Category - Opioid Addiction
Sweeping the Nation
Since early 2010, the opioid addiction in the United States has increased exponentially. What exactly is an opioid addiction and why is it suddenly becoming such a pressing issue? Opioid addiction is a physical and mental dependence on any substance that is classified as an opioid or a drug that acts on the opiate receptors in the brain. Most people who become addicted to opiates start out simply using prescription drugs. After more and more of the drug is needed to get the desired effect many end up switching over to heroin as a less expensive alternative.
How it Starts
The stages of opioid addiction are usually slow and may start out as harmless. Many people are prescribed this medication after an injury or surgery. While the effects are subtle at first, the body and mind soon develop a dependence on the drug. Even after a person no longer needs the medication they feel like they do. Many begin to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms and thus turn to the drug in order to seek relief from symptoms. After a while if the drug becomes unavailable or too expensive, they turn to other outlets that provide them similar relief. Often times, it is heroin or other opiate related drugs.
Heroin is considered the most addictive drug out there. As stated before most people start out abusing prescription pain medication and then switch to heroin after a while. While overdoses on prescription medication are common opioid overdose from heroin is much more likely due to its increased potency. Another contributing factor is the route of administration. Many prescription drugs are taken orally with a few being dermally. Heroin on the other hand is usually smoked or injected. Injecting heroin is the fastest way to get the medication into your system, consequently, if too much of the medication is injected there is no way to quickly get it back out of your system, resulting in an overdose.
Admitting You Have A Problem
Today there are many different types of treatment and facilities that specialize in opioid treatment and substance addiction. Many people seek detox where they are given medications such as Suboxone or Subutex in order to help keep the withdrawal symptoms at a minimum. After detox an aftercare plan, such as a sober living or a halfway house is suggested. A large number of people have a successful recovery using a twelve-step program. Others find recovery through yoga or different spiritual paths.
In 2018 the president considered the heroin epidemic a state of emergency. More and more people are becoming dependent on prescription drugs and many doctors are over prescribing them. The good news is that today there are many resources for recovery. Arizona is considered the rehab capital of the United States as it is home to some of the best facilities that cater to many addictions across the board. Other states are looking to Arizona for tips on how to create better rehabs and how to make people more successful in recovery. Regardless of how you become addicted to heroin or any substance for that matter, recovery is always possible.