$200K grant awarded to combat opoid abuse

By: L.N. Reklai

November 15, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Abuse of prescription drugs exists in Palau but not as bad as it was few years ago according to Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts.

Prescription drug abuse means a person uses medicine prescribed by a doctor for other reasons beside the one they were prescribed for.  This include people who are not sick or in pain but taking pain killers prescribed for other people.

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Minister Roberts says that people take these prescription drugs to feel good and this becomes an addiction.

Example used was the abuse of tramadol, a pain medicine usually taken for menstrual pains.  People who were not in pain were taking this with other stuff such as energy drinks to make them feel good.

Similar problem  is becoming an epidemic in the United States and is called the Opoid Crisis. This refers to people who are not sick but taking opium based prescription medicine and using them for wrong reasons.  One such prescription drug that is commonly abused is codeine or codeine based medicine. It is estimated that 100 people die a day in the United States due to opiod abuse.

Minister Roberts announced they received a $200,000 OPOID grant to combat such problem.  The program will be starting soon and will include public awareness as well as education among different stakeholders on how to recognize and combat this program.

In a related matter, President Remengesau signed a Presidential Proclamation proclaiming this November 13-19 as World Antibiotic Awareness Week. The focus of the proclamation is to educate and raise awareness on the problems of misusing and abusing antibiotics and combating antimicrobial resistance. [/restrict]