There is hope for the future of opioid drug abuse as the millennial generation nears the age where chronic pain is becoming more prevalent.
In a recent research study conducted by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, millennials would rather perform lifestyle changes over the use of drugs to combat the pain. However, although this is a positive move in the right direction, the study also suggests that millennials are also somewhat desensitized to opioid use.
With 60 percent of millennials reporting chronic pain, their choice to make lifestyle changes versus taking pain medication is a light of hope for the opioid epidemic that has now been declared by President Donald Trump a national emergency. Unlike their parents’ generation, this generation looks to exercise, quitting smoking, and eating healthy to remedy their conditions. In the coming years this trend could mean a possible end to the opioid crisis.
This may be far-fetched however, as the study has also hinted that millennials also are uneducated about opioids and the lifelong implications of abusing them. Perhaps due to their parent’s choice and overwhelming abuse of opioids that has led to the desensitization of the drugs. The study suggests that nearly 30 percent of millennials believe that it is OK to take opioids without a prescription, as well as 1 in 10 admitted to knowing someone who obtained opioids inappropriately from a house member’s prescription.
Another aspect further solidifying the generations’ poor knowledge of opioids is that they are openly unaware of the proper disposal of the drugs. Only 37 percent of millennials know that police stations, hospital pharmacies, and drug stores second as an opioid collection center.
Yet despite this worrying information, millennials making safer and more effective pain management choices is a good sign of change in the present opioid epidemic plaguing the nation as a whole.