In the United States, there are many individuals who struggle and experience pain and chronic pain. In fact, 50.0 million Americans experience chronic pain on a daily basis. Since we are human beings, we cannot go through life unscathed. The pain is there, but there are actually ways in which we can cope with the pain. Doctors can prescribe opioids to individuals who experience pain every day of their lives. Prescription opioids include, but are not limited to, oxycodone, percocet, and vicodin- just to name a few. Opioids are essentially pain relievers. After taking these pills, one would assume that pain would be managed, controlled, and possibly nonexistent. However, this isn’t the case. Over 2 million Americans every year begin misusing prescription opioids. This leads them down a dangerous path and is considered a portion of the opioid epidemic. If you or a family member has developed opioid use disorder, here is what you need to know about the opioid epidemic and recovery.
By definition the opioid epidemic, or what is also known as the opioid crisis, concerns the increasing number of people who are hospitalized or die because of opioid use. However, this opioid use is more than just the misuse of prescription drugs. The opioid crisis also includes illegal drugs, such as fentanyl and heroin. In fact, these are the most dangerous of all. Essentially, those who begin to misuse prescription opioids, have a higher risk of beginning to take illegal drugs such as heroin.
First, individuals would begin to take an ample amount of their prescription drugs the doctor provided to them. This wouldn’t be enough for them to function on a day to day basis. They would take more and more and more. But, nothing helped with the pain or assisted prescription drug users in making it through the day. They weren’t thriving. So, they turned to stronger drugs, illegal drugs, heroin. Once prescription drug users are addicted to heroin, a heroin overdose is sadly common.
An overdose is defined as physical symptoms and sometimes mental symptoms, that happen immediately after consuming too many opioids. A few years prior more than 15,000 Americans died from a heroin overdose. This means that they consumed too much heroin, their body couldn’t handle it, and they passed away. These deaths by heroin overdose are expected to increase each year. Heroin overdose is a sad reality of the opioid epidemic.
Needless to say, the opioid epidemic consists of prescription drug misuse, heroin misuse, heroin overdose, and hospitalization or death. This makes it imperative for you or your family member to receive help if you are addicted to prescription pain relievers or illegal drugs. Recovery is possible.
If you or a family member is experiencing opioid drug addiction, you need to accept and receive help so you do not end up hospitalized, or even dead from a heroin overdose. Recovery looks different for each individual, but you have many options when it comes to recovery from addiction.
In-Patient Treatment: This is perhaps the most common form of treatment for individuals who need to recover from opioid addiction. In-patient treatment includes many different processes or steps you have to get through. However, it is all to help you become drug free and prevent you from experiencing a heroin overdose.
In an in-patient facility, the first step you must complete is a drug detox. Essentially, you have to cleanse your body of all the drugs in your system. You will work with doctors and professionals during your detox. If the symptoms are too much, doctors can give you medication that relieve the symptoms. This medication responds to your body as opioids would, but does not get you high.
After you complete your detox, you will have to attend therapy and group sessions. In therapy, you will learn coping skills that will help you once you are back home.
Partial: Partial treatment includes that you go through detox, but you can live at home. You’ll have to attend therapy and group sessions on a daily basis. This will help you cope, and get clean and healthy.