At a time, when the sale of illegal prescription drugs in the United States has gone through the ceiling, Walmart has decided to revisit its opioid policy and make novel changes to it. Early this week, the retail giant announced that it would make its opioid policy stricter by enforcing a limit on filling opioid prescriptions and mandating that they be filed electronically.
The company announced that within 60 days, it will only fill first-time acute opioid prescriptions for seven days or less across the country and further limit the dosage to an equivalent of 50 morphine milligrams per day. Walmart also made it clear that starting 2020, e-prescriptions would be a must for buying controlled substances. This move, the company believes, will bolster its efforts to prevent cases of prescription frauds.
The restrictions are in conjunction with the recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A study by the CDC found that a person who was prescribed at least one day of opioid therapy had a 6 percent chance of getting addicted to it a year later and the chances rose to 13.5 percent when the treatment was prescribed for eight or more days. An addiction to opioids requires drug abuse therapy at affordable detox centers.
The slew of measures affirms the retail giant’s commitment to fighting the opioid menace in the country. In January 2018, the company had introduced DisposeRx, a powder, which when added to unused pills and mixed with water, created a gel that could be safely disposed of. In addition, all pharmacists at the Sam’s Club pharmacies were encouraged to recommend naloxone, an opioid antagonist, to customers who were at the risk of an overdose. Moreover, they were encouraged to join a pain management course, which should conclude in August 2018.
Government adopting means to tackle opioid crisis
It all started in 1990s when health care providers started prescribing opioid pain relievers to patients at a never before rate. This led to the rampant misuse of such medications, so much so that in 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency. In 2016 alone, more than 42,000 people died due to opioid overdose and 40 percent of these deaths involved a prescription drug. The economic burden of this crisis, which was well over $78 billion a year in 2015, is also a cause of concern.
It is not that the President Donald Trump administration is not wary of the ground reality. The President has time and again reiterated his intent of making America a drug-free nation. Not so long ago, his administration had emphasized on a three-pronged approach to combat the crisis. The three steps were to help reduce demand and over-prescription of opioids, completely seal the supply of illegal drugs from across the border and expand treatment to people dealing with addiction.
Opioid addiction can be treated
Addiction is a scourge and chronic addiction can be fatal. Nevertheless, it is not the end of the world for a person battling an addiction to opioids. With timely medical intervention, it is possible to recover fully and live a healthy and productive life as before.
If you or someone you know is grappling with an addiction to opioids or any other substance, seek professional help at the earliest. Sovereign Health’s state-of-the-art yet affordable drug detox centers in California can set you on the path to recovery. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 682-0103 and an expert representative will take you through the various treatment options available at our drug detox clinics in California. You can also chat online with one of our experts for immediate assistance.