Rise of Opioid Addiction, Free Essay for Everyone

Published: 2022-03-28
Rise of Opioid Addiction, Free Essay for Everyone
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Substance abuse
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1848 words
16 min read

The rise of opioid addictions and abuse in the world is overwhelming. Most of those who are affected are the youth, teens, and women. The most commonly abused opioid are heroin, morphine and pain relievers (Abuse, 2017). Approximately, 20 to 36 million people abuse opioid globally. Over 2 million people are suffering from drug abuse disorders in the United States, especially those related to a prescription opioid pain reliever. The result of this epidemic is evident, and it is rising by the day. The number of people who die out of unintended overdose of pain relievers has increased by four-time form 1999 (Paulozzi, 2012). For this complex issue of opioid and heroin abuse and addiction to be addressed, the recognition of their unique character is essential. It is critical to deal with the adverse and increasing effects of opioid abuse and maintain the fundamental responsibility of recommending painkillers in treatment and alleviating human pain. Scientific knowledge needs to maintain equilibrium between, easing human pain and reducing side effects of the drug.

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Opioids prescription is among the top three categories of drugs that are highly abused. The increasing number of medications prescribed and given, massive community acceptance of the usage of drugs for multiple purposes and broad marketing of medicines by industries are major contributors to the current rise of the opioid abuse (Volkow, 2014). This has resulted to the creation of an environment that encourages opioid abuse. The sum of the opioid painkillers given in this country has greatly increased within the last two and a half decades. Hydrocodone and oxycodone prescription has shifted from around 70 million to 207 million within the last 27 years, with the United States being the leading consumer (Frenk, Porter and Paulozzi 2015). The negative result of the abuse of opioid has accompanied this great availability of the drugs. The number of admitted patients suffering from opioid abuse is increasing and the number of deaths as a result of opioid and other drug overdose has tripped in the last 20 years. By 2002, the deaths as a result of anodyne opioid poisoning were higher than those of heroin and cocaine.

When opioids are used for non-medical purposes, they result in addiction because they are the same as heroin and affect the same brain system as the latter. Their effect is mostly felt when they are used in ways that raises their ecstatic effects, such as inhaling a crushed powder or mixing them with drinks or other substances (Compton, Boyle and Wargo 2015). On the other hand, taking them for the intended purpose results to great reactions when one takes them in a way that is not prescribed. This occurs when one takes them all at once or takes them more frequently. It has also been seen that even taking them according to their prescription can also lead to addiction but the extent of their effects is not well known. Research estimates that millions of people are ailing from chronic pain in America and as a result, opioid treatment may be the answer (Trudeau et al.,2016. There is an ongoing debate by the scientists concerning the prescription of an opioid to those ailing given the facts that there is no evidence that the benefits of using the substance are more than the risk involved. Recently, an NIH and FDA have held a meeting, and they agreed that companies that produce opioid should research the effects of these drugs.

Opioid includes substances like OxyContin and Vicodin which are usually used in the cure of normal to Spartan pain. They work by combining with a particular proteins known as opioid receptors found in many parts of the body like the spinal cord, and nerve cells in the brain (Savage, 2015). When they are attached to the respective receptors, there is a decrease of pain and a feeling of wellbeing though they can result to negative effects like queasiness, drowsiness or mental instability among others (Williams, 2013). Along period usage of this drug prevents the production of endogenous opioids which causes the negative effects of withdrawal. An opioid drug affects the brain region involved in rewarding and therefore, produces a sense of pleasure. Therefore, people are tempted to try other methods of using the drugs to increase the pleasure, which results in addiction. For example, crushing the drug and inhale them or injecting it directly into the bloodstream, which increases the risk of heart attack, coma or respiration problems.

Interfering with the medicines that contain high doses which are intended to relieve pain for an extended period can be dangerous. Using methods like inhaling and smoking possess a great threat because of the high dose and the faster onset (Compton, Boyle and Wargo, 2015). Opioid drugs are in many cases found in the hands of the wrong people like in the streets and over the counter as they are diverted from their medical purposes by patients or relatives. Research has found that five percent of children aged 12 years have been abusing opioid (Fogger and McGuinness, 2015). The effects of opioid pain reliever abuse on the health of the general public are overwhelming. The abuse of this drug by pregnant mothers can cause neonatal abstinence syndrome in a newborn (Farnaghi, Pournasir and Tehranchi 2015). This risk has increased by 300 percent, and it is mainly contributed by the many prescriptions give to expectant mothers in the hospital.

Even though opioid abuse has caused much damage to the social, economic and political aspect of our society, all hope is no gone. Something can be done to reverse the current situation.

Incorporating medicine treatment in the hospitals can be of help (Tauben, 2015). Giving medical treatment to patients of opioid abuse will be operational when given in a comprehensive set of a qualified supply organization that deals with opiate addiction in both therapy and behavioral mediation to encourage treatment involvement and development, communicable illnesses documentation and management and overdose protection (Barrett and Chang, 2016). For an effective success of this integration, a health care system must include the above characteristics. However, few institutions exist in the United States with these qualities. There is hope that the hospital reform which focuses on increasing the availability of the health care and improving its quality will make possible to include medical therapy into hospitals and give an effective cure for opioid addiction. Ways of using hospital reform and creating health awareness to fund the intervention targeted at children, teenagers, youths and adults at risk should also be created.

Educating the society and advocating for the proper use of the opioids through the right channels of communication can bear many fruits. It is hard to tell the people that pain relievers are harmful and addictive when used in excess because there is a lot of marketing on the advantages of the drugs and wide acceptance of them by the society (Kolodny et al., 2015). Therefore, it is essential to look for the right channel of communication that will address this issue. Achieving this will be more effective especially when the awareness is backed up by scientific facts which will be impossible to ignore. Every member of the society including the doctors should be educated on the issue. Online courses that teach people how to administer the drug to the patient and proper management of chronic illnesses are also needed (Naji, 2017). Also, the creation of an online program for teens that aim to discourage them from abusing opioid can be effective.

There is a need to come up with a better method of curbing death and overdose. The increase of antidote to opioid overdose like naloxone can increase the chances of reversing the current situation of fatalities and overdose (Moore et al., 2013). The drug should not only be grown but should also be made available to people. In the past years, the drug was only accessed at emergency cases. The drug should be made available to families and caregivers of the patients who are using opioid drugs (Kaye, 2017). Creation of a nasal spray can also be effective especially in cases of emergency by the caregiver, the patient or the police officer.

In conclusion, opioid prescriptions are one of the most abused prescriptions in the world. As people try to get more pleasure from them, they have come up with dangerous ways that pose a threat to their life like inhaling and injecting. Though the drug is helping people who have chronic diseases, research is still going to weigh the strengths and the weakness of the drug. Until then, opioid cannot be classified as a perfect pain reliever. Educating the masses, creating the right channels of communication and finding ways of preventing deaths and overdose are essential in overcoming this struggle.


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