How Serious Is The Opioid Epidemic?

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More people die from opioid overdose in a year than they do in a car crash. That’s how serious the opioid epidemic is. Gun violence, a typical leader in cause of fatal accident, still comes after opioid overdose. According to the CDC, the Centers For Disease Control, almost “half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. In 2015, more than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids.” Each day, dozens of people die from fatal overdose. An estimated 33,000+ people died of opioid overdose last year The epidemic, as it is called, is serious.

How Did It Start?

In the 1990’s a company called Purdue Pharmaceuticals introduced a “miracle” pill for treating chronic pain. A new formula made sure that this pill, called Oxycontin, lasted for 12 hours. Instead of taking multiple morphine-based painkillers a day, Purdue released a long-acting medication to treat pain. Various expose stories have revealed that Purdue was aware of the fact that their proposal for twelve hours of pain relief was not factually accurate. Increasingly, patients started to notice that their physical pain was not rescinding and they needed higher amounts of the opioid drgs to find the relief they needed.

How Do Prescription Pills Cause Addiction?

A new study by the CDC finds that it doesn’t take long for someone with a prescription to an opioid pain killer to become addicted. Some states are taking governmental action to limit the amount of time doctors can prescribe opioid painkillers to patients. According to the study, a prescription for opioid medication which lasts beyond five days creates a greater chance of chemical dependency. Not everyone who is prescribed prescription opioids will develop an addiction to them or dependence on them. Additionally, when patients are able to obtain a second prescription, they have yet a higher chance of developing an addiction. One out of seven will. Opioid dependency can last for many months, even years, before an addiction. Tolerance is the biggest problem in issues with opioid painkillers. Opioids are not meant to be used long term. Overtime, the brain loses its ability to produce the same pain relief it did. Patients can continue to receive prescriptions for opioids as their symptoms become more severe due to the fact that their tolerance has risen. They feel more pain than they did before because their body is dependent upon the opioids. 25% of those who take long-acting opioids will continue using the drug long term.

Lakehouse Recovery Center offers residential detox and residential inpatient treatment along with a unique 12 month aftercare program. Through our journey you will learn how to live life again, have fun, and enjoy all that recovery has to offer. For more information, call  877.762.3707.