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There are many symptoms and warning signs common among those struggling from opioid abuse. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following, it may be necessary to seek treatment for opioid addiction:
Opioid addiction has run rampant throughout the United States, turning into a nationwide epidemic that is tearing families apart each and every day. Whether it’s heroin being bought out in the streets or painkillers prescribed by a doctor, opioid abuse has risen to the forefront of our nation’s problems. Opioids led the way as drug overdose deaths in the U.S. tripled in a mere 15 years. Nearly 61% of drug overdose deaths in 2014 involved an opioid, claiming the lives of over 28,000. One year later, that number rose to over 33,000.
Half of opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. The amount of prescription opioids sold in the United States since 1999 has nearly quadrupled. Also during that span, the number of deaths caused from prescription opioids more than quadrupled. Each day more and more Americans begin abusing prescription opioids, and each year more Americans lose their lives because of it.
While doctors and government agencies like the FDA work on ways to fight this epidemic, it is important that the rest of us do what we can to help. Becoming educated on the dangers of opioids, as well as educating others, can help prevent you or someone you care about from abusing prescription opioids. And if you or a loved one is currently addicted to opioids, it is crucial to seek treatment immediately. Entering addiction rehab could be the difference between living a wholesome life and becoming another statistic.
Opioids are a class of drugs that are chemically related and interact with the opioid receptors of nerve cells in the brain and body. Opioids include the illegal drug heroin, and pain relievers which are to be obtained legally by prescription, although are often obtained illicitly. There are many different kinds of opioid pain relievers, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and methadone.
Prescription opioids are used commonly in medicine to relieve pain. When the drugs act on the opioid receptors of the nerve cells, they produce morphine-like effects and reduce the sending of pain messages to the brain, alleviating feelings of pain. If taken correctly over a short period of time as instructed by a doctor, opioid pain relievers are generally safe. However, misuse of painkillers is becoming an ever-increasing issue due to the euphoric effects of the drugs. The person abusing the pain relievers can build a physical dependence and/or a tolerance to them, which can lead to opioid addiction.