Opioid Use, Addiction and Overdoses Essay Assignment Paper
Opioid Use, Addiction, and Overdoses
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Opioid addiction is a physical and psychological dependency on opioids, a substance based on specific pain medications and certain illicit drugs such as heroin. Opioids interfere with the nervous system by giving pleasurable feelings and pain relief. Over 2.5 million of Americans suffer from opioid disorder, with reported deaths of 28000 in 2014 (Kertesz & Gordon, 2019). Although health professionals legally prescribe some opioids, individuals mainly misuse illegal opioids such as heroin in the US. One way that opioid affects the US is that more people are misusing them. When prescribed by a health professional, opioid drugs have a high compulsive urge to use more, even when the body no longer requires them. Opioid addiction interferes with an individual’s career and personal life.
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Opioids addiction damages the chemistry of the brain and leads to drug tolerance. This means that people addicted to opioids will use more of them to achieve the same effect. Many Individuals are, therefore, majorly dependent on opioids in the US. Lastly, opioid is a source of deaths in the US. Opioid addiction leads to life-threatening health problems such as slow or stopped breathing, unconsciousness, and death if not attended to.
Opioid addiction can be treated using medicines. Methadone is one medication that helps relieve withdrawal and address cravings. Buprenorphine is another medication used to alleviate opioid cravings, placed under the tongue or injected. Naltrexone is also a medication that blocks the sedative effects of opioids. Naltrexone is administered orally or injected when a patient’s system is free of any opioid (Volko & Blanco, 2020). For effectiveness, all these medications should be accompanied by behavioral counseling, the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
For a family member, I would recommend that they turn to a family doctor to diagnose for opioid addiction and start medication immediately. Additionally, I would recommend that they consider joining a regional support group that offers guidance and counseling about opioid addiction. The guidance and counseling provided would change the individual’s attitude regarding opioid use, even if not immediately.
Kertesz, S. G., & Gordon, A. J. (2019). A crisis of opioids and the limits of prescription control: United States. Addiction, 114(1), 169-180.
Volkow, N. D., & Blanco, C. (2020). Medications for opioid use disorders: clinical and pharmacological considerations. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 130(1), 10-13.
For this week’s main post, answer all of the following questions. Be sure to include factual, properly cited information in your post.
What are some ways that opioid addiction is affecting the United States?
What are some forms of treatment available to those suffering from opioid addiction?
If you had a friend or family member suffering from opioid addiction, what sort of help would you recommend they seek?
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