Opioid overdose is one the leading causes of death in the United States, with more than 33,000 people succumbing to such medications, including prescription drugs and heroin, in 2015. Prescription opioids contributed to almost half of the overall opioid overdose deaths.
The authorities concerned have been making efforts to curtail misuse, abuse and subsequent overdoses of opioids; however, the lack of proportionate support from the families of affected people has been a hurdle. Inadequate family support in controlling opioid misuse and overdoses may be because they do not know much about the medication management, safe storage of prescription drugs and the ways to discourage non-medicinal use of opioids. It could also be due to the stigma attached to addiction, as a result of which families withdraw their care and support.
How family can prevent opioid overdoses
We need to understand that families play a crucial role in preventing and controlling opioid overdoses. Caregiving is a process of offering emotional, informational and instrumental support. Usually, family members are the caregivers for their loved ones, playing supportive roles in providing medical care and helping patients manage their health. The family members can make a significant difference in preventing opioid abuse-related problems by ensuring medication adherence by monitoring and organizing medications as well as giving reminders to patients timely. Active involvement of the family in medication management may help achieve positive outcomes including better adherence to medications and increased self-efficacy.
Family and caregivers are in a better position to curtail the problem of opioid overdose, as they are probably the first to know about the development of such problems or to recognize the possible signs of an overdose. Family members who are aware of the possible risks associated with prescribed opioids can also actively participate in opioid-related risk reduction strategies. According to a study published in the journal Substance Abuse, learning about successful approaches to coordination between clinicians, patients, and families, particularly in the context of current privacy requirements, could provide useful information for involved stakeholders.
However, sometimes, involvement of family members in monitoring opioid medications may affect relationships, and cause conflict and stress. Caregivers should be prepared for an emotional overflow when they deal with associated problems of drug overdoses in their loved ones. Therefore, it is important to consider the involvement of families in moderation and under proper guidance.
Engaging stakeholders in medication management
Together, families, patients and clinicians can achieve better outcomes and improve efficacy of family-based medication management. A seamless collaboration with mutual agreement about roles and boundaries can help patients accept interventions and achieve greater results.
At the same time, involving patients in medication management strategies can be effective in reducing stress and related conflicts, which in turn leads to better outcomes. However, the degree to which the patient shows confidence, and approves management approaches and medication monitoring remains the most vital determination for family engagement in the opioid monitoring process. A direct negotiation between patients and caregivers can be useful in reaching a mutual consensus.
It requires a strong family member to counter the possible challenges and run the medication monitoring process successfully. An ideal driver of a successful family management program is the one who works closely with the clinician, handles clinical encounters with ease, remains loyal to management plan even under tremendous pressure, and is not vulnerable to emotional manipulation.
Road to recovery
The involvement of family members in opioid overdose management programs can work wonders in preventing and managing this menace. However, professional supervision is the core of any successful program targeted at curbing the opioid misuse. Detoxification is the foremost step to remove toxins from the body and prepare it to receive treatment. It may be a painful process, often accompanied by relapse, but really important for long-term recovery.
If you know someone suffering from an opioid use disorder or is dependent on any other harmful substance, the Florida Detox Helpline can help with the details about the best detox center in Florida where comprehensive treatment programs are offered to help a person regain control of his/her life. Chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-920-9869 to know more.