Prescription opioids were designed primarily for the pain patient suffering from. They are also known as the painkillers. However, we are facing the health crisis due to the addiction towards it known as the opioid epidemic.
Opioids are derived from the opium mainly grown in Asian. Central America and South America. There are some of the semi-synthetic opioids also which have the similar structure as the natural opium. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are fully developed in pharmaceutical laboratories. The most common of them is the semi-synthetic opioids.
The opioids have been developed for hundreds of years to treat pain even though opium has been used for the treatment since the prehistoric time. Opioids can also be used for the treatment of diseases like coughing and diarrhoea. They are designed to treat the patient, but the people have been misusing it for a long time and getting addicted to it. This misuse can cause various problems and can also be the reason for accidental death.
The primary function of an opioid is to act as a depressant by affecting the Central Nervous System of the body. Its use usually starts by taking it for the medicinal purposes but slowly starts to abuse and then get addicted to it.
There have been various side effects of abusing or getting addicted to prescription opioids. They can be as follows:
• Dry mouth
• Slow breathing
• Nausea or vomiting
• Drowsiness or reduced consciousness
• Low testosterone
• Brain damage
The person who is abusing the opioids or gets addicted to them can be easily get affected by these problems and can eventually lead that person to overdose.
When the person starts taking these drugs to get relief from the pain or any other disease, there is a high risk for that person to get addicted to it. When the tolerance increased, that person starts taking more doses to feel better as it affects the person’s sensitivity towards the pain. According to the CDC, this usually happens after the five average days of use.
Following changes we have suffered from due to the addition of the prescribed drugs:
• Over 200,000 Americans have died between 1999 and 2016 due to an overdose of opioids.
• There is a 500% increase in the fatality rate between 1999 and 2000.
Dependency vs Addiction
Dependency on the prescribed opioid can be characterized as getting the withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop. You can also say that dependency is the part of the addiction as you are unable to quit the drug and continue using it even when there is no need of using it.
The CDC has stated four significant risk factors that can transform you from a dependent to an addict.
• Taking high doses
• Obtaining a prescription pill from multiple stores or pharmacies.
• Living in a rural area with low income.
• Having a history of alcohol abuse or mental illness or other substance abuse.
Treatment and recovery
Since 2016, death by the opioid drug overdose of Americans below the age of 50 is the leading reason. It has left behind all other rights like gun violence, the peak time of HIV deaths. In 2017, it was called the national health crisis in the United States. Due to all these reasons, the government has started various programs to get the treatment. If you or your loved one is addicted to these drugs, then it is the right time to get the medicine from the rehabilitation centre.
Treatment from the rehabilitation centre can be helpful for you as they keep an eye on you and give the proper medication reducing the chances of relapse.