The Florida Times Union publishes Jacksonville news that affects the community. The troubling trend that sees a doubling of emergency calls for possible drug overdoses is most certainly information that falls under this umbrella. When interviewed for the piece, Marcus De Carvalho, M.D., Medical Director for Beaches Recovery, came straight to the point.
Citing the ease with which opioid painkillers lead to a tolerance point, the expert noted that those relying on these drugs would need more to maintain the status quo of dependency. Since there is no slowing in the supply but an uptick in demand, users now have access to drugs at steadily younger ages. Dr. De Carvalho anticipates that about a quarter of high schoolers will have tried or used prescription opioids by the end of the year. Top prescribers are dentists, but you do not have to sit through a root canal to obtain the painkillers. Leftovers in the medicine cabinet and street dealers offer plenty of access.
Drug Free Duval, a community coalition, sees an answer in a boost of prevention efforts and long-term recovery plans. At Beaches Recovery, Dr. De Carvalho sees firsthand that treatments designed to retrain the brain to function as it used to can, indeed, bring success. Going hand in hand with this effort is the idea of helping program participants strengthen those parts of the brain that form the judgment zone.