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Opioid Crisis Facts

There is a devastating amount of opioids being used in the U.S. The opioid crisis in the us is ruining families across the nation by taking the lives of those we love. What opioids are is pain killing drugs such as Oxycotin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Morphine, and Heroin. All of those drugs are highly addictive and have many negative side effects and the worst side effect of all being death. People can quickly get addicted to these kinds of drugs due to the drugs compound. It’s very easy to get addicted to them after someone has had surgery, an accident, or has a “feel good” doctor that will give them more refills than they need. Fortunately there has been some changes on how easy it is to obtain these kinds of drugs. Doctors and the FDA have finally caught on and noticed that more people than ever have been overdosing on opiates. How they are managing the problem is by limiting the amount of opioid drugs that are prescribed after a procedure and offering more programs to teach people how to prevent addiction from happening.

Here are some opioid crisis facts:

  1. There were more than 42,000 deaths in 2016 from opioid overdose. This number is on the rise due to the black market mixing Fentanyl into popular street drugs such as cocaine and the strength of Fentanyl getting more potent.
  2. On average, 130 people day every day from an opioid overdose. When people take too much of a certain opioid or they mix it with another drug, it raises the chances of death.
  3. It’s said that 4 to 6 percent of people that start of using opioids try the stronger drug heroin. A lot of the time, drug users claim that they no longer feel the effects of painkilling opioids when they’ve taken them for a while. Once that feeling wears off for them, they usually get their hands on heroin.
  4. Around 21 to 29 percent of people that are prescribed opioids for pain will begin to start misusing the drugs. Since strong painkillers are so addictive, it is hard for people with addictive personalities to wean themselves off the drugs without assistance.
  5. Hospitals have seen a rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome during the opioid crisis in the us. What neonatal abstinence syndrome is when after a mother gives birth, infants have an opioid withdraw. The infants will shake rapidly after birth and have to stay in the hospital longer to recover.
  6. The U.S. has seen more cases of Hepatitis C and HIV since the start of the opioid crisis. Since the use of drugs such as heroin require the use of a needle, more people are exposed to dirty needles. When people are exposed to dirty needles, you are at an increased risk to contract HIV or Hepatitis C. HIV is a deadly virus that attacks the immune system defenseless.

There are a few things that health centers can provide to ensure that the number of people affected by opioids declines. The first thing that health centers and communities can do is establish more places for opioid addicts to find help. There is only a limited amount of resources in many locations. Providing rehabilitation services in more would be a great idea to help aid in the opioid crisis. This needs to change if we want to see the people around us getting better. Another thing that should be brought to the public’s attention is what alternatives there are for such strong prescription medications. Pain management services should be offered to more patients. Doing so will allow the patient to set up further appointments to talk to their doctor about the pain that they have and how to cope with it in ways other than taking opioids. The patients may still take opioids while undergoing pain management services, however, they will be under a closer eye to decrease the risk of addiction. Hopefully, with time the U.S. will know how to better handle the opioid crisis in the us. If more people are well informed and more research is done to make the drugs less addictive, there is a very good chance that the crisis may be dwindling down.

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