Opioid abuse is a problem in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Recently, it was announced that law enforcement officers in the state will begin carrying antidotes to opioid overdoses.

The antidote will hopefully help curb some of the deaths that could occur should a person take too much of one of these drugs.

There are a number of drugs that are categorized as an opioid, many of which are prescribed by medical professionals. Tuesday, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics issued a press release outlining the arrest of six individuals who work in the medical field for opioid-related drug offenses. 

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The medical professionals worked in various capacities, from pharmacy technicians, licensed practical nurses and even a doctor.

Each defendant faces a charge ranging from obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, or embezzlement of a controlled substance.

While it doesn’t happen often, these occurrences where medical professionals are responsible for stealing the drugs, or providing them to others illegally should be of concern. No matter their intent, the act is theft and opens the possibility for them to resale or trade the medication to another person who more than likely does not need it.

Without the proper instructions or medical advice, the end user who obtains a medication illegally could easily take too much of the drug, either as a way to control pain, or to become intoxicated. There’s a reason access to these substances is controlled, because they can easily be abused. But outside of the illegal activities these medical professionals allegedly participated in, we, as a nation may want to consider whether these medications are necessary. Do we really need so many different medications to control similar symptoms?

Could these symptoms be controlled with a less addictive medication that won’t lead to abuse or an overdose death?