By: Ava
April 23, 2020

The Opioid Epidemic: Everything You Need To Know

Table of Contents

Opioids are supposed to help people reduce pain, but they often end up causing more pain because they’re incredibly addictive. Opioids are commonly prescribed to manage pain after surgery or a procedure and can easily be abused. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been prescribed opioids at least once in your life, such as Vicodin, Percocet, or OxyContin. 

Illegal opioids include heroin and now the synthetic opioid called fentanyl. ‘Super labs’ all over the world are creating black market fentanyl that is sold in mass quantities and is a major contribution to the opioid epidemic occurring in the United States. 

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that develops when the brain believes it requires something to survive that, in reality, it does not. When the brain is addicted to opioids, it views these drugs in a manner that is similar to oxygen, blood, and nutrients. Opioids trigger the pleasure centers in the brain. Over time, the brain becomes wired to believe that it needs opioids constantly. This creates a biological drive where the addict constantly tries to seek out opioids in the same manner in which they look for food, water, and oxygen. This means that the addict may sacrifice everything at the altar of addiction which has a drastic impact on family members, friends, and professional relationships.

What is the Opioid Epidemic?

The opioid epidemic is a term used to refer to the prevalence of opioids throughout society today. According to research that has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), there are more than 20 million people living in the United States with some sort of substance use disorder. Around 10 percent of these individuals suffer from an opioid addiction. On a daily basis, about 140 people die in the United States as a result of a drug overdose. Around 60 percent of these overdoses have to do with opioids. Because of the prevalence of opioids in society, the healthcare system has established this to be an epidemic.

Opioids are supposed to be used to help control pain on a short-term basis in the hospital or in the ER. Sadly, many people will use these medications to control chronic pain as well. This is where serious problems arise. Because of how addictive these medications are, users eventually get hooked. It’s not uncommon for someone to start using Vicodin and end up using heroin. This is a result of the user not being able to get a prescription to their drug of choice anymore. There are people who sell their prescription drugs illegally for a high price; heroin ends up being much cheaper. 

Seeking Opioid Treatment

If you’re looking for an addiction treatment option for opioids, help is out there waiting for you. Fortunately seeking help for opioids is a similar process to seeking help for other substances. The first step is getting help for an opioid addiction is to admit that there is a problem. Start by talking to family members and friends first. These are people who are going to be there for you no matter what. Talk to them about what it is like to be addicted to opioids. Then they may want to share how your addiction has impacted them, listen closely as addiction isn’t just an individual problem. It creates a tremendous amount of pain for the people around you. 

After you come clean about your addiction, get the help you deserve. A partial day drug rehab program or intensive outpatient is a great way to start the recovery process.  The major benefit of attending either program is your addiction is being addressed in a structured way, for a large portion of the day, but you have the freedom to sleep in your own bed at night. Don’t become another number in the opioid epidemic, get help now. 

We Know How to Help

At Multi Concept Recovery, we are an addiction treatment provider located in the Burbank area of Los Angeles, CA. We provide customized treatment to people who suffer from drug abuse and addiction, including opioids. We will tailor our addiction treatment plans to meet the individual needs of our patients. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today.