Understanding The Opioid Crisis And Why It’s a Big Deal

You might have heard about the ongoing opioid crisis and the devastation it’s had on communities across America. However, if you don’t know someone coping with opioid addiction, it can be difficult to realize the immense toll it takes on people. This information will help you understand the opioid crisis better.

Prescription Gateway

When you think of opioids, you might just think of heroin. However, many opioids are given as legal prescriptions by doctors. What often occurs is patients will be given strong painkillers following a significant injury. They will develop a dependence on these substances but be unable to keep taking them when their prescription runs out. So, they will turn to use heroin, which seems affordable but becomes more expensive the further they come to rely on it. Over-prescribing of pain medications is definitely a factor in the current opioid epidemic.

Getting Clean

Getting sober from opioids can be incredibly difficult. Dependence can shape an addict’s mind and body in the worst ways. It is definitely possible to get sober, but it needs to be done responsibly and with medical supervision. There are two treatments right now, methadone and suboxone, what’s the different? Methadone primarily helps with opioid addictions (as well as chronic pain), while suboxone helps with opioid dependence. Deciding between methadone vs suboxone (big difference in volume) is, of course, going to be up to the attending physician.  

A Fatal Disease

There were approximately 64,000 deaths due to drug overdoses in 2016. Of that number, over half can be contributed to opioids. Opioid addiction isn’t just a matter of being well or unwell. It’s a matter of life and death. The number of people who die from opioids is unquestionably significant.

It Can Happen To Anyone

When you don’t know anyone experiencing opioid addiction, it can be easy to distance yourself from it. It’s important to remember that no one plans to become addicted to opioids and that addiction can happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate based on age, race, gender, or class. Take a moment to think about the people you know and love. It could be family members, friends, or coworkers. People just like them are dealing with opioid addiction.

Even if you have never dealt with opioid addiction, it’s important to understand the dramatic effects of this disease. With this knowledge, you can help your peers focus instead on health and fitness by reminding them of the impact of the opioid crisis in American today. Remember this information and just how severely addiction can take over someone’s life.

References:

Right Path Addiction Treatment Center

The New York Times

Health Line

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