The opioid epidemic is crushing New York. Over recent years, death tolls have risen. According to the Center for Disease Control, overdoses are the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 55, passing up car accidents and gun violence. How could something so devastating take place so quickly?
Opioid users don’t always start out with heroin. Often times, someone will take prescription painkillers, and become dependent. When they are no longer able to legally obtain these, street drugs are easier to obtain and cheaper. Unfortunately, this can happen fairly easily due to the psychologically and physically addictive nature of the drug. In some cases, even just the legal, prescription painkillers become abused so heavily that they cause the overdose themselves.
Fentanyl is a huge cause of opioid overdoses. Its potency makes it attractive for dealers to add it to other street drugs to make them “stronger”. Drugs such as MDMA, cocaine, or Xanax might be cut with fentanyl. If the user is unaware, they can dose themselves with too much and the results can be grim.
Overdose is not the only risk that opioid use carries. The addiction is so strong that it can entirely change a person’s personality. Their work, family, finances, and more can all be affected. A person might be willing to do things out of character for them, such as steal, just to feed the addiction. Nobody asks for this to be their life, but this is what opioid use can lead to.
Beating opioid addiction is one of the hardest things a person can do. Physical withdrawal is harsh enough to make an addict go straight back to using, just to relieve the symptoms. The psychological withdrawal symptoms can cloud the user’s judgment. They might be unable to ignore the physical withdrawal symptoms just due to the psychological symptoms that make the drug seem so enticing.
Opioids are not a drug that can be easily stopped alone. Family and friends being available helps provide the addict with accountability and reminds them that they do have people who care. Treatment centers can be the difference between recovery and relapse. Inpatient ones allow an opioid user to withdrawal in a safe, supervised environment. That is referred to as detox. Once the detox period is over, the user is able to work with caring staff to understand what caused their addiction in the first place and what will keep them from relapsing again. Following inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and/or counseling can be utilized for years.
The opioid epidemic is scary in New York, but there are options available for those who want them.
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