From being termed an epidemic to a public health crisis, the opioid addiction problem has various names in the United States. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 11.8 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year. Significantly, 66 percent of drug overdose deaths involve an opioid. Besides, on average, 115 Americans succumb to an opioid overdose every day in the country.
Apparently, the situation has become grimmer as the crisis has started affecting the children of people addicted to drugs. According to the Indiana Youth Institute’s 2018 Kids Count Data Book, more than 52 percent of children removed by the state’s Department of Child Services (DCS) in 2016 belonged to families where parents were drug users. The figure went up to 58 percent in 2017, mainly due to opioid use, the institute’s report said. The percentage has increased every year since 2013, when it was almost 32 percent. The annual report also states that Indiana’s 89 counties (out of 92) have witnessed an overdose death from opioids, including heroin, in the past five years.
According to Indiana Youth Institute’s president and CEO Tami Silverman, DCS workers also confirmed the connection between the removal of kids from homes and opioid abuse. “They had no qualms saying this is due to the opioid crisis,” Silverman said. The report puts the statistics on the number of drug overdose deaths in 2016 at 1,518 and gives the percentage of children living with someone who has a drug or alcohol problem as about 10 percent.
Prescription opioid misuse in US
Opioid medications are usually prescribed to people with severe or chronic pain. As opioids are highly addictive, people who use them for longer period develop addiction to the prescription drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2016, more than 200,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Besides, nearly 2 million people abused or were dependent on prescription opioid drugs in 2014.
The opioid epidemic can be attributed to the factors such as exchange of medications, frequent writing of prescriptions by medical practitioners, and tendency of self-medicating with over-the-counter medicines. In a bid to attain sooner recovery, people often misuse opioids, which eventually leads to the development of addiction in them.
Road to recovery
In the wake of the rising number of deaths due to an opioid overdose, federal agencies and local authorities are taking the necessary steps to curb the menace. However, an individual should also support the fight against the crisis by not abusing prescription drugs and by helping those grappling with an opioid use disorder (OUD). The epidemic can be controlled by taking simple steps such as adhering to prescribed dosage, seeking alternative measures like yoga, exercise, and therapies to get relief from chronic pains. Seeking timely medical intervention if suffering from an addiction can also help in ending the spread of the epidemic.
One should be aware of the fact that opioid use disorders can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Therefore, if you or loved one is suffering from an OUD or experiencing addiction symptoms, seek immediate medical help. You can get in touch with the Prescription Drug Abuse Helpline to know about one of the most reputed prescription drug rehab centers in your vicinity. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 450-1557 or chat online with our expert to know about the best prescription drug rehab near you.