There’s just no denying that the ongoing opioid crisis in America is a serious matter that will continue to claim more and more lives until drastic solutions are implemented. Unfortunately, opioids are some of the most addictive substances out there, and it doesn’t help that they are so commonly used in the healthcare industry. Opiates of all varieties produce chemical changes in the brain and emotional, mental and physical dependence. That’s why so many people are addicted to opioids. Although there are potential solutions to the opioid crisis, including but not limited to legislation and treatment options for those suffering from opioid addiction, there is always more to be done. It’s extremely important that drug abuse and addiction is taken very seriously and treated as the deadly disease that it is, rather than a lazy and irresponsible lifestyle choice. The more everyone knows about the opioid crisis, the more that can be done to make a difference and save lives in the future.
What Are Opioids?
Opiates are a class of drugs most commonly used as powerful painkillers. Addiction to these prescription pills is far more prevalent than anyone would like to see. Opioid addiction occurs when a person becomes dependent on opiates, whether it be prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine, or hardcore street drugs like Heroin and Fentanyl. In many cases it doesn’t take long for a person to develop an addiction, as these substances are extremely strong. Opiate users may start to experience unpleasant and painful withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using these drugs.
Generally speaking, these side effects may include runny nose, goose bumps, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, seizures, insomnia, anxiety, depression, intense cravings and more. When you think about these symptoms and how uncomfortable and unpleasant they sound, it’s easy to see why so many people have struggled with drug addiction, and particularly opiate dependence, for most of their adult lives.
While it’s true that the use of opioids is only legal with a prescription from a licensed medical doctor, this hasn’t done much to lessen addiction during the opioid crisis. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, figures of the opioid epidemic reached epic proportions as more than 47,000 Americans died due to opioid overdoses involving prescription painkillers, heroin, fentanyl, and/or synthetic opioids in 2017. That same year, there was an estimated 1.7 million people in the U.S. who struggled with substance abuse related to prescription pain relievers, with 652,000 reporting a heroin use disorder.
What is the Opioid Crisis?
The opioid epidemic is a huge reason to worry about the health and well-being of people of every age. Essentially, the opioid crisis refers to the alarmingly high number of people who suffer from opioid addiction, and the dire consequences directly associated with abusing prescription painkillers and other opioids. The Opioid Crisis is a reference to the vast numbers of people, particularly those in lower socioeconomic communities who are addicted to opioids.
The term “crisis” really isn’t an exaggeration, as people are dying senseless, preventable deaths every day to due their drug-fueled decisions. All it takes is one foolish decision to lead to an overdose, which can result in irreversible harm if not death. Many heartbroken families are left wondering how they missed the warning signs, and how they could have better helped their loved ones who were minimizing or even hiding their drug addictions from the people closest to them.
Opioids are some of the most commonly abused drugs for both teenagers and adults. There’s more than 130 deaths in the U.S. every single day, and that’s just from opioid-related overdoses. If you count all the other drugs out there, then these numbers are even more alarming. Regardless, it’s devastating yet quite clear that the opioid crisis is a serious drug epidemic that affects the lives of average Americans across the country from all walks of life.
What is Causing the Opioid Crisis?
One crucial thing to understand is that opioid addiction affects every single aspect of a person’s life, from their career to their personal relationships. No part of their life is left untouched, as it won’t take long before they essentially relinquish total control to their insatiable addiction. Drug addicts have their entire lives derailed by their addictions, and it’s obvious that the opioid crisis is being supported at least somewhat by the seemingly constant spread of drugs and the incredibly easy access.
The Opioid Crisis is a major problem across the world. That’s because opioids have a highly addictive nature that makes it easy to use and abuse the substances. In addition, there’s also rising concerns that during the 1990s and early 2000s, many doctors were misled about the potential consequences of prescribing too many of these painkillers, and these dangers went unnoticed and unaddressed until it was too late. It’s suspected that in many cases, these powerfully potent painkillers were prescribed in situations where they weren’t really necessary, leading to a large and growing population of addicted people. This makes sense, as people shouldn’t be putting prescription pills in their body unless it’s really required for a certain illness or injury. Otherwise, it’s not safe to just depend on prescription painkillers, as this addiction is very difficult to break. Many people abuse opioids because they are highly available and because they may have gotten a prescription from a doctor, which are both common reasons why people abuse drugs and develop these deadly addictions.
Opioid Crisis Solutions
While it’s oftentimes a very tricky subject to talk about, it is crucial that the U.S. gets to the bottom of what is causing the opioid crisis and how this problem can be prevented. It’s so important to have open and honest conversations about the opioid crisis and how many people who are truly affected by this issue that seems to have no end in sight. Prescription drug addiction has undoubtedly fed the opioid epidemic, and that’s why it’s so crucial to have opioid crisis solutions in place.
One fantastic example is a recent piece of legislation passed in the U.S. nearly two years ago. Through the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, measures have been implemented to ease the social burden of the opioid epidemic as well as appropriately address the crisis by authorizing educational funding to study the issue, establish opioid recovery centers, and offer more training to medical professionals about the many dangers of opioids.
In a similar way to other drug addiction programs, opioid dependence can be successfully treated through a highly regarded and reputable inpatient drug rehab program for opioid addiction treatment. In many cases, drug treatment alternatives can help those who have lost faith and confidence in their ability to quit. With the help of dedicated experts, anything is possible.
Whether you’ve struggled with addiction in the past or are actively searching for addiction treatment centers, just remember that there is always hope on the horizon. Drug addiction doesn’t always have to be a life or death sentence.