5 Things You Should Know About the Opioid Epidemic and How it Affects You

One of the leading causes of death in the US is addiction. The use of opioids has grown in recent years, and every single year an increasing number of deaths are occurring because of the rate of addiction. While the opioid epidemic is believed to be a piece of the puzzle for the lower income communities, it’s affecting all income groups and across all geographic areas. 

Addiction specialists and opioid counselors are on the front line in the fight against opioid abuse, and addicts can find assistance from a lawyer to get the help that they need out of the addiction from which they are suffering. This is a devastating trend happening in the US right now, and there is so much that you should know about it.

What are Opiate Drugs?

Opiates are used primarily for pain relief in the healthcare sphere. These include prescription medications and drugs that treat chronic pain and active pain. Some of the best examples include oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine. 

Of course, there are other other opiates to consider, including fentanyl and heroin and these can be obtained illegally. Heroin is highly addictive, but while most people think that the opioid crisis is due to people using needles on the street, it’s not just that. It’s the use of prescription medications, too. 

Addiction is painful, and when we don’t educate ourselves on it we can’t be a part of the solution. Here’s what you need to know. 

  1. Opioids are deadly. It’s not a shock that addiction erodes health, but it’s not just about the level of overdoses. Functional addicts who overuse pain medication can suffer from issues with their immune systems and with organ failure. Injectables can also kill and cause lifelong issues.
  2. It’s not just about heroin. People hear opioids and think of heroin, but it’s prescription drugs that can kill you, too. They are all designed for a quick high and they are all deadly.
  3. A doctor can help. If someone you know is dealing with addiction, your doctor can help. They can use non-opioid medicines and lifestyle remedies to help rather than use opiates.
  4. It’s not just teenagers. Did you know that some of the biggest users for opioids are those in high stress jobs? It’s primarily an adult problem and it’s growing in those who are taking medications for chronic pain.
  5. They can be used safely. There are some opioids that can be used safely. Prescription opioids can be used responsibly. With the help of a doctor, you can manage a condition and the intake of opioids safely.

How it Affects You and Your Loved Ones

Not only do you have to ensure that you and your family are educated on the risks of opioids, you all have to be aware of how assistance from a lawyer can help those who are in the throes of addiction. Taking the time to learn how to avoid situations in which opioids become a problem is important if you and your loved ones want to avoid them.