fair enough, Laura, but I'm willing to wager the problem with opioids are being blown apart by folks who have health coverage but maybe they are getting a little too much health services.
I know that sounds a little weird but you see my point with regard specifically with opioids, right?
Posted by eberly at 2018-01-11 05:36 PM | Reply
Opioid addiction is often described as an "equal opportunity" problem that can afflict people from all races and walks of life, but while true enough, this obscures the fact that the opioid crisis has particularly affected some of the poorest regions of the country, such as Appalachia, and that people living in poverty are especially at risk for addiction and its consequences like overdose or spread of HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers people on Medicaid and other people with low-income to be at high risk for prescription drug overdose.
Some of the reasons have to do with access and quality of health care received by people in economically disadvantaged regions. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, people on Medicaid are more likely to be prescribed opioids, at higher doses, and for longer durations -- increasing their risk for addiction and its associated consequences. They are also less likely to have access to evidence-based addiction treatment. But psychological factors also play a role. Last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton attributed much of the increased mortality among middle-aged white Americans to direct and indirect health effects of substance use especially among those with less education, who have faced increasing economic challenges and increased psychological stress as a result.
Environmental and social stresses are an important predictor of many mental disorders, and decades of research using animal models have told us a great deal about how such stresses increase risk for substance use and even make the brain more prone to addiction. Among the best-known animal models of environmental stress and addiction risk are those involving social exclusion and isolation: Solitary animals show greater opioid self-administration than animals housed together, for example -- a finding originally made famous by the "Rat Park" experiment of Bruce K. Alexander in the 1970s and replicated by other researchers