Topic: Opioid Crisis
Delegate Name: Rykken Vivekanand
It is more fitting to call the opioid epidemic a disease than a crisis, seeing how it has spread akin to a deadly virus in the last decades. It is also similar in the way it kills, fast. Opioids are medicinal drugs, given as painkillers. It’s drawn from the opium poppy. Heroin is also drawn from the opium poppy. Opioids have existed for centuries, and have been used in medicine and recreationally, and public health crises related to opioid misuse and addiction have occurred globally, and very often. From here grew the spread of illegal distribution. The rapid increase in the market for synthetic opioids has increased the complexity of stopping illegal production, as these drugs can be produced anywhere. To make it worse, as demand for opioids has increased, users, or sellers, will substitute with tramadol or fentanyl, two incredibly dangerous drugs. Criminal enterprises have arisen around opioid production and trafficking, which makes a crackdown on the opioid trade exceedingly difficult and dangerous. All this to say, Opioids are an ongoing issue, and it will take more than individual countries to end this disease.
Drug-related poisonings in Denmark have shown an increasing trend in the past decade, from 1 497 cases in 2008 to 2 523 in 2017. Since 2010, several take-home naloxone programs to prevent opioid-induced deaths have been implemented in Denmark and are currently covering six municipalities with high levels of drug use. Since their introduction, these programs have trained more than 3 400 people in overdose response and given out more than 3 500 naloxone kits. From 2011-2016, the number was stable at around 183,000 people, but in 2017 consumption fell to around 170,000 people. Denmark hopes to continue to decrease the levels of opioid usage and opioid-related deaths. However, in 2019, Denmark had the fifth-highest number of opioid users.
Denmark wants reform, and sooner rather than later. Denmark believes that opioids should be attacked in three separate ways. The first is from the source. There should be a global effort to decrease the production of Opioids. This means that legal opioid factories will be shut down and repurposed, and illegal factories will be found. There should be the formation of a task-agency to find these illegal producers in order to protect our global citizens. The second way is with replacement. Denmark is aware that many countries and regions do not have access to other medical supplies. Denmark, therefore, wishes to create a program to help aid developing countries, and lower-income areas to have access to better supplies. The final way Denmark proposes to decrease opioid-related deaths is to boost addiction-focused help facilities. This way, not only is the future protected, but also those suffering from addiction now.