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The U.S. Opioid Crisis

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The US Opioid Crisis remains an ongoing public health nightmare. Opioid overdoses claimed over 47,000 lives in 2017, with little evidence that those numbers will drop soon. Therefore, the question for many people is: “How did this happen?”


The US Opioid Crisis has roots that stretch clear back to a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980. Overall, that letter about narcotic addiction reported that patients in hospitals showed a low risk for addiction. Over the next few decades, hundreds of articles cited that letter as evidence that opioid addiction was unlikely or rare.

Then, in the 1990s, intense lobbying led medical boards and state legislatures to lift restrictions on opioid prescriptions. Until then, doctors could typically only prescribe opioids for cancer patients. This freed doctors up to prescribe opioids for other pain-intensive conditions.

The Report

In 2000, a report from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations criticized doctors for under-treating pain overall. The report set out new guidelines that, among other things, said doctors should always ask patients about their pain. The pitfall with this approach is that doctors can’t accurately test your level of pain. If say it’s excruciating, they must generally take your word for it.

The US Opioid Crisis

The combination of the original letter, lobbying, and the report created just the right atmosphere to launch the epidemic. Therefore, doctors prescribed heavy-duty painkillers for pains that didn’t always require it out of fear of under-treating pain. This, in turn, flooded America with opioids.

People suddenly got access to opioids when they might never have seen them otherwise. Opioids sat around in medicine cabinets and a convincing story could get your more from a doctor. While no one set out to create a problem, the U.S. Opioid Crisis was well on its way by the early 2000s.


That highly-addictive nature of opioids means effective treatment almost always requires an opioid addiction rehab program. In addition, a withdrawal management program is the typical first step. After navigating the admissions process for a rehab clinic, you undergo multiple therapies and even take a class or two. For example, some of the typical offerings in rehab include:

Silver Pines Treatment Center

Silver Pines Treatment Center provides opioid addiction treatment for the US opioid crisis in 2019. Moreover, we maintain a home-like atmosphere while providing a highly structured program. Silver Pines makes its home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Don’t let opioid addiction control what happens with the rest of your life. In fact, you can overcome it with help from an opioid rehab program. Contact Silver Pines Treatment Center today at 267.719.8689 and learn how we can help you start your recovery.

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