What Is The Opioid Epidemic?

What Is The Opioid Epidemic?

In the United States and elsewhere opiates were introduced to the masses via painkillers that contain opioid substances. However, these drugs that numb pain also produce a sense of euphoria in the user, and this imbues these drugs with a large potential for addiction. An example of an opioid based drug used as a painkiller is morphine. Illicit opioid rugs include heroin and fetanyl and fetanyl derivatives. Percocet, Morphine, Codeine and OxyContin are examples of prescription painkillers that are often abused.

The term opioid epidemic refers to the increase in opioid (both illicit and prescription) abuse in the United States and other countries around the globe.  The genesis of the crisis lies in the fact that opioid based prescription drugs were over prescribed in recent decades leading to widepsread abuse. This in turn led to heroin and fetanyl abuse.

Fetanyl is a particularly dangerous opioid based drug because of how potent it is. A relatively small amount of fetanyl can kill a grown human being very easily upon contact with the skin.

Typically, addiction begins when an individual prescribed with an opioid painkiller begins to take the drug in a dosage not prescribed by the doctor. The reason for this increase in dosage may be purely “innocent” in the sense that the user isn’t taking the drug to generate feelings of euphoria but instead to manage their pain better. Regardless, this escalation too often leads to full blown opioid addiction.


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