The Use Of Opioids And Its Effects On The Health Of An Individual Essay

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The United States is currently in the grips of an opioid addiction epidemic, in fact, in 2014 drug overdoses became the number one cause of accidental death in the United States, beating out both car accidents and gun violence (Opioid Epidemic, 2016). Of those drug overdoses, 60% involved an opioid. An opioid is defined as natural or synthetic chemicals that bind to receptors in your brain or body (Kirby, 2016). Opioids are typically prescribed to address severe or long term pain. Although they do a lot of good, when misused they can have deleterious effects on the health of an individual and are highly addictive.
Opioids and addiction
When used in moderation and as prescribed opioids are relatively safe. Unfortunately, they are often misused. Misuse of opioids include using it in conjunction with other controlled substances like alcohol or weed, taking it for longer than prescribed, taking more than prescribed, and using it in a way that it was not intended—for example, snorting or injecting it intravenously. This misuse increases the opportunity for dependence exponentially. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines dependence as something that occurs because of adaptations to long term exposure to a drug (Opioids affect the Body, 2016). This happens because of an increase in tolerance, which is the body’s ability to handle a substance—eventually the body is going to need greater doses to produce the same effects. Unfortunately, once the body stops
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