WY Experiencing Opioid Epidemic

While the numbers pale in comparison to the rest of the nation, Wyoming is experiencing what is being called an opioid epidemic.

More than 30 million people worldwide are reportedly abusing opioids from both prescriptions and illegal consumption.

Dr. Mark Schueler, Johnson County Public Health Officer told Big Horn Mountain Radio that opioid abuse from illicit drug use is not as prevalent locally…

Approximately 20% of Americans suffer from chronic pain from injuries and illness and Schueler recounted a change in medical practice over the past two decades…

Greater access to pain medication can result in overuse or abuse of opioid pain medications.

According to Dr. Mark Schueler with the Johnson County Healthcare Center, treating chronic pain can often place a physician in a situation where continuing prescribed medication may be contributing to possible abuse…

He went on to describe newer guidelines that caution doctors from treating chronic pain and anxiety at the same time due to possible drug interactions.

Those federal guidelines would then negate a treatment regimen that may be working for a particular patient…

The overuse of opioid medication can be possibly traced to an evolved lifestyle that more sedentary and there is a stronger desire by most of the citizenry to achieve comfort above anything else.