An epidemic of opioid addiction has swept over the whole nation, and it's sadly become difficult for any of us to say that we do not know at least one individual who is suffering from this addiction. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the number of deaths from opioid overdose continues to climb each year.
Do you want to take an even deeper look into opioid addiction? Well, in this article, we are going to share with you a few surprising facts about this addiction that you may not have known about.
1. An Addiction to Opioids Usually Turns to an Abuse of Heroin
According to a survey taken recently, 3 out of every 4 heroin addicts made a report that they were introduced to heroin after having already been addicted to painkillers for some time. Statistics such as this one are highly alarming, due to the fact that heroin is a very dangerous and deadly drug. In fact, deaths related to heroin have tripled since the year 2010. And when heroin is compared to the drug cocaine, studies show that it takes twice the number of lives per year because of overdose.
Why are people turning to heroin so often? Prescription painkillers are expensive, and heroin is cheap and relatively easy to get. And it produces a high that is similar in nature. However, it often comes laced with the drug known as fentanyl, which can be very deadly, even in doses that are not particularly large.
2. Addiction Related to Opioids Comes With a High Price
An addiction to opioids does not come cheap. In fact, as a country, billions of dollars are lost to painkillers each year due to abuse of the drugs and overdoses related to them. People who use these drugs tend to use services of the medical field more often than anyone else, and studies have shown that these individuals pay between 5 and 15 thousand dollars per year more for health care. In fact, the year 2007 saw 55 billion dollars flushed because of opioids and costs related to them.
3. Abuse of Opioids is Spreading Outside of the Cities
All over the nation, the problem of opioid abuse is spreading. While in the past these drugs were mainly used in highly-populated areas, recent statistics have shown that overdoses related to opioids are mostly happening in rural places. And sadly, the use of opioids is becoming more and more popular among rural teens. More teens living in these parts of the country use painkillers than those living in the city. And sadly, when individuals under the age of 18 are exposed to opioids, they are at a greater risk of becoming addicted as an adult.
In conclusion, opioid painkillers and the addiction to them are very dangerous. Most people who try these drugs do not get them from a doctor, and even when they do, the potential to abuse them is very likely. It is clear that as a nation, we must do something about opioids before it is too late.