The increased prescription of opioid medications to manage both short-term and chronic pain led to widespread misuse of these drugs before a pattern of addiction became clear. In late 2017, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 130 Americans still die of opioid overdose daily. Drug overdose, primarily opioid-related, is the nation’s leading cause of accidental death.
Though many states have passed stricter laws governing the length of time a doctor can prescribe opioids to their patients, people who have developed an addiction to these drugs are often willing to resort to extreme measures to getting their next dose, including buying highly potent synthetic versions such as fentanyl off the street when they can no longer obtain the medication legitimately through a doctor’s prescription.
Who Is at Risk of Becoming Part of the Epidemic?
Drug addiction affects people from all walks of life, and can happen to someone regardless of their age, race, socioeconomic status or gender identity. However, people trying to manage chronic pain at the same time as they are struggling with a substance abuse or co-occurring mental health problem tend to be at the greatest risk for misusing prescription opioids, especially with higher prescribed doses.
Prolonged medical use of prescription opioids to treat chronic pain is one of the leading risk factors for overdose. Common psychological issues, such as mood disorders, have shown a clear link with the development of opioid abuse. There is also a connection between prescription opioid addiction and the habitual misuse of other substances, such as alcohol.
What Makes Opioid Use So Dangerous?
One of the hidden dangers of prescription opioids is that users fail to recognize how addictive they are. Despite the fact that the opioid addiction epidemic has been well-publicized as a crisis, many people believe addiction could never happen to them, especially when they are using a drug because their doctor has told them to do so. Another reason people do not take the threat of opioid addiction seriously is that drug manufacturers such as Purdue marketed them as safe and non-habit-forming for so long.
Unfortunately, people underestimate how risky these drugs can be and how quickly they can develop a tolerance and then an addiction. It’s possible to develop a dependence on opioids before you realize it – and the longer you take these drugs, the greater the chances that you will become addicted, and the more challenging it will become for you to quit without help.
Rescuing People From Prescription Opioid Addiction
No matter how long you have been misusing prescription opioid drugs, there is still hope for you to make a full recovery and live the life you were meant to have before addiction took over. For many, the first step in recovering from prescription opioid addiction is to enter an accredited drug detox facility, where you can safely free yourself from the harmful effects of these drugs while a team of medical professionals monitors you 24/7 and can intervene appropriately when you are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. At Inland Detox, we can ensure your condition is stable and that you are ready for the next phases of addiction rehab and recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our California opioid detox center.