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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Do You Know Someone Addicted to Opioids?

prescription opioids
While we have more about rampant heroin use occurring throughout the country of late, we are not out of deep water with regard to prescription opioid abuse. While it is true that it has become significantly harder for patients to engage in drug seeking behavior and to “doctor shop” - seeing multiple doctors for the same drug - many people still abuse and overdose on prescription opioids every day.

In fact, a new survey shows that nearly half (44 percent) of Americans know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers, CNBC reports. The national poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KKF), found that:
  • 26 percent said the person they knew was an acquaintance.
  • 21 percent knew a close friend
  • 20 percent knew a family member
  • Two percent had been addicted to painkillers themselves.
The American Society of Addiction medicine reports that about 80 people died from opioid overdoses every day in 2014, according to the article. Data from that year (the most recent year available) showed that almost 19,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses, and more than 10,000 people from heroin. When the KKF poll asked what Americans believed was the problem, 58 percent said that people lacking access to addiction treatment was a huge problem. The survey showed that of those who knew someone who had been addicted to prescription painkillers, 61 percent reported being concerned about the lack of addiction treatment services.

More than half (66 percent) of Americans believe that the government is not doing enough to fight prescription opioid abuse, and 62 percent think that the federal government isn’t doing enough about heroin, the article reports. Interestingly, while prescription opioids take more lives every day, Americans view heroin as a more serious problem than opioid painkillers.

Whatever people’s perception may be, the reality is that opioids of any kind are both highly addictive and deadly - whether used by prescription or heroin. Failure to receive treatment for opioid addiction often results in worst case scenarios. Please contact Whiteside Manor if you, or a loved one, are struggling with opioids.

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