It is believed that more than two million Americans suffer from an opioid use disorder and more than 40,000 Americans die of an opioid overdose every year. Yet, while fatal opioid overdoses affect only about 2% of those suffering from an opioid addiction, they are the primary focus of much of the news coverage on the opioid crisis in the United States.
This skewed coverage may leave many people in the dark about the long-term health consequences that can result from regular or chronic opioid use, such as:
- Respiratory depression
- Weakened immune system
- Severe constipation, intestinal obstruction, or bowel perforation
- Organ failure
- Hearing loss
Intravenous opioid use, often seen among heroin users, face additional long-term health risks, including viral infections, abscesses, systemic infection, and embolisms. These risks are far too common and extremely serious, and they ought to be highlighted more in the news coverage of the American opioid epidemic.
Like all substance addictions, opioid addiction is a progressive disease that will strengthen and become worse if left untreated. If you think that you or someone you love may be developing an addiction to opioids, you should speak to a certified addiction specialist as soon as possible.
The Asana Recovery Center offers a comprehensive supervised detoxification and residential treatment program designed to help those suffering from any stage of substance addiction. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our program and facilities today.