We live in a society that is always changing at a rapid pace. For the most part, many would say that we are progressing in the right direction. However, there are some negative elements in society that may never change no matter how much we may try. Drug addictions are just one section of the latter statement.
For the past 5 years alone, the attention on fighting opioid addictions all across the country has become a major topic of discussion. Politicians have made it a focal point of their campaigns and policy changes for the betterment of their city/state. Community activists have also weighed in on this epidemic of opioid usage due to how easy it is for adults and underage individuals to obtain it. Opioid addiction is not something that should be taken lightly from those who are experiencing it themselves, or those that are trying to help loved ones beat the addiction.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are typically medications that are used to treat pain within the body that are either consistent (for example, backaches, headaches, muscle spasms, etc). These types of medications (that are also known as narcotics), can be purchased as “over-the-counter” medications at local stores and prescribed by professional doctors.
The intended/appropriate use for opioids is that they have proteins, which go to parts of the body that an individual is experiencing pain at. When opioid medication is used appropriately, the latter proteins go straight to opioid receptors, which are to block pain that is sent within the body and messages to the brain. The feeling of being at ease after going through body pain feels good, however, this is where the negatives of overusing opioid medications come into play.
Many individuals that experience opioid addiction become addicted to the feeling that the medications give them. The feeling that affects the mind and body for the purpose of good, is when the addiction becomes too much and used inappropriately. The fact of opioid medications being so easily accessible makes it hard to actually stop the addictions compared to other street drugs that are illegal.
How long has opioid addiction been a problem?
History of Opioids
The epidemic of opioid addiction began in 1991, which is when the rise of deaths because of overdosing on opioids became noticeable to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The CDC is a federal agency within the United States and their sole purposes are to provide, support, and conduct positive promotions towards public health. The latter can include diseases that are unpreventable (for example cancer and chronic diseases). However, the CDC is also a great agency working to protect and fight the diseases that can be controlled through professional health advice such as opioid addiction.
Between the years of 2002-2013, the increase of misuse of opioid medications rose by 286%. While the fight to making “over-the-counter” legal opioids was in full effect, that is when the usage of heroin related deaths became the main focus of decreasing opioid addictions. Heroin (the illegal street drug) became the next wave of how individuals sought to feed their opioid addiction. Individuals began to use an illegal method of obtaining opioids (which would be turned into heroin from those that were legally prescribed to use opioid medications. The way that heroin is taken is through injection within the veins of an individual with a needle. As individuals started to share these needles and/or use dirty needles already tainted with heroin, overdosing was not the only reason causing the rise in opioid related deaths.
The next wave of the opioid epidemic started in 2013 and is currently the era that we are in now. Individuals whom want to feed their opioid addiction in different ways have started using fentanyl. Fentanyl is one of the worse ways that an individual can try to misuse and feed their opioid addictions. This is a synthetic opioid that (when used properly and medically provided by a doctor) used to treat severe pain to patients, especially those that may have recently gone through surgery. Fentanyl is a medication that is legal and often compared to morphine.
Unfortunately, the use of fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids have now become the most commonly used ways for those addicted to opioids.
What are the side effects of misusing opioid related medications/drugs?
As with many prescribed medications and illegal usage of opioid medications by themselves or mixed with illegal drugs, there are harsh side effects that we want you to know about. The side effects of overdosing on the opioid drugs that we have mentioned earlier include the following…
– Hard problems breathing
– Uncontrollable feelings of happiness
While these side effects may not seem harsh, these are just the beginning of what has resulted in many deaths misusing opioids. Many individuals that have endured opioid addiction believe that because the side effects are not that bad, they are going to be okay eventually. We want to inform those that are currently experiencing opioid addiction or seeking to help loved ones that are addicted to opioids to not take this list lightly.
Overdosing on drugs such as opioids, synthetic opioids, and heroin come with more severe consequences in the long run. Individuals whom have overdosed on fentanyl or any mix of the drugs we have mentioned here can experience what is called hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition that decreases the amount of needed oxygen to the brain in addition to slowing down/stopping breathing all together. The latter has results including putting individuals in a coma, permanent brain damage, and in the worse case scenario death.
Where can you seek treatment for opioid addiction?
If you are an individual that is going through an opioid addiction problem, we highly suggest that you stop using the drug(s)/opioid medication(s) that you are using immediately. The sooner that you stop your addiction, the sooner you can get back to living your normal life, and avoiding health complications. We are aware that overcoming an addiction is not something that happens overnight… this is a process. Depending on what you were using, how frequently, and the amount can all be factors to how long your recovery process takes.
If you are a friend/family member looking to help a loved one overcome their opioid addiction, there are a few tips we want to share with you. When you sit down with your loved one, it is best to not make them feel attacked by your words and/or actions. Showing them that you care for their health, their safety, and their lives makes having a talk with them about their addiction a little bit easier. When someone going through an opioid addiction feels like they are being verbally attacked, that may trigger emotional points in their mind, which may result in them relapsing or overdosing again.
What can we do for you?
As a rehab center business, it is our mission to try and help individuals experiencing opioid addictions. We are here to provide necessary information, tips, resources, and treatment to individuals needing/seeking help. We believe that everyone deserves a chance to change their lives for the better. We want individuals whom have misused/overdosed on opioids to know that we care for their well-being. No one is perfect, and it is okay for people to make mistakes. These mistakes can be treated better sooner than later.
Would you like to seek assistance from our highly trained professionals? We are looking forward to help you (or your loved one) as soon as possible. We are located in Los Angeles, CA. To reach our staff via phone, please feel free to call us at 833-LA-REHAB. If you would like to reach our team via e-mail, please feel free to visit the “contact” tab on our website. All information that we collect from those that are seeking help or loved ones looking to help someone are all confidential and never shared with any third-party entity.