How is Opioid Abuse on the Rise?
Both doctors and large pharmaceutical companies make it possible for Americans to become exposed to and start depending on opioids.
One Paper Started It All
However, there is one particular paper written around the 1980’s that paved the way for pharmaceuticals to abuse their power regarding the marketing of opioids. The paper was titled “Addiction Rare in Patients Treated with Narcotics.”
In this paper, researchers carefully went through records of over 10,000 patients that were hospitalized for various reasons and were treated with opioids as a result. While examining these patients, the researchers found out that only four cases of opioid addiction existed out of the ten thousand.
The makers of a popularly abused opioid, Oxycontin, ended up citing this paper over 600 times while attempting to market their drug to medical professionals. Doctors didn’t question the findings of this paper, so they did not think twice about prescribing these opioid drugs to their patients.
Why Do People Become Addicted so Easily?
Individuals who experience long-term opioid usage end up altering their brain chemistry in a way that severe withdrawal symptoms start showing very quickly. More specifically, extended opioid use changes the way in which your nerve cells operate in your brain.
If you begin to take opioids to treat even the most minimal amount of pain you’re going through, then your body becomes used to having the drugs as a crutch to lean on. This causes a spiral effect to the point that the moment you stop using opioids, your body goes into immediate withdrawal.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
- Feeling Discontent & Anxious
Typically, if a doctor is supervising your opioid intake, it becomes much more difficult to develop signs of addiction.
However, a doctor may not always be by your side, and if you already have an addictive personality, then you may start to develop cravings for consuming more opioids than you should. This is how easy it is to develop an addiction to opioids.
More often than not, opioid addiction and abuse lead to more instances of death than any other type of drug addiction. Keep reading for additional information regarding opioid abuse risks.
Additional Opioid Abuse Risks
Other than overdose being a risk related to consuming prescription opioids, other risks still exist. In fact, people often abuse, misuse, and end up becoming addicted to opioids before they end up experiencing an overdose.
- In 2014 alone, over two million Americans have abused prescription opioids or were dependent on opioids in some way.
- One in four individuals who receive an opioid prescription for pain related purposes ends up struggling with addiction.
- In hospital emergency rooms across America, almost one thousand people at a daily rate are treated for abusing prescription opioids.
The increase of opioid drug abuse of those aged over 12 years is a concern for many parents. Steps made to achieve improved opioid treatment proves that medical professionals are striving towards making a difference.
List of Commonly Abused Opioids
Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT) is the new treatment that has shown signs of success. Only a doctor can perform this therapy. First, the drug that’s abused is discontinued. The doctor then introduces a new yet safer opioid into your bloodstream.
The safer opioid comes in the form of buprenorphine or methadone. The one that doctors prefer to use is buprenorphine- Suboxone. These drugs don’t give the user a high that the abused opioids do. There is a less likely chance that someone will develop abuse of these drugs.
Suboxone: A combination of two drugs- Buprenorphine and Naloxone.
The idea is that Suboxone will limit the opioid withdrawal symptoms. Short-term treatment comes highly advised over long-term. This is because long-term exposure to Suboxone will simply cause the drug user to replace his or her addiction.
Given to a user in a set amount of servings, Suboxone can work wonders. Eventually, the intensity of opioid cravings disappear.
Suboxone comes in the form of a strip instead of a pill. It is, in fact, a sublingual strip. All you have to do is place it under your tongue and feel it dissolve. You don’t need any water to wash it down.
Short-term VS. Long-Term
The dilemma doctors face whether to prescribe Suboxone as a long-term solution or short-term. Studies have shown that short-term is always the right answer.
Opioid Replacement Therapy is a process that should be administered delicately. The Suboxone drug is a tiny part of the solution. When you apply the drug with counseling, education, and group therapy, the effects are much more substantial.
Non-Medical Detox Treatments
A non-medical detox treatment is a much more controversial form of treating opioid addiction because, in a non-medical facility, there are no doctors on staff.
In California, there seem to be much more non-medical treatment facilities than anywhere else in America since over 1,800 rehabs have the license to provide a non-medical; detox. A majority of other states in America don’t permit
No Medical Experience
So the people who are treating you don’t have any medical experience dealing with the opioid addiction at hand. California law dictates that deaths reported in these non-medical detox centers are to be written down as accidental deaths, so the statistics that you hear being reported are indeed false.
California’s Shady Laws
In fact, California proudly boasts how it’s opioid epidemic has been on a decline since the 1990’s, but the state is just providing misleading information, so more Americans gravitate towards moving there.
Families believe that it is a safe place, but they are misleading because of a state’s murky law regarding opioid addiction and how its deaths should be reported. The records that have managed to surface state the dozens of individuals have died in California addiction facilities ever since 2012.
Most of these people have been reported dead during their detox treatment, which proves to show that you are not safe in the hands of non-medical facilities.
Parents are advised that you put your child at risk by placing them in a non-medical facility for opioid treatment. A couple of parents have gone out of their way to sue various rehabilitation centers for the deaths of the children, which is something no parent should have to go through.
If you or a loved one is facing potential addition symptoms and you are ready to seek treatment, give Detox of South Florida a call to schedule an appointment. See how we can assist in changing lives for the better.