Opiod abuse devastates lives of more than the addict

Opiod abuse devastates lives of more than the addict

Grant Campbell

April Curran, Staff

The abuse of drugs has been an ongoing epidemic, starting long before today. It is estimated that over 13.5 million people in the world now take opioids.

Heroin is the drug used most of all opiates.  For addicts, heroin becomes a lifestyle.  The more frequently the drug is used, the more rapidly the brain and nervous system adjust to the chemical changes that it causes.

Addiction happens easier than most people think and breaking the habit can be harder than ever imagined. One of the only methods that really works is the pill Suboxone, which is administered at detox clinics, which most addicts either cannot afford or are reluctant to try. Many end up losing their family or thrown into money hungry prisons, where there is no help and their hopelessness is often exacerbated.

But heroin is not all there is to it. There is a new, even more dangerous drug circulating called Fentanyl being smuggled in from Afghanistan as reported by the American Free Press. It is a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and one hundred times stronger than morphine according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Most users aren’t even aware of its existence and are exposed when they take what they believe is a normal dose of heroin. Unfortunately, it tends to be deadly and until recently didn’t even show up on autopsy reports.

There are even more drugs plaguing our country and some of them may be in your medicine cabinet. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 52 million people over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically.

Painkillers, such as oxycodone, are often thought to be over-prescribed by doctors and some people don’t stop until the bottle is empty. At that point, if addiction has occurred, many turn to the black market to get more. Once the cycle starts it is often hard to end and once a tolerance has been built, many go on to try even harder drugs.

This is more than just a personal problem. It is partly our responsibility to help those in need. President Obama tried to contribute to the solution of this epidemic with a new bill passed funding addiction research but according to professor David Allen, “[It is] a bad idea to just throw money at the problem because that will not do anything. We are not going to solve any problems by spending more on treatment and studies of the effectiveness of treatment. Others in the past have turned up calculating disappointing rates of long-term recovery.  We already spend more than any other country in the world by all measures.”  

The person affected is somebody’s child. Somebody’s sibling. Somebody’s friend. Drug addiction ruins lives and is to be treated genuinely. If you know anyone with a problem, please call 1-877-759-5122 to receive assistance. It is never too early to intervene or too late to save a life.