The Opiate Addiction Crisis

person reaching hand toward syringe and pills

The opiate addiction crisis has been sweeping through the United States at an alarming rate.

The magnitude at which people are overdosing on opioids has increased and shows no discrimination based on gender, race, or ethnicity.

The United States Health and Human Services Department has issued the following facts about the opiate addiction crisis. In just a single day in the U.S.:

  • The average number of opioid prescriptions distributed are 650,000.
  • The number of non-prescription opioid uses initiated is 3,900; in other words, almost 4,000 people without legitimate prescriptions begin taking opioid medication.
  • The number of people who start using heroin is estimated to be at 580.
  • The opiate addiction crisis claims an average of 78 lives.

One of the main causes of heroin usage occurs because people addicted to prescription opioids have found that the drugs no longer achieve the desired high. When a tolerance has built up in someone’s system, more and more of the substance is needed. When prescription medication no longer works, heroin is the next and sometimes last resort.

The opiate addiction crisis destroys lives.

“Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, increased by 80% from 2013 to 2014” (HHS). This has created a necessity for life-saving overdose reversal medication. One such medication that has shown promising results is naloxone. While more efficient training should be implemented in naloxone’s use, the positive aspects outweigh the negative.

The opiate addiction crisis has created more deaths than automobile crashes, but this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. With the increasing knowledge and awareness, and with more treatment facilities aware of the need for opioid withdrawal treatment, a life clean and sober from opioids is definitely possible. If you or someone you love is in the midst of the opiate addiction crisis, get the outside help that can mean the difference between life and death.

To learn more about our programs at Ranch at Dove Tree, please contact us today at 800.218.6727.

The Opioid Epidemic: By the Numbers. The United States Health and Human Services. June 2016.

Review of naloxone safety for opioid overdose: practical considerations for new technology and expanded public access. The US National Library of Medicine. February 2015.