Prescription Opioids: The Introduction
You walk in to the doctor’s office with a broken arm—at least I did at the age of 11—and you’re screaming in pain. The doctor says, “here’s a pill—it will take the edge off.” My mother seems to agree not knowing the repercussions. I was in a mass amount of pain, but from the first time I took a Vicodin and I now knew that opioids were my thing.
Many get prescribed these medications from procedures as common as a cavity filling or dental work. It’s common and it’s preventable. But why is it happening?
Many are thrown into this dilemma and do not know how to get out of it. There are staggering repercussions from opioid use and abuse.
My abuse ended in a fallout of heroin and binge drinking at a later and progressed age throughout many more incurred addictions all from this first time prescription. Many fall to the same fate.
Here are some extremely important actions and reaction on opioids you need to heed as a warning. You never know when something bad may happen or how exactly you could or will need treatment but know your options before being force-fed an addiction. Many need to know these things for prevention and they are crucial to help end the addiction epidemic.
For something that is prescribed to relieve pain there is more than enough induced misery and pain caused by prescription opioids themselves. Please read further to hear the full elaboration:
The most commonly prescribed opioids for pain or health ailments that lead to serious addictions:
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin/Percocet)
- Morphine (Kadian/ Avinza)
These are all very common drugs that are used for some benefit when people become in increasing amounts of pain. They should and are not recommended for long-term use. Damages to the liver and organ functioning may occur from chronic use. From overuse/misuse/ or abuse respiratory failure may occur when consumed in too high of doses.
According to Samshsa.gov “55% of people who misused prescription pain killers got them from a friend or relative for free, and approximately 20% got them from a doctor.”
Tolerance plays a key issue in these types of “medications.”
As you use one the bar is already set for where you will be tolerating these drugs. As most say “you’re hooked from the first time.” This is because the chemical responders in your brain feel a rush of things called dopamine and serotonin in an unnatural/synthesized way. Once the effects of the drug go away your body stops producing the natural dopamine and serotonin this then leads you to a higher use/misuse/abuse amount of these prescription opioids to feel the same effect.
Many are led into addiction not even by their own doing but through doctors not looking or seeking for alternative routes, along with the “guidance” from mass pharmaceutical companies. The dependence grows higher and higher as the prescription starts to run lower and lower. When the tolerance becomes too much for the recommended dose it causes many of people to run to the streets or a black market opportunity to keep fulfilling this now harsh “habit” or addiction.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):
- “4.5 million Americans engaged in non-medical use of prescription pain killers in the last month.”
- “Approximately 1.9 million Americans met criteria for an opioid use disorder based on their use of prescription painkillers in the past year.”
- “1.5 million people used prescription painkillers non-medically for the first time in the past year.”
- “The average age for prescription painkiller first-time use was 21.7 in the past year.”
For the full article and accreditation on these statistics go here: http://www.samhsa.gov/atod/opioids
As we see the average age is 21.7 years old for the first time use. We have to realize that when some discover this later in life, there are others who are discovering this at an earlier age in life, too. This would round that average given, out. Those affected are not just 21.7 years of age but ranging down into extreme youth and even up to the elderly—as this is just an average.
The key fact to learn in final conclusion is that this manufactured drug is creating harm, in big “doses.”
The last staggering statistic is that in 2011 there were nearly 17,000 overdose deaths from prescription opioids. This is just the number recorded, too. Now let’s leave room for those misdiagnosed or other people that fell between the cracks! How many have truly 100% been impacted by this? Not to mention the families of people falling victim to this crime on humanity.
Prescription opioids are abused in many different ways, and there are some common ways among teens and other abusers that are seen commonly today. Here are some:
- Combining with alcohol or other drugs like marijuana.
- Crushing the pills to…
- “Parachute” which is where you take a large quantity of pills and put them in a swallow pouch and catapult them down your through into your system for immediate release.
- Do a “numbie” where you rub the drug on the pallets of your mouth for a numbing yet euphoric sensation.
- Mix into water, alcoholic drinks, or pop for the effects of “leaning” when they cannot get the “proper” ingredients for leaning.
- Taking more than prescribed
- Taking it for the primary reason to “get high”
- Taking it without the recommendation of a health care clinician and supervision.
- Mixing different types of prescription pain killers
- Finding other “purposes” for the drug
- Sharing the medication
- Buying it off the streets or from a friend
- Not taking “as prescribed” on the label.
To find more information like this on opioid abuse/misuse/use go to: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-pain-medications-opioids
There are many ways to abuse prescription opioids, and it’s not just one-way every time either. Many find different types and ways to get their “fix” whether they know it or not.
Opioids cause euphoria after attaching onto certain receptors and proteins in the brain, it can be easily seen why it would become habit forming. But, the problem lies within a deeper route, the causal effect.
Why is this happening? Who’s causing it? Who’s the victim and who’s the perpetrator? How do we fix this and stop losing friends, family, loved ones, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers?
We’ve lost so many, so take this information and use it for action and watch out for opioid abuse whether you seek it or it has sought you. You never know when the epidemic will be starring you in the face or when it will strike. Always remember with these facts they are power, and with power we can learn and accomplish the right thing! And that is living a healthy, productive, safe lifestyle!
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