#31 The Opioid Crisis

Oxycontin, drug-seeking behavior, co-addiction. Who better to talk us through the current opioid crisis with two former law enforcement officers and emergency nurses turned nurse practitioners? Join us for this memorable discussion with Ben and Tom from Just Some Podcast for Advanced Practitioners.

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Current contributors to the current opioid crisis

In the 1990s, Oxycontin was inappropriately marketed to the general public a safe, non-addictive analgesic and triggered the first wave of opioid-related deaths.

Once Oxycontin was found to be highly addictive and thus prescribed with more caution, those already addicted turned to illegal substances such as heroin, triggering the second wave of deaths.

The third and current wave of deaths is due to the increased use of synthetic and more potent opioids (i.e. Fentanyl). (Koh, 2022)

Presentations of drug-seeking behavior

  • Asking for specific drugs by name
  • Claiming multiple allergies to alternative drugs
  • Irritability when questioned closely about symptoms such as pain
  • Unwilling to consider other drugs or non-drug treatments
  • Overly vague or specific descriptions of pain
  • Claiming their prescription was stolen/lost
  • Falsely claiming injury or illness
  • Purposively harming oneself to produce injuries that warrant opioid use

(James, 2016)