Over the past few years, the term “opiate addiction” is one that has taken center stage. It has garnered increased attention from medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, researchers, lawmakers, and the general public due to the fact that addiction and overdose rates have skyrocketed. More than 27,000 people die each year from opiate overdoses.
This is a cause for alarm. Lawmakers and medical professionals are stepping up, calling for improved education about licit and illicit opioids and the risks they can pose. More training is being demanded for doctors in addiction risk, diagnosis, and treatment. The public is also striving to learn more and be proactive when it comes to opiate addiction.
Week-over-week, Google searches for “addiction treatment” have increased by 22 percent. This should not come as a surprise due to the fact that opiate addiction has reached epidemic levels. According to the American Society of Addictive Medicine, in 2014 “1.9 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.” These drugs led to nearly 30,000 overdose deaths in 2014.
Fighting Back Against Opiate Addiction
Americans are taking a vested interest in addressing the problem. Opiate addiction is treatable. It is possible to live a meaningful and fulfilling life in recovery. Above It All Treatment Center provides clients with the comprehensive care and services necessary for recovery. From safe, supervised detox and evidence-based therapies through holistic treatment and ongoing support, clients can turn their lives around. Therapy and counseling helps individuals to identify underlying problems and risk factors for opiate addiction and effectively address these issues.
Medical professionals are also becoming more cautious about prescribing powerful pain relievers such as morphine and oxycodone. Prescription drugs do not have to be a first-line defense; treatments such as acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, meditation, hot/cold therapy, and over-the-counter medications are being incorporated into treatment more often. Many people find these approaches to be beneficial in relieving pain while reducing risk of addiction to opiates.
Some of these same techniques are also integrated into addiction treatment programs. These complementary therapies may support clients in achieving better physical, mental, and emotional health as they progress in recovery. These methods may help ward off relapse and promote more positive mental health as well.
Naloxone: Saving Lives
With the rise of the opiate epidemic, there has also been more talk about naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses. Google searches for naloxone have recently increased by 160 percent. As stories emerge about the impact of this drug and how it can save lives, they want to know more about it. Being revived by naloxone can be a wake-up call to the need to seek professional treatment for opiate addiction at a facility like Above It All.
Naloxone works by replacing opioids in the brain’s opioid receptors. This can help to reverse an overdose within minutes depending on the amount of opiates taken. While it used to be that only doctors and medical personnel could administer naloxone, it is now more widely available to the public as well. Common brands include Narcan and Evzio. Nasal sprays and auto injectors make it easier for individuals such as family, friends, or first responders to administer this recue drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 overdoses have been reversed since 1996.
In some states individuals can purchase naloxone from a local pharmacy without a prescription. In other areas a prescription can be provided to individuals who are on prescription pain relievers, or have experienced an opiate overdose in the past. Family members can often get it as well in case of an emergency. Understanding how and when to administer naloxone can save a person’s life and allow them to seek emergency medical treatment in the event of an overdose.
Treating Opiate Addiction
The increased focus on the opiate epidemic and naloxone shed light on the need for improved access to addiction treatment and reduced stigmas regarding addiction. Substance use disorders are commonly regarded as a disease and part of mental health disorders due to how they interact with the brain and its function. Talking about addiction and the effectiveness of current treatment programs can help individuals to overcome these challenges and reduce their risk of overdose and relapse.
Above It All works with clients to develop an individualized treatment plan aligned with their unique needs. Everyone is affected by addiction differently and responds to various treatment approaches in their own way. Above It All provides comprehensive care that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social effects of addiction and recovery.
If you or a loved one is taking prescription opioids, it is essential to understand the risk for and warning signs of addiction. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If you are concerned about a loved one, take action. Let them know that you are concerned and encourage them to seek treatment. Support their recovery efforts and do your part to create a safe environment and strengthen communication.
You can also stand up for legislation that supports addiction treatment, prevention measures such as prescription databases, and increased awareness to break down stigmas and reduce misconceptions. Get involved and educate yourself and others; every voice and every vote counts.
Historically, only a small percentage of those in need of addiction treatment actually obtain it. With an increase in addiction-related searches, perhaps more people are taking notice and recognizing the seriousness of the opiate epidemic. It is essential that people realize that there is help available for opiate addiction. At Above It All, clients are supported through detox and engage in treatment that fits their needs. Overdoses are often unintentional, but treatment can help reduce risk and empower clients to live a healthier, more fulfilling life in recovery.
If you are concerned about your own well-being or that of a loved one and want to learn more about how treatment at Above It All can help, contact us today. Learn more about how you can build a brighter future in recovery.
- WebMD, Reversing Drug Overdoses Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio). Accessed March 2, 2016.
- WebMD, Reversing Drug Overdoses Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio). Accessed March 23, 2016.
- WebMD, Opioid Antidote Naloxone Recalled. June 6, 2018, Accessed March 25, 2016.
- WebMD, What Is Substance Abuse? Accessed March 21, 2016.
- NCBI, Naloxone Dosage for Opioid Reversal: Current Evidence and Clinical Implications. Accessed March 1, 2016.