What Is Being Done About the Opioid and Heroin Problems in Louisiana?
Within the state of Louisiana, the passage of Act 88 established the Advisory Council on Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education. This organization was established to combat the heroin and opioid use problem within the state. Over the last several years the Louisiana Legislature adopted a number of vital pieces of legislation to address the opioid problem. The mission of the Louisiana Department of Health is there to protect and promote health and to ensure access to medical and preventative rehabilitative services for all people in Louisiana. The goal is to promote prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery. The opioid surveillance program will help connect and analyze data related to fatal overdose and toxicology/lab testing. Work is also done for maintaining the Louisiana Opioid Data and Surveillance System. Gathering this information helps create programs to treat opioid addiction and prevent people from abusing these drugs.
Overall, the opioid overdoses in the state plateaued, but there are more cases that involve fentanyl. In 2018, the fatal drug overdoses in Louisiana appeared to level off, however, the number of fatal overdoses that involved fentanyl increased. More than half of the drug overdoses in the state were within Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and East Baton Rouge counties. However, in the last year, the number of overdose deaths in those four counties fell by about 2% in the last year. The opioid crisis in the state is not the worst when compared to other states across the nation. Struggling with opioid addiction is dangerous and does require extensive treatment. Opioid addicts need medical detox to get through the withdrawal pain and should then transition into a drug treatment program.