Looking back at the history of opioids, we have to wonder if the original cultivators of the opium poppy could have predicted how dangerous these drugs could become. From the roots of opium dens to the onset of multi-million-dollar expenditures on opioid marketing plans, these powerful painkillers have somehow become the double-edged miracle: providing instant pain relief while triggering some of the worst cases of addiction on the planet. Still, some aspects of these centuries-old drugs remain a mystery. Let’s take a closer look at some common questions people may ask about opioid painkillers.
What Is the Connection with Opium?
Overall, the opioid medications that are currently manufactured by big-brand companies still share many similar qualities with their ancestor: opium. Used for medical and recreational purposes for centuries, opium became a major export for Asian countries. Without this drug, opioid couldn’t exist.
How Severe Is the Opioid Epidemic?
Originally administered to suppress minimal pain, opioids started to pick up speed in the 1990s, when doctors started prescribing these drugs to treat chronic pain. As a result of this long-term use, rates of abuse and addiction started to skyrocket, ultimately leading to the opioid epidemic. In fact, since 1999, the rate of overdose-related deaths caused by opioid use is 4 times more frequent. Even worse, 50% of these deaths were related to the use of prescription opioids.
What Is the Connection with Heroin?
Keep in mind that heroin is roughly 100 times stronger than morphine. As a result of long-term opioid abuse or addiction, users will start to develop tolerance for their prescriptions and (as a result) will turn to the stronger (illegal) alternative. In reality, heroin is much cheaper than medications and is sadly much easier to obtain through shady channels. However, as part of this mass addiction in the U.S., many people are being exposed to carfentanil (an elephant tranquilizer that is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl).
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
The Opioid Crisis might possibly be one of the most dangerous health epidemics in U.S. history since the first outbreak of HIV/AIDS during the 1970s. Although these drugs are potentially helpful for people who suffer from severe pain or have undergone intensive surgery, opioids can still pose a threat to your mind and body and will drive a massive wedge into your social and personal life.
If you are suffering from a severe case of opioid use disorder or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from these deadly painkillers.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your attachment to opioids and take an essential step against the Opioid Crisis.