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Prescription Opioids: How Did the Epidemic Begin?

Prescription Opioids - The Bergand Group

As long as the epidemic continues to rage on within the U.S., those who are committed to battling addiction will keep discussing it. Prescription opioids are still warring against people in need, and we have to figure out the best possible way to aid them and to guide them toward recovery.

Examining the Root of Our Prescription Opioids Problem

As has been said in the past, the key to beginning to turn this “problem” (to say the least) around is to identify its root cause. After all, opioids were once only given to this with extreme, or chronic, pain, and no one else thought to ask for them. These days, that’s obviously changed. At present, “5% of the world population (the U.S.) consumes 75% of the world’s drugs.” How did things get to this point?

“Money” is part of the answer. Pharmaceutical companies saw an opportunity to turn a profit by introducing painkillers more often into the market and then advertised the “benefits” of these prescription opioids. “This led the companies to advise physicians that addiction and adverse effects were non-existent with the new opioids,” which, of course, wasn’t true. A hunt for profit drove Big Pharma to deposit these pills into the hands of doctors who just wanted to provide the best aid for their patients, and that was the beginning of a dangerous snowball effect.

Not only were there no benefits, but there were instead a score of issues. Health professionals want to prevent any and all pain: an understandable cause, but one that has absolutely contributed to the overuse of narcotics. Meanwhile, the present numbers are staggering, with almost 20,000 deaths every year as a result of overdoses and over a third of the population reporting using a type of opioid in 2015. That second fact doesn’t mean that over a third of the population are abusing their prescriptions, but the potential for addiction is always there, meaning, at least, this fraction is at risk.

More worrying is how many people actually come to get possession of these drugs, as not all of them are the result of a doctor-given prescription. Many pills are passed from person to person, either via family or friends or sold on the street. Whatever the case, we are perpetuating this dangerous situation, particularly with the widespread notion that prescription opioids aren’t as worrying as other drugs. The truth of the matter needs to be more widely communicated, as does the reason that this epidemic rose into the spotlight in the first place.

There’s a tragic cycle within this scenario that is still going on in many places. Doctors offered painkillers following a surgery, patients may have requested more to continue dulling pain over time, and doctors give in to pressure in order to “do no harm.” The way to break this cycle may be for health care leaders to crack down on any and all prescriptions, but there will first have to be an understanding across the board that stricter enforcement is necessary.

To learn more about how to overcome a prescription opioids addiction, contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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