How Bad Is The Opioid Epidemic
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Experts have deemed the opioid epidemic to be the deadliest drug crisis in American history. Opioid overdoses will cause more American deaths than gun violence and auto accidents combined.
In 2019 alone heroin overdoses, specifically, killed at least 27,000 people in the USA. Addiction is destroying lives in every state and knows no prejudice.
How the Opioid Epidemic Happened in America
Opioid drug abuse has been fueled by opioid prescriptions. PBS tells us that doctors write many more prescriptions for opioids than they did 30 years ago. In 1988, American doctors wrote about 76 million prescriptions for opioids. In 2018, American doctors wrote about 215 million prescriptions for opioids. That’s about two prescriptions for every three people in the United States.
Americans are not just getting about three times as many opioid pills as they did 30 years ago. Those pills are far more than three times more potent. Prescription fentanyl is about 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil, the most potent fentanyl derivative sold in the drug trade in the United States, is nearly 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
People become addicted to opioids because they lose their painkilling effect the longer they are taken. Users need more pills and stronger opioids to manage their physical pain and emotional issues. As opioids become exponentially more potent, it is easy to underestimate the potency of a new drug and suffer overdose.
Who’s to Blame? Complicit Doctors & Drug Companies
Drug manufacturers encourage doctors to prescribe more and more opioids to their patients. Drug companies pay doctors in free lunches, travel to seminars in exotic locations, consulting agreements, and speaking fees.
What is the result of paying doctors to prescribe opioids? The Centers for Disease Control found that for every four payments per 100,000 patients to doctors for to prescribing opioids, there were 13,000 additional opioid prescriptions. Deaths from opioid overdose per 100,000 people went up about 18 percent.
A Look at Opioid Addiction in America by the Numbers
Americans of every race die of overdoses of heroin and other opioids. Every year deaths by opioid or heroin overdose average:
- 1.0 per 100,000 people among Asian-Americans.
- 4.1 per 100,000 people among Hispanics.
- 5.8 per 100,000 people among African-Americans.
- 11.1 per 100,000 people among Native Americans.
- 12.3 per 100,000 people among White Americans.
Americans at every age and stage of life die from overdoses of heroin and other opioids. Heroin overdose deaths are highest among young adults.
- 3.3 per 100,000 among those aged 15 to 24.
- 8 per 100,000 among those aged 25 to 34.
- 5.9 per 100,000 among those aged 35 to 44.
- 4.7 per 100,000 among those aged 45 to 54.
- 2.7 per 100,000 among those aged 55 to 64.
- 0.5 per 100,000 among those aged 65 to 74.
Deaths from overdoses of other opioids peak later in life:
- 3.1 per 100,000 among those aged 15 to 24.
- 9 per 100,000 among those aged 25 to 34.
- 10.3 per 100,000 among those aged 35 to 44.
- 11.7 per 100,000 among those aged 45 to 54.
- 8.5 per 100,000 among those aged 55 to 64.
- 2.7 per 100,000 among those aged 65 to 74.
Treatment is the Answer for Addiction to Opioids
The statistics for opioid addiction are grim, but the statistics for opioid addiction treatment are encouraging.
Medications to treat opioid drug abuse pose some problems of their own, but they also result in good results for many people. The National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us that about 90 percent of people dealing with opioid-related substance abuse will have drug-free weeks when they are treated with naltrexone.
Naltrexone is not the only medication for helping opioid addicts stop their habit. Buprenorphine given in a sufficiently large dose (it doesn’t work in small doses, but the dose is always something for the doctor to determine) is associated with an 82 percent higher likelihood of staying in treatment. And addicts who receive methadone are more than four times as likely to stay in treatment as addicts who do not receive any medications at all.
Addicts who stay in treatment are less likely to have encounters with law enforcement. They are less likely to catch hepatitis C or HIV. They are more likely to get and keep a job. And they are more likely to stay alive.
But addiction treatment isn’t just about drugs to help people stay off drugs.
Get Help for Opioid Addiction at 90210 Recovery in Beverly Hills
Often people who are addicted to opioids require a higher level, like the treatment offered at 90210 Recovery. The program utilizes modern therapies and holistic approaches to allow each client a unique experience when seeking treatment for opioid addiction.
90210 Recovery offers a luxury drug and alcohol treatment program in Beverly Hills, CA. They can help you overcome the inner struggles of addiction in luxurious surroundings. They are available 24/7 for admissions. Call 1-866-767-6959 or verify your insurance benefits now.