The Epidemic Of Opioid Addiction

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The United States currently faces an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. This includes painkillers, heroin, and other drugs made from the same base chemical. In the couple of years, approximately one out of twenty Americans reported misuse or abuse of prescriptions painkillers. Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise and are the leading cause of injury deaths, surpassing car accidents and gun shots. The current problem differs from the opioid addiction outbreaks of the past in that it is also predominant in the middle and affluent classes. Ultimately, anyone can be fighting a battle with addiction and it is important for family members and loved ones to know the signs. The cause for this epidemic is that the current spike of opioid abuse can be traced to two decades of increased prescription rates for painkillers by well-meaning physicians. Many people have developed an addiction due to an injury and which were prescribed painkillers to manage and treat the pain. Prolonged use leads to dependence and once a person is addicted, increasing amounts of drugs are required to prevent feeling of withdrawal. Addiction to painkillers often leads to harder drugs such as heroin due to the black market drug being cheaper. Prescription drugs remain a far deadlier problem and more people abuse prescription medication than cocaine, methamphetamine heroin, MDMA and PCP combined. Drug abuse is ending too many lives too soon and destroying families and communities.

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