Around 20 years ago, pharmaceutical companies claimed opioids weren’t addictive or dangerous.
Companies like Purdue Pharma encouraged people to ask their doctors for opioids to treat their pain so they could increase opioids sales.
Unfortunately, this led to mass prescriptions from healthcare providers.
As opioids flooded into the country, we began seeing that they were highly addictive and dangerous.
Learning more about the opioid public health emergency is a matter of safety. Knowing the risks of opioid abuse and knowing when to get help can save lives.
And, knowing how this epidemic came to be can provide clarity and answers for frustrated families and survivors.
Why Opioids Are Harmful
Opioids alter perceptions of pain and increase feelings of pleasure. This is why they’re now prescribed to people with chronic pain and why many people get hooked.
The problem is, high doses slow down your breathing and heart rate, leading to overdose and death.
Illicit use often stems from legitimate use. People get prescribed opioids like hydrocodone or oxycodone for a period of time. But when the time comes to stop taking the pills, they can’t. They’ve become addicted.
As a result, the number of people illicitly using opioids grew rapidly.
We see this through the number of opioids brought into the country in the past 20 years, as well as the growing death toll of overdose victims.
The United States alone makes up for 99.2 percent of the total global consumption of hydrocodone, for example. This type of availability has led to the overdose death toll rise from 8,048 victims in 1999 to at least 46,700 in 2017.
This led to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declaring a state of public health emergency in 2017.
The Opioid Public Health Emergency Today
Unfortunately, we’re still seeing an increasing number of opioid drug overdoses in most states.
At least 10.3 million people 12 years or older misused opioids in 2018 and numbers for this year haven’t come out yet.
The crisis still rages onward, but with hope.
Steps have been made to provide better pain management and addiction treatment facilities. People are focused on solving this national crisis by holding pharmaceutical companies responsible.
They’re also helping current victims through treatment and rehabilitation.
If you or someone you know is addicted to an opioid, like oxycodone, find an oxycodone addiction treatment center immediately. Look for places with fewer patients so that they can provide focused care.
Waiting any longer could be a costly decision. At least 130 victims die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses.
In due time, the opioid public health emergency will resolve. Better pain management strategies will replace old, harmful ones.
In the meantime, make sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of. Get help today if anyone in your life, including yourself, are struggling with opioids.
It’s not the user’s fault — addiction is a chemical altering in the mind. Still, you can make a difference by calling a specialized treatment center today.
Keep reading our blog for more important information to better your life.
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