Opioids in America: A Crisis Only Getting Worse
The opioid crisis in America is rising, as America moves into one of the high-income countries with declining life expectancy due to opioids. With more Americans dying from drug overdoses in 2016 than the entire Vietnam war, it is time to take action to help prevent more deaths. What is an opioid and what steps can we take to help our loved ones battling the addiction? Today, we will look into some facts about opioids and where to find professional help if you or a loved one is battling addiction.
Opioids in America
Opioids come in many forms from heroin, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, and pain relievers. These drugs are available mostly by prescription or illegally and are highly addictive. Opioids have polluted our country over the last few years. Statistics, such as the number of addicted pregnant women to opioids, have quadrupled over the last decade. As of today, over 115 Americans die per day due to opioid addiction. In 2017 alone compared to 2016, opioid deaths rose a staggering 7%, rising the total death number to around 72,000. By 2020 this number can jump to nearly a million. With these rising numbers, some will wonder where exactly are the drugs coming from?
Opioid Statistics and Addiction
Nearly 85% of opioids prescribed for working-age people are paid for by private health insurance companies. In fact, most of these opioids are available through prescription or over-the-counter. Drugs, such as Advil and other headache remedies, are being overused from their recommended daily dose. Since most insurance companies and drug stores provide drugs that are easily overused it has lead to a daily overdose of the most common medications. In fact, 30% of those who are prescribed opioids end up misusing them according to drugabuse.gov. The misuse of opioids can lead people down the wrong paths and even to harder drugs due to addiction.
Finding Help and Solutions
Most health carriers have taken action to decrease or eliminate opioids from available drug options list. But it is also the job of the person to help eliminate any risk that is before them. Remember to always take the right amount of dosage as the doctor prescribes. There are also alternatives to opioids, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and nerve stimulation. Rehab is always a good idea, but it will not work alone. Find accountability partners who can assist you or a loved one on your journey out of addiction. Talk to your doctor about other ways you can find treatment. Getting away from anywhere you can get opioids can also help detox you. If you or a loved one still struggle with opioid addiction, call the addiction helpline at 1-877-721-4913.
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