Drug addiction is a major problem in America. While many types of drugs can lead to dependency issues, opioids are chief among them. This is primarily because they are available by prescription, unlike many other addictive drugs. Many people may start using them for legitimate medical reasons, and an addiction forms due to continued use.
So how bad is the opioid crisis in America? According to HRSA.gov, more than 130 people die from an opioid overdose every day.
Fortunately, some steps can be taken to avoid opioid addiction. Although this needs to be done one person at a time, little by little the American opioid crisis may come to an end.
This article will look at the opioid problem in America and possible life-saving solutions.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are a type of drug naturally sourced from the poppy plant. They work to block pain signals that are sent from the brain to the rest of the body. Therefore, they are commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.
There are a variety of opioids on the market, including the following:
Heroin is also an opioid, but it is illegal, unlike those listed above. Many people start using heroin when they are no longer able to get the opioids that have been prescribed to them by their doctors.
What is the History of Opioids in America?
Opioids were introduced in America in 1775. They were often used to treat soldiers injured in the Civil War in the 1860s. Many of the soldiers who used the drugs became addicted.
Raised awareness of opioids’ potential to cause an addiction led to the introduction of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. It put restrictions on opioids to limit their commercial use.
In the 1970s, doctors avoided prescribing opiates, opting instead for surgical procedures to reduce pain. However, these procedures also came with their share of drawbacks, and opioids were reintroduced in the 1980s and 1990s for medical pain relief.
What is the Opioid Crisis in America?
The problem with opioids is, they are highly addictive. People start taking them for pain and become dependent on the euphoric sensations they produce. They begin taking more, either to continue chasing the euphoric sensations or because they feel they need more of the drug to treat their pain.
After a while, they will begin to build a tolerance to the drug, so they need to take more to get the same results. They may ask their doctor for more pills or a higher dosage.
If a doctor refuses, they may begin sourcing opioids from the streets. Alternatively, they may try to travel to new doctors to mislead them to secure more prescriptions, referred to as “doctor shopping.” The products they get from dealers can contain impure ingredients that pose a health risk.
They may also start using heroin as a replacement for opioids. Heroin is a very dangerous drug. It can easily cause an overdose. Other dangers include collapsed veins, hepatitis, and HIV, which can be contracted through sharing dirty needles.
Opioids are also addictive because they produce withdrawal symptoms. When people try to move on from them, their body goes through a period of adjusting to sobriety. It produces unpleasant physical and mental symptoms that can only be overcome short term by doing more of the drug leading people on a vicious cycle.
- 12-29% of patients who were prescribed opioids misuse them
- 8-12% of people who take opioids for chronic pain develop a disorder
- 4-6% of people who get addicted to opioids end up using heroin
Finding Help with an Opioid Addiction
The American opioid crisis is a major issue, but there are ways to get help. If you or a loved one is addicted, it’s essential to reach out.
There are many factors that can get in the way of getting help for an addiction, and one is finding the right rehab facility. If this is a problem for you, My Recovery Source can provide assistance.
My Recovery source is a free service that specializes in helping people find the best rehab center for their needs. They will help you regardless of your location and your financial and personal situation. Call or email them to find the solution that works best for you.
Don’t become a statistic. If you are dealing with an opioid addiction, reach out to My Recovery Source today. We will assist you on your journey to overcoming your dependency issues and achieving the ultimate in wellness.