Thanks to public awareness campaigns, more people are aware of the opioid addiction crisis in this country. Even so, many people each year still fall prey to opioids and find themselves dependent on these substances. You can help yourself or a loved one overcome an addiction to opioids by learning how prevalent this problem truly is and how addiction to these drugs can be treated today.
Opioid Addiction Statistics
Studies show that millions of people in the U.S. are addicted to some type of opioid drug right now. In fact, statistics reveal that more than two million people reported being dependent on these drugs in 2015. Out of that number, more than 33,000 people died from their addictions, which breaks down to an average of 115 people per day dying from opioid dependency.
Opioids come in many forms but are most commonly available as prescription painkillers as well as illicit street drugs like heroin. People who abuse these drugs take them in pill forms, smoke them, or inject them directly into their bloodstreams.
The opioid crisis has reached people from all walks of life. Regardless of your race, gender, or income, you can easily become addicted to opioids because of the very nature and design of these substances.
The Danger of Opioids
Opioids are particularly dangerous because of the effect they have on the human body. Doctors often prescribe opioids like hydrocodone to patients who have undergone surgery or have suffered devastating injuries like fractures and burns. These drugs block the pain receptors in your brain and help you relax.
However, it is the medicinal effects that make opioids so dangerous to people who are prone to addictions in the first place. They become dependent on the drugs’ ability to relax them and make them sleepy.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
As dangerous as an opioid addiction can be, it can also be treated with prompt medical attention. Doctors often prescribe medications like methadone or buprenorphine to opioid addicts. Additionally, rapid detox is an innovative technique for recovery.
Opioid addiction continues to be a public health crisis that affects millions of people in the U.S. each year. However, with proper treatment, opioid addicts can regain their sobriety and overcome their dependency on these dangerous drugs.