According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States is in the middle of an Opioid crisis. Every day, more than 110 people die from an Opioids overdose. That is more than those who perish from violent acts and car crashes combined.
These over-prescribed painkillers, a compound known as a psychoactive, is taken from the opium poppy plant. This complex ingredient is highly addictive and can cause dependence in many individuals. An Opioid is prescribed for acute pain, mainly for people who have undergone a surgery, those individuals with an incurable disease, such as cancer, and those suffering from chronic debilitating pain.
One of the newest ways to detox from an Opioid dependency is the Waismann Method. This is only one of the newest medical advance procedures, which is done by a certified detoxification specialist, that is available to help those suffering from addiction.
10 Important Facts and Statistics on Opioids
Here are 10 important facts and statistics on Opioids you can educate yourself and those you love to avoid addiction.
1. Men and Women – Women suffer from chronic pain more than men and would most likely be prescribed an Opioid painkiller. They are given higher doses of the medications, which they use for longer periods of time, and that causes the addiction.
Men suffer from pain after accidents and elective surgeries on average more often. Typically, when a prescription has run out, an individual should be in less pain. If they have an addictive personality, part of their DNA, they may call to renew the script and obtain more pills. This is mainly how men become addicted.
2. Age – Most of the individuals overdosing on Opioids are not adults. Although the latest statistics show the adult age group of 22 to 56 have the most incidents of Opioid overdose. Children between the ages of nine and 17 are hospitalized at a higher rate than younger children, for Opioid overdoses according to a March 2018 study in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Approximately one-third of those children hospitalized were under the age of six. Most of the children in this study said they stole the prescription Opioids from their parents. Others said they obtained the drugs from friends or other family members.
It is never too early to teach children the importance of staying away from drugs. Use an adult medication as an example, teach young ones that they are never to take anyone else medication. The best approach is to tell them they can never take medicine without you present.
3. Gateway Drug – Opioid pain relievers like Codeine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Fentanyl, and Hydrocodone, are prescription drugs. They can be purchased on the street; however, these are typically cut with dangerous fillers to optimize the drug dealers’ profits.
When an individual can no longer obtain that type of euphoric feeling, they turn to illicit drugs, like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine (Meth).
Not everyone who uses a prescription Opioid will turn to other drugs, but many will due to the relief of pain and high feeling these Opioids give them.
4. Brain Chemicals – When using an Opioid, the brain becomes pathologically ill, chasing relief and rewards for pain. This addiction is a relapsing and chronic illness and requires immediate treatment and continued observation to prevent relapse.
When an Opioid attaches to the brain, via receptors, they signal a pain-blocking chemical response. This is accompanied by a general calming feeling along with an anti-depressing outcome. In order to continue to get these great feelings, an individual needs to take more and more of the drug, which leads to overdosing.
The brain is pre-wired to ensure we are always repeating life-sustaining deeds and we do this by association. When something we do feels good, our brain tells us we should do it, again and again, to keep feeling great. Ultimately, the good feeling takes longer and more drugs to obtain.
5. Physical Effects – Physical side effects of Opioid drugs can range from mild to deadly. Nausea, tingling in the fingers and toes and longer extremities; impaired coordination, trouble with movement and balance; memory loss; the diminution of the senses; problems thinking clearly and/or concentration; and possible vegetative state (complete unresponsiveness).
6. Death – Because of their pharmacological effects, using in high doses and becoming dependent on Opioids, they can lead to respiratory depression, heart attacks, and death.
Everyone is unlike the next person, and has a unique chemical makeup, therefore the use of Opioid can have a dissimilar effect on different people. Unfortunately, Opioids in high doses, at continued daily use, will cause an overdose in 90 percent of individuals who abuse these drugs.
When a body consumes more Opioids than it can handle, it becomes too toxic. This leads to acute poisoning. Drug overdoses are preventable with education and ongoing treatment.
7. Opioid Overdose Risk Factors – It goes without saying those individuals who are dependent on an Opioid are most likely to undergo an overdose. A person is more likely to suffer a non-fatal overdose than a fatal Opioid overdose. A relapse of Opioid abuse is more likely in an individual who is depressed, incarcerated or recently released from prison or had a life altering incident.
8. Healthy Lifestyle – Living a healthy lifestyle is no guarantee a person will not become addicted to Opioids. It will help keep them away from drugs of all kinds, however, an accident while exercising or a car crash can leave someone in excruciating pain. The smallest amount of painkillers for the least amount of time is the only way to safely take Opioids.
It is up to the person taking the Opioids for pain to wean themselves off the drugs and rely on other ways to alleviate their pain.
9. Saving a Life – There is an inexpensive prescription medication, Naloxone or Narcan, which rapidly reverses the effects of an Opioid overdose. Nearly all EMT, fire departments, and police departments carry this life saving drug.
10. Treatment – There are several reliable managements that effectively treat Opioid dependency. Sadly, less than 10 percent of addicts seek and receive any treatment at all.