In the past 20 years, opioid abuse has spread like wildfire across the length and breadth of the United States without a definite end in sight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin, has quadrupled since 1999. The CDC data also shows that more than half a million Americans died from drug overdoses between 2000 and 2015.
Even as the nation continues to look for effective ways to deal with the menace, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has started collaborating with law enforcement agencies and major trading partners to curb the influx of illicit opioids and other drugs into the U.S. territory. Being the primary law enforcement arm of the USPS, Postal Inspection Service (PIS) authorities are partnering with both state and federal agencies utilizing the latest investigative technology to seize deadly opioids such as fentanyl.
During the fiscal year 2016-17, the PIS witnessed a 375 percent surge in opioid seizures in international parcels and an 880 percent increase in domestic parcels. Additionally, the postal department has entered into an agreement with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to outline responsibilities and work toward optimum utilization of technological expertise to improve border security. Adhering to the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, the USPS has consistently insisted on increased advance electronic data (AED) collection and sharing with principal stakeholders to combat the opioid crisis.
The Postal Service is totally different from other commercial operators such as FedEx and UPS and places utmost priority to procuring AED for bulk foreign parcels, which contribute to over 90 percent of inbound volumes. Generally, the postal department maintains direct relationships with international customers and mandates the submission of AED before accepting their packages.
However, in the current scenario, the STOP Act does not recognize the pertinent differences between commercial and postal operators and includes provisions unrelated to enhancing global security. Therefore, the Postal Service has recommended certain changes to make the bill workable and efficient. Law enforcement agencies nationwide are making laudable efforts in taking a systematic approach to deal with the drug trafficking problem and introduce measures to eliminate the menace of illegal opioids and drugs entering the country.
Treating opioid addiction
In 2016, as per the CDC data, opioid overdoses contributed to nearly 42,000 deaths. A majority of Americans are ill-informed about the consequences of prescription opioid abuse due to a misconception about the drug testing and approval procedures. Most of them are under the impression that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a robust drug trial and evaluation process in place. However, this is far from reality as the present system places the overall responsibility of clinical trials and safety testing of a new opioid on drug manufacturers. Moreover, opioids are a cheaper option to manage painful conditions.
Above all, it is crucial for the patient to understand the possible risks linked to extended use of opioid painkillers. Spreading awareness about opioid abuse and addiction is a major step toward preventing greater health complications in the future. Sadly, most individuals fall prey to addiction quicker than they might ever realize. For worthwhile long-term pain management, medical experts recommend a customized and multidisciplinary approach, which includes alternative treatment options such as physical therapy or non-opioid medicines to cope with pain.
Treatment of any addiction depends on an individual’s willingness to recover and lead a normal life. When wondering where to start with to find help for substance use disorders, one needn’t look further than Sovereign Health of San Clemente, which offers a variety of customized therapies to treat addiction. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives for more information about our world-class opioid addiction treatment centers or customized rehab programs in California. The only way to break free from the clutches of an opioid painkiller is to undergo a specialized treatment for addiction to combat the life-wrecking effects of the drug.
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