After America’s frightening opioid epidemic became the deadliest drug crisis in American history, President Donald Trump has declared it as a national health emergency. Trump states that we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic and has charged all executive agencies to use every appropriate emergency authority to fight the crisis. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids like heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, like OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, and many others. 

The fast-growing opioid epidemic began within the borders of the United States, with doctors who in good faith began to prescribe these medications to their patients. Workers with an irreversible work injury or young people who underwent minor dental surgery; children who went through an emergency room and adults in general with chronic pain, were eligible for prescription.

In Sonoma County, California, two women were filmed under the influence of opioid analgesics. The video shared on YouTube shows the supermarket cashiers completely drugged and almost unresponsive. "Hi, are you going to answer me?" asked a patient customer. "Anything else for you, baby?" is the response of one of the women, while her partner remains in a limbo. After a couple of seconds the other women reacts but every movement made by her extremely slow and seems to still be in trance.

Now with the help of nonprofit lenders, community services are approaching the crisis to help. ​But can health care and drug reference solutions also help combat this crisis? 

Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information (CDI) has developed Medi-Span, an embedded data solution that is available at the point of care, providing fast access to clear, concise drug content ranging from dosing and clinical decision support. Medi-Span helps doctors and pharmacists provide coordinated care related to opioidprescribing.

By alerting the clinician or pharmacist on possible opioid overutilization, Medi-Span is helping to improve safety by managing opioid prescribing andadministration more effectively. Alerts from CDI’s Medi-Span can allow the clinician to pause and consider the patient's profile ultimately allowing them to choose the best form of action. Medi-Span also provides Clinical Decision support alerts that help not only at the hospital level, with pharmacists in the community.

Also the EPIC Behavioral Healthcare has created an Opioid Treatment Team (OTT) through partnering with Flagler Hospital, the Family Integrity Program (FIP) and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. EPIC’s Treatment Team will improve the access to treatment for those seeking recovery.

A Bronx-based health center is expanding its ability to provide health and social services support to a community hard hit by the opioid crisis. VIP Community Services with Healthcare Capital (V-Cap) and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) will invest $2 million to recruit additional staff, including alcohol and substance use counselors, to accommodate a surging demand for services; expand its space for providing patient care, and implement new programs – all of which will assure a model that increases access and care continuity, improves outcomes and is cost-effective.

Numerous treatment options are available for opioiduse disorders. If your friend or loved one has a problem with drugs, or has asked for help, you can always take steps to locate an appropriate physician or health professional, and leave the information with your friend.

Experts suggests that if your loved one has been in rehab for opiate addiction and relapsed, continue to assure them that you will support them through additional recovery efforts. Many people relapse several times before successfully getting sober. You can help your loved one go back to treatment by reassuring them that there are many reasons a treatment program may not have worked the first time and they might benefit from a different approach.