In the wake of the opioid addiction plaguing the United States, the greatest need of the time is to identify the reasons behind this outbreak. A telephonic survey by the Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation found that one-third of the respondents who had taken prescription opioids for two months or more in the past two years claimed to get addicted to prescription opioids.
The survey, conducted from Oct. 3, 2016 to Nov. 9, 2016, interviewed 622 adults aged 18 years and above. Some 95 percent respondents confessed to taking narcotic painkillers for relief from pain after a surgery, injury or a chronic condition, and only 3 percent claimed to have used the drugs for recreational purposes. The poll found that about 5 percent American adults had used prescription opioids for at least two months in the past two years. The survey also said that about half of those people taking prescription opioids took the drugs for two or more years.
All the long-term users confessed to being introduced to the powerful prescription opioids by their doctor, friends or some illicit source. During the survey, more than six in 10 people revealed that the doctors did not offer any advice on when to stop the drug, while one in five people said that their doctors provided insufficient information pertaining to the risks posed by these drugs. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors in the U.S. wrote 240 million prescriptions in 2014. The CDC says there is little evidence that opioids are effective beyond 12 weeks, still many people continue to take them for a long period.
The survey suggested that little was being done by doctors to stop the growing epidemic. The survey that talked about the soaring problem of prescription opioid addiction among American adults also pointed to the lack of responsibility by the doctors prescribing these drugs. As per the chairperson of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Board of Trustees, Patrice A. Harris, doctors throughout the nation could do more by counseling patients on avoiding opioid addiction. Responding to the survey results, Harris said that the doctors can certainly do a better job.
Problem for many, boon for some
Since 2000, opioid addiction and overdose have claimed nearly 180,000 lives. In spite of the fact that prescription drugs have led to other complications, one cannot deny that they have also proved to be a boon for an estimated 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain. Despite the high rate of opioid dependence, the survey also found that a majority of long-term opioid users experienced an improvement in their quality of life after using opioids.
As opioids relieve intractable pain, allowing one to walk, work, and perform other daily activities, two-third of the respondents of the survey found the “relief was worth the risk of addiction.” People living with long-term opioid users said that the addition affects the users’ physical and mental health, along with creating problems in their personal life and finances.
Road to recovery
According to the CDC, about 2.1 million Americans are addicted to prescription narcotic painkillers. People must be careful because long-term opioid use can lead to addiction that can cause other complications. If you or your loved one is battling opioid abuse, it is time to seek treatment at professional treatment centers in the U.S. The Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline can help you find one of the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers near you. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-450-1557 to know about the best prescription drug abuse treatment centers in USA.