Even after years of synthetic opioids and dangerous new designer drugs, heroin remains one of the most addictive substances known to modern medical science. This highly potent painkiller is derived from the same opium poppy that gave us morphine and other medically useful compounds. But heroin works quickly to hijack the chemical reward system in…
More than ten years ago, buprenorphine hit the market with critical acclaim from government officials and treatment professionals alike. It was seen as a helpful tool to use for opiate withdrawal, but was then later pushed as a maintenance drug as well.
The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses rose sharply in the first quarter of the year, putting the country on track for setting a new record for annual overdose deaths. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people in general and addiction services more specifically is also playing a role.
As the pandemic continues to make headlines, less attention is given to the rise in addiction-related deaths. The American Medical Association Advocacy Resource Center recently reported, “The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid- and other drug-related mortality
The lower 2018 numbers represented the first decline in U.S. drug overdose deaths in three decades and policymakers had hoped the decline marked a turn-around or plateau in annual drug-related deaths.
Any substance use while pregnant can harm the fetus, but of course the longer the substance use continues, the higher the risk becomes. Substance abuse treatment should start immediately if pregnancy occurs while addicted.
Opioid overdose deaths have declined slightly in the last few years, in part because of the availability of Naloxone. Commonly administered in emergency rooms or by first responders when an opioid overdose is suspected, Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose by attaching to opioid receptors, reversing and blocking the effects of other opioids in the system.
A recently released report suggests that there will be an increased need for recovery services in the years ahead.
Over the past 15 years communities have been affected, families destroyed, and thousands of individuals have died during the ongoing opioid epidemic. In only six years, statistics show that the rate of overdose deaths doubled from 21,089 in 2010 to 42,249 in 2016.
Despite all the hype new substances of abuse get by the media, opioids are still around and still taking a deadly toll on people who abuse them. But what are the facts about opioids?