You have likely heard of the opioid epidemic here in the United States. The news and many medical professionals have talked about it. The opioid epidemic or crisis has been in the media, as well. However, not everyone really understands what this epidemic actually is or what it means.

The opioid crisis specifically refers to a large number of hospitalizations and deaths due to opioid abuse, including prescription and illegal drugs. In the last few years, fatal overdose rates from these drugs have gone up more than 40,000 each year. It isn’t just one area of the United States where this is a problem either – it is in cities all across the U.S. According to many resources, in the United States, drug overdose is now the main cause of accidental deaths. 

Since 2010, things have just been getting worse. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has also made drug and alcohol abuse more common. 

If you or someone you know struggles with opioid abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Riverwalk Recovery Center team for help. We would be happy to help you get your life back on track.

Defining Opioids 

Opioids are a class of drugs that mimic opium. Morphine, one of the opioid drugs that are found most in this world, comes from opium. For many years, it has been used to help relieve people’s pain.

As the medical field advanced, scientists found new ways to replicate effects from morphine to make it weaker or stronger depending on certain needs of each patient. Some of the opioids, such as Methadone, were created when morphine was scarce. Others, such as heroin, were created in attempts to make drugs that were less addictive. Today, when people think of pain relief, they think of opioid prescriptions or illegal opioid drug use. 

There are many different opioids out there today, such as:

  • Demerol
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Dilaudid 
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Tramadol
  • Oxycodone

Are you or someone you love addicted to any of these opioids? If so, don’t let the addiction keep destroying your life. Decide today to turn things around and get addiction recovery help here at our Riverwalk Recovery Center.

How Did the Opioid Epidemic Begin

Many people state that the opioid epidemic began during the late 1990s. As pharmacy companies were trying to find new pain medications, they started pushing synthetic and semi-synthetic opioids to all the doctors they could find. These same companies would say certain opioids were less addictive or not even addictive at all when comparing them to morphine. They would say there weren’t any dangerous side effects either. 

Doctors started pushing these drugs to their patients as the patients weren’t complaining of any repercussions. There was a growth in the number of opioid prescriptions being written. To this day, in regard to the opioid epidemic, there are nearly 10 million people who are using opioids. 

Talking About the Prescription Opioid Epidemic

A lot of the people who became addicted to these drugs did so after starting to use prescription opioids. Since these drugs were, in fact, addictive, they craved more and more of them. It was only after the user stopped receiving a prescription to the drug or they built up a tolerance to it, that they saw how addicted they were. From there, many people went to stronger opioid drugs. Some people did get clean through professional addiction treatment center help. 

Did you use prescription opioid drugs? Did you become addicted to them? Have you begun using other opioids or even illegal opioid drugs such as heroin due to your addiction? If this is the case, there are treatment programs available to help you overcome the addiction. You can start receiving help by reaching out to our Riverwalk Recovery Center today. We can help you to get your life back. 

How is the Opioid Epidemic Different from Addiction to Other Drugs

There is a large number of people who are dying due to accidental opioid overdose. When comparing these numbers to overdoses with other drugs, it is shocking. This is where the term opioid epidemic rang so true. 

Perhaps, one of the most shocking parts of the epidemic is how many deaths occur due to prescription opioid drugs. Other things that are quite shocking are how many pharmaceutical companies and doctors continue to prescribe or promote opioids knowing how addictive and deadly they can be. It isn’t necessarily people who are using illegal opioids who are dying. It’s those who are taking prescription drugs that are falling into the harder addictions. 

Did you know that in 1992, before the push for these drugs to be used, there were 112,000,000 opioid prescriptions written? In 2020, there were 142,000,000 prescriptions written for opioids.

As noted above, if you have fallen victim to the opioid epidemic, our team doesn’t want to see you struggle any longer. We want to help you regain control of your life. Our treatment programs can help you to do just that and so much more. 

Who is the Opioid Epidemic Affecting 

The opioid epidemic is not just on the fault of one person. It is going to take everyone working together (pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other medical professionals and citizens) to beat this epidemic. Knowing the symptoms, signs and dangers of these drugs is one step in the right direction. Knowing how to safe a person who is overdosing on opioids is another step to take. You can also talk to your family members and friends openly and talk about the stigma surrounding addiction. Talk about how prescription opioids are more commonly abused than illegal opioid drugs. 

What Can Be Done About The Opioid Epidemic

opioid epidemic

It is also important to note that this type of addiction doesn’t just happen to weak-willed people. Some of the most successful people in the world have been affected by opioid addiction and it took down their careers and personal lifestyles. It is a biological, physical and psychological addiction that can happen to anyone.

Get Into Opioid Addiction Treatment Today

Do you or someone you know have an addiction to these drugs? If so, don’t let it keep destroying your life. You can choose to get help starting right away. You can begin by contacting us here at Riverwalk Recovery Center. We will help you get your life back.