How Texas is handling it’s Opioid Epidemic

It is sad to note that the number of deaths caused by drug overdose is surpassing deaths caused by car crashes, AIDS and guns. In 2015 alone, there were over 52,000 reported deaths caused by drug overdoses. Over half of these cases were because of opioid addiction and this made President Donald Trump to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency late last year. With the right medical initiatives in place, the rate at which the epidemic is spreading can decrease.

The Epidemic in Texas

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the opioid crisis rate is low in Texas. However, the surrounding states are still struggling to manage the crisis, which is taking a toll on the lives of people. The nationwide epidemic was due to the emphasis put on opioid as an effective pain-relieving drug. It seems like most Texas residents are cautious about the pain relieving medications they use.

If you’re arrested for the possession of Heroin, Texas law mandates a State Jail Felony classification at minimum, which can destroy your career, cost you your freedom, and result in a multi-year prison sentence.

Attorney Paul Morgan, a proven Houston drug lawyer for heroin and opiate cases, is available to schedule a meeting with you to hear your account of the incident. He’ll be honest with you about your chances to avoid a conviction, and, as your legal counsel, he’ll conduct an investigation into whether or not your rights were violated, which could spur a case dismissal. To contact Attorney Paul Morgan, call 713-969-5007.

Operation Naloxone

Operation Naloxone is a code name for an initiative aimed at reducing the opioid crisis rate in Texas. It entails the mass emancipation of people on the use of naloxone, which can help save the life of an overdose victim. Thanks to the initiative, there’s a good number of University of Texas trained police officers and resident advisors. Naloxone is also available in pharmacies and residence halls of the University of Texas.

Texas residents can get naloxone directly from the local pharmacies. The Texas lawmakers passed a law back in 2015 to foster the access of the drug. The passed Texas law requires pharmacists to obtain a signed standing order, which allows them to dispense naloxone at the discretion of a medical practioner, from a physician. Operation Naloxone currently trains social workers, prescribers and pharmacists through its online continuing educational programs.

The Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offered Texas State a grant of $54.7 million last year. The grant, also known as TTOR, aims at reducing the spread of opioid addiction and overdose cases. It focuses on the expansion of prevention and treatment services across the state.

Texas currently has about 85 licensed methadone providers, who offer medication-assisted treatment to opioid addiction or overdose victims. 12-step programs and counseling prove to be less effective in curbing the physical symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Medication-assisted treatment, on the other hand, can help a patient begin to function normally through the administration of methadone, a drug that mimics opiates such as heroin. The TTOR grant will increase the number of licensed methadone providers and their reach across all geographical locations in Texas.

The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program

The TTOR project is on the verge of reducing the number of unused prescriptions that reach the wrong hands. It also offers training to prescribers on TPMP, which is an online repository that gives doctors information on the prescriptions patients. TPMP can show when different doctors prescribed multiple opioid prescriptions to a patient. The database only has records for prescriptions made in the last three years. Patients who got theirs before 2015 aren’t in the database.

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