Opioid misuse and addiction on the rise
In the last several years, the United States is dealing with one of the worst drug crises it has ever faced because of prescription drugs. It seems that the number of opioid overdose deaths is rapidly increasing resulting in concerning data. More than 900 Americans die every week because of opioid-related overdoses.
The drug crisis has become so widespread and serious that the U.S authorities have reported it as a worrying public health issue. Specialists claim that the drug crises is the result of the over-prescription of legal narcotics and the situation has become worse due to the influx of cheap drugs of other types such as heroin or synthetic opioids.
Prescription medications are now the main driver of drug overdose deaths as two out of three drug-related deaths involve an opioid narcotic. The drug-crisis in the US seems to have two different commonly used opioids including medications that are manufactured in legal terms and illicit medications.
What are opioid narcotics?
Opioid narcotics are prescription medications that are used in relieving pain caused by injuries or post-surgical pain. Americans who suffer a severe injury or a health condition that leads to severe pain often use opioids to deal with the pain. However, opioid narcotics can be very dangerous for these patients. Using opioids, even for a short period of time, leads to addiction. It first starts with the physical dependence of the patient who can only relieve the pain they are feeling by taking opioids. Later, the dependence becomes also a psychical addiction.
Most patients who use prescription medications to deal with pain develop tolerance and tend to increase the doses of the medications. Moreover, they can even start experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they can’t take a bigger dose or the doctor no longer prescribes them to. Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and morphine are the three most used opioid narcotics for relieving pain that ultimately can lead to addiction.
Signs of opioid addiction
What seems to be a treatment recommended by a medical specialist can develop into a real hazard that may destroy the life of the patient. Opioid addiction can lead to overdose-related death and have a multitude of financial, social, and health consequences. Medical specialists warn Americans that the drug-crisis is a situation that also needs to be kept in control by recognizing and treating addiction. Taking more medications than prescribed, continuing to take medication although the health condition has been treated, and running out of prescribed medications before the next refill are the most common signs of opioids misuse or addiction.
Treating opioid addiction
Overcoming opioid physical dependence and addiction can be extremely difficult for patients. However, there are a number of treatments and strategies that can be used to treat opiate addiction and prevent the symptoms of withdrawal.
Medication-assisted treatment such as suboxone treatment, group therapy, psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the most popular treatment strategies used to treat opiate and opioid dependence.
Opioid misuse and addiction have become a public health crisis in the US in the last several years. They can have tremendous consequences such as the spread of infectious diseases, overdoes-related deaths, and opioid misuse during pregnancy.