.
In fact, in 2018, close to 70% of overdose-related deaths involved an opioid. If opioids are such dangerous medications, you might wonder why doctors continue to prescribe them at high rates.
One reason is that large pharmaceutical companies mislead about the safety of their products to gain more sales. Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin, falsely stated in a massive marketing campaign that their product has a risk of dependency less than 1%, when the real rate is 10 times higher.
March 14, 2021
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Imagine: It’s a quiet night, you are settling in for the evening, and then crash! A loud noise from the kitchen startles you. You bolt upright. Your heart begins racing. You think about grabbing a tennis racket as a weapon before investigating the noise.
This psychological response comes from your sympathetic nervous system. Your senses put your brain — and your body — on high alert to protect yourself from a possible threat. When you find the noise was caused by your mischievous cat experimenting with gravity, you begin to calm down. Your breathing slows. The return to rest is managed by your parasympathetic nervous system.
Both of these systems are parts of your body’s unconscious autonomic nervous system. There is a saying in this field: Everything psychological is biological.
August 9, 2020
In 2018, Colorado lost 564 lives to drug overdose. Compared to the national loss of 67,367 lives that year, Colorado’s numbers seem insignificant, and it paints a picture of a state relatively unencumbered by the opioid crisis. However, overdose and addiction affect more than those who experience it directly. It impacts friends, family members, coworkers and even staff working in the fields of intervention and treatment.
In Moffat County, from 2014 to 2019, doctors wrote opioid prescriptions for 88.9% of residents in the county, which is an astronomical number. Comparatively in Routt County, prescriptions were written for 47.1% of residents in the same time frame.