Memorandum for Governor Christie, New Jersey on the Use of Methadone by Patients with Opioid Addiction

2021-07-06 20:55:58
4 pages
936 words
University/College: 
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
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Even though the correlation between the use and misuse of the prescription opioids needs further exploration, it is an undeniable fact that opioid drug is abused. The abuse is both in prescription pain killers and the illegal action thereof and thus presents a considerably significant risk to the welfare and health of children, not leaving behind young adults in New Jersey. This task force came to the understanding that in New Jersey, opium is relatively low regarding costs and this makes the drug more readily available and accessible for use in the state. The prescription of the drug may be perceived to be safer as has always been the case since their production takes place in the sterile labs and their prescriptions done by the doctors (Clemans-Cope, Lynch, Epstein, & Kenney, 2017).

Research by the Department of Human Services in New Jersey has indicated that New Jersey only meets 59 percent of its demand for the treatment of substance abuse. This figure is obviously overestimated. An analysis by a section of the New Jersey Advance Media had also shown the state was only able to capture the real data when it conducted some Mathematical gymnastics and pitted the actual number as being slightly below the 50 percent. Still, the same study documents that the state still struggles to keep up with the demands for the treatment of substance abuse as opioid crisis persistently continues to surge, a phenomenon that has claimed hundreds of lives each coming year and enslaving several hundreds of thousands more (House, Coker, & Stowe, 2016).

One of the issues that continue to bedevil the state is the presence of for-profit treatment centers, an indication that an environment has been created for staff competition rather than for clients. Such moves are against the spirit of the war against this menace and should, therefore, be looked into through revisiting the policies and regulations put forward to ward off this threat. As the state government of New Jersey has been on the front line fighting opiate addiction, as seen by the office of the governor, and you have proven to be the advocate for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of patients from this enslaving and deadly addiction. Your office has also been praised for the increased funding and review of policies that have made the big difference in the fight against opium abuse (Nadelmann, & LaSalle, 2017).

Policy Implications

Addiction of Opioid drugs has reached its epidemic levels in New Jersey where the pain relievers and the abuse of opioid drugs are the order of the day. New Jersey is too familiar with the overdose of opium, a trend that stakeholders fear might have a spillover to the entire Commonwealth. To impact on this issue, the New Jersey governor should work hand in hand with the New Jersey Office of Drug Control Policy to educate the masses towards the realization of public participation on the vice. This will, in turn, lead to increased access to treatment, enhanced penalties for the major traffickers, and the greater access to Naloxone (Passik, Kirsh, Whitcomb, Portenoy, Katz, Kleinman, & Schein, 2004).

The other issue is that the medical doctors in the state have highly been discouraged from administering methadone to treat opioid addiction. This is checked through federal regulations that govern the administration of such drugs. Overall, the availability and access to methadone have been made nearly impossible, and this policy seems to work because gaining access to the drug even by the doctors themselves is a challenge (Rosenthal, Lofwall, Kim, Chen, Beebe, & Vocci, 2016).

Recommendations

Development of legal frameworks that will guide all the health officers and physicians in New Jersey to administer methadone without injunctions

Development of legal policies that permit the use of methadone for purposes of medication only

Allow use of methadone for at least a month for those who successfully underwent treatment for more than two years as this will help them recuperate.

Jailing all the opioid traffickers and establishing stricter laws that would ensure restoration of discipline and order in the state (Twillman, Gilson, & Duensing, 2016).

Conclusion

Consumption and use of methadone among patients with opioid addiction are very critical and should be permitted in the state of New Jersey. The use of the same is restricted in a bid to tame misuse and reduce high cases of addiction. It is therefore important to have regulations in place to curb this abuse while at the same highlighting the legalization aspects of methadone.

You are hereby granted the authority to report this finding to Congress and immediately have it published in the Federal Register.

Undersigned

 

References

Clemans-Cope, L., Lynch, V., Epstein, M., & Kenney, G. M. (2017). Medicaid Coverage of Effective Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.

House, S. J., Coker, J. L., & Stowe, Z. N. (2016). Perinatal Substance Abuse: At the Clinical Crossroads of Policy and Practice. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(11), 1077-1080.

Nadelmann, E., & LaSalle, L. (2017). Two steps forward, one step back: current harm reduction policy and politics in the United States. Harm reduction journal, 14(1), 37.

Passik, S. D., Kirsh, K. L., Whitcomb, L., Portenoy, R. K., Katz, N. P., Kleinman, L., ... & Schein, J. R. (2004). A new tool to assess and document pain outcomes in chronic pain patients receiving opioid therapy. Clinical therapeutics, 26(4), 552-561.

Rosenthal, R. N., Lofwall, M. R., Kim, S., Chen, M., Beebe, K. L., & Vocci, F. J. (2016). Effect of buprenorphine implants on illicit opioid use among abstinent adults with opioid dependence treated with sublingual buprenorphine: a randomized clinical trial. Jama, 316(3), 282-290.

Twillman, R. K., Gilson, A. M., & Duensing, K. N. (2016). State Policies Regulating the Practice of Pain Management: Statutes, Rules, and Guidelines That Shape Pain Care. Anesthesiology clinics, 34(2), 409-424.

 

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