The opioid epidemic has impacted all corners of the nation. Addiction doesn’t discriminate; it impacts individuals from all backgrounds and of all income levels. Those who struggle with opioid addiction face a disease that is difficult to manage alone. Opioids can quickly lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Furthermore, many individuals become addicted to opioids after being prescribed a pain reliever by their doctor. Understanding how America’s opioid epidemic developed can help you better support those in your life who struggle with addiction. And if you are ready to overcome your own opioid addiction, reach out to a drug addiction treatment center near you today.
What Are Opioids?
The class of drugs contributing to the epidemic includes opiates and synthetic opioids. Opiates are naturally occurring substances derived from the poppy plant, while opioids are manufactured to mimic the natural effects of opium.
There are both legal and illicit versions of both opioids and opiates. These substances can be highly effective at managing pain and are often prescribed after surgery or to help individuals who suffer from chronic pain. Unfortunately, this popularity has led to misuse, addiction, and overdose.
Although the original intended use of opioids is to help manage pain, many Americans are susceptible to developing an addiction. Opioid overdose is the leading drug-related cause of death in the United States, a number which includes heroin and fentanyl overdoses. However, many individuals misuse prescription opioids as well.
In the United States, the rate of opioid use, abuse, and overdose are alarming. However, given the high number of prescriptions and easy access, it’s not coincidental. This national issue requires a significant shift in cultural attitude before there’s a large-scale change.
The Dangers of the Opioid Epidemic
The United States alone is the largest prescriber of opioid medications. According to data from the United Nations, American opioid consumption outranks all other nations.
Tracing this dangerous prescription and consumption rate isn’t simple. There’s no direct line between an aging population, increases in pain conditions, and thus, a notable increase in opioid use. Not to mention, we must not overlook loose regulations and pharmaceutical companies’ influence as contributing factors.
For example, the lack of standards makes it easy for doctors to write these prescriptions often. This can lead patients with no pain-related diagnoses to have access to high-dose prescriptions. Depending on the doctor and the state they practice in, patients could get opioids for minor injuries.
Thus, what starts as a legal medical condition could spiral into an addiction. Not being aware of the addictive nature of opioids can work against a person’s desire to feel better.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
Sustainable recovery from opioid addiction is possible. Anyone who is misusing prescription pain relievers or who has turned to illicit substances like heroin should reach out for help. In an opioid treatment program, guests have access to all of the following:
- One-on-one sessions with an experienced therapist
- Group therapy sessions with others in recovery
- A nurturing environment
- Holistic programs like exercise therapy
Additionally, many addiction treatment centers offer sober living residences. Here, those in recovery can live with others who are working to overcome addiction. This living situation can promote accountability and long-term sobriety.
Reach Out to Soledad House Today
Overcoming opioid addiction is a process that requires support, encouragement, and a personalized treatment plan. At Soledad House, we offer a safe, supportive environment for women in recovery. Our residential treatment center in San Diego was designed with comfort in mind.
Our opioid addiction treatment options include: