Opioid Abuse and Addiction
Opioid addiction is a huge problem in the United States and has reached epidemic levels, affecting approximately two million people. As those numbers continue to rise, it has become increasingly important to understand what opioid addiction is, and ways to effectively prevent and overcome addiction.
What Is Opioid Addiction?
Opioid addiction is dependency or abuse of opioid substances. Experts are clear that one of the reasons for opioid addiction is the high level of intensity of the drugs. What’s more, opioids bind to receptors in the brain that control pain and emotion, driving up the brain’s reward system to produce feelings of intense euphoria and relaxation. Examples of opioids include:
- Illegal drugs like Heroin and Fentanyl.
Growing Problem of Opioid Addiction
This addiction is a growing problem in the United States. Take a look at these facts on opioid addiction:
- During 2016, there were more than 63,600 overdose deaths in the United States, including 42,249 that involved an opioid (66.4%)
- The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by doctors steadily increased from 112 million prescriptions in 1992 to a peak of 282 million in 2012
- Between 2007 and 2016, the most widely prescribed opioid was hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- The International Narcotics Control Board reported that in 2015, Americans represented about 99.7% of the world’s hydrocodone consumption
- About 11.5 million Americans age 12 and older misused prescription pain medicine in 2016
- About 948,000 or 0.3% of the US population age 12 and up used heroin in 2016
- The number of overdose deaths related to heroin increased 533% between 2002 and 2016, from an estimated 2,089 in 2002 to 13,219 in 2016
Who Does Opioid Addiction Affect?
The startling reality is that opioid addiction can affect anyone. In fact, many individuals may be introduced to opioids as a prescribed way to manage critical pain. Since opioids are so powerful and impact receptors in the brain that control decision-making, it’s important to understand that there is a high risk of dependency, abuse and addiction whenever taking opioids.
Addiction Treatment Options
While opioid addiction is an extreme struggle for many individuals, it is also important to know that effective treatment options are available. It’s also important to know that you are not alone as you begin seeking treatment options. We understand this process can feel overwhelming and daunting, and we are here to support you to find the best option to effectively treat your opioid addiction and begin your journey to recovery.
It’s never too late. Let’s fix this together.
Call or email today.