California lawmaker advocates tax on prescription opioids - Sovereign Health Group
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Opioid overdoses are a reality in California. The menace is affecting bustling metropolises across the Golden State. Just like their fellow countrymen in other parts of the United States, Californians are witnessing a sharp increase in the number of overdose-related visits to the emergency rooms statewide. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), data indicates that prescription opioid-related emergency department visits in the state showed a dramatic 103 percent rise from 5,753 cases in 2006 to 11,683 in 2014, which is indeed alarming.

In wake of the ongoing opioid epidemic, Kevin McCarty, Democratic member of the California State Assembly, introduced a bill on March 1, 2017, to create a 1 cent-per-milligram tax on prescription opioids. Estimates from McCarty’s office suggest that proposed tax could generate tens of millions of dollars to fund the creation of drug rehabilitation centers and addiction prevention programs across California’s counties.

The Sacramento Democrat insisted that the proposed bill would not only tax wholesalers of prescription opioids but also impact pharmaceutical and insurance companies. However, he estimated that the tax would affect prices for consumers as per their insurance plans.

Considering the surge in the number of fatal overdoses in recent years, Kelly Pfeifer, who heads the California Health Care Foundation’s High-Value Care program, said that the state definitely is in need of more funds to address the existing opioid crisis. “We need a no-holds-barred approach to building enough resources across the state to treat addiction on demand,” said Pfeifer.

In the event of the passage of the bill, McCarty said that California would be the first state to legislate such a tax. In the near future, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Minnesota may seek to adopt a similar legislation at the federal level.

Pop-a-pill culture is devastating American society

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggests that frequent opioid prescribing has fueled the epidemic ravaging the nation. In fact, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths in the country involve a prescription opioid and more than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2015 alone. No wonder, popping pills has become a daily ritual for most Americans.

However, what is posing to be an even more worrisome trend is that 20 percent children are pharmaceutical drug users. Abuse of prescription medicines to relieve pain is the underlying cause of this nationwide epidemic. Studies show that painkillers have claimed more lives than heroin and cocaine combined.

One of the reasons why most Americans are unaware of the dangers of prescription drugs is an inherent misapprehension about the drug testing and approval procedures. Many are led into a false sense of belief that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has a rigorous testing and evaluation mechanism in place. This is actually far from the truth as the current system shrugs the entire onus of clinical trials and safety testing of a new medicine on the pharmaceutical company that develops the drug.

Journey to recovery

Sovereign Health understands the plight of someone who is unable to discontinue the abuse of harmful opioids despite the negative impact on his or her life. Sovereign Health of San Clemente, CA is here to help. Our customized substance use disorder programs are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. Our Pain Program at San Clemente facility is designed to assist those individuals whose pain has led to an addiction of either prescription and/ or illegal drugs.

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to any prescription drug, get in touch with Sovereign Health to gain access to the latest and innovative treatment methods at our state-of-the-art drug addiction treatment centers spread across the U.S. Whether you are looking for substance abuse treatment centers in California or at a place closer home, call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 819-0427 or chat online to know about the most effective recovery programs at our reliable drug addiction detox centers.

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