Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Discusses Opioid Addiction In Kansas

Substance abuse in the United States has reached near pandemic proportions. Nearly one in every twelve Americans suffer from the scourge of addiction. New methods for treating addiction, especially opioid addiction, are constantly tested by medical and treatment professionals. This problem created an enormous need for additional addiction counselors and treatment facilities. One highly-regarding health care professional suggests psychiatrists can be used to help break the cycle of addiction. Both addiction counselors and psychiatrists are subject to regulatory agencies with authority to discipline the licensees for unethical practices. Kansas professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger aggressively represents addiction counselors and psychiatrists facing accusations of unethical or unprofessional behavior.

Regarding opioid addiction, researchers linked prescription drug abuse to heroin abuse. Prescription painkillers such as Percocet and Oxycodone (Oxycontin) are readily available and are in high demand among addicts. These prescriptions are so prevalent on the street from physicians overprescribing pain medications as a method of treating injuries and chronic pain. They are strong medications which must be taken only under a physician’s care. Oxycontin specifically eases pain from cancer. Regrettably, people of all ages turned to abusing pain medications.

Once the high from pain medications is unavailing to the addict, they frequently turn to heroin. Heroin is an opioid, as are most prescription painkillers. However, heroin is a potentially lethal narcotic and is highly addictive. Whereas pain medications are made in a laboratory and theoretically were approved for prescription use, heroin is a raw powder made from a poppy seed. Mixing the pain-killing medication Fentanyl with heroin or drug dealers substituting Fentanyl for heroin is a common trend. Fentanyl is a prescription painkiller that presents in appearance like heroin but is much stronger than the average street-level dosage of heroin. Addicts, believing the substance is heroin, inject the amount they need to get their “fix.” Unwittingly, the addict injects Fentanyl instead of heroin and dies from an overdose as a result.

Many addicts need intensive treatment to combat their problem. Addiction counselors step in and help those who can no longer help themselves. The Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory regulates and licenses addiction counselors. Addiction counselors are not beyond reproach despite providing consumers with a valuable resource. Addiction counselors must comply with Kansas’ ethical and professional rules of their profession. Kansas Legislature recently passed a bill creating an additional level of counseling in an attempt to combat this problem.

Addiction prevention, as opposed to addiction management, helps alleviate the opioid crisis. One recent theory espoused by Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the Nation Institute on Drug Abuse challenges the prevailing treatment paradigm of pain management to reduce the need for prescription painkillers. Dr. Volkow suggests that the trend of physicians overprescribing painkilling medications in the 1990s to treat many patients’ pain symptoms lacked a basis in science. Dr. Volkow suggests that reducing painkilling prescriptions will curb the opioid problem.

What, then, becomes of the person suffering from chronic pain not attributed to cancer? Dr. Volkow recommends turning to psychiatry for help. Dr. Volkow hypothesizes that cognitive-behavioral therapy is a modality that can be very useful in combatting chronic pain. Dr. Volkows suggests that training pain sufferers to think and feel differently about the pain from which they suffer. Consequently, increasing psychiatric intervention will decrease the patient’s need for painkilling medication in addition to providing the patient with a means to ease their suffering.

For More Information

Kansas Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger aggressively and zealously represents health care professionals facing discipline. If you face professional discipline from your work as an additional counselor or psychiatrist, or any other medical profession, you need an experienced advocate on your side like Attorney Sanger. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 today to schedule your free consultation.