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Heroin & Opioids

Opioids are a class of pain-relieving drugs that work by interacting with opioid receptors in your nervous system (Brain and Spinal cord). Opioids include the illegal drug heroin, and prescription medications such as fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone and morphine.

Understanding the Epidemic:

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States:

  • From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose 
  • In 2017 alone 76,000 people died from opioid drug overdose.  This is more than the combined causalities from every war or military intervention since, and including Vietnam.
  • Around 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid
  • In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999
  • On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has also been monitoring the opioid epidemic and reports:

  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states
  • The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states

Withdrawal Signs & Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe depending on several factors, such as; drug, dosage, dependency, length of time using a particular drug, drug combinations, underlying medical conditions, history of addiction, previous trauma and stressful or unsupportive surroundings.

Early Signs & Symptoms:

  • Tearing up 
  • Yawning
  • Muscle aches
  • Agitation
  • Trouble falling and staying asleep
  • Excessive yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Nose running or nasal congestion
  • Hot and Cold Sweats
  • Racing heart
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Elevated Temperature

Late Signs & Symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps ("Gooseflesh")
  • Stomach cramps and aches
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Bone or mucle aches and pains

Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Opioid abuse and addiction is a serious health epidemic. If not addressed, can lead to death from overdose. Our goal is to assist patient’s suffering from substance abuse to not only understand the scope of the disease of addiction, but to recognize their full potential, free from chemical dependence.

The effects of opioid addiction can be far-reaching and devastating for all involved. Some of the most common effects from opioid abuse and addiction include:

  • Job loss
  • Financial Strain/Instability
  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration
  • Divorce
  • Single Parent
  • Abuse (domestic or child)
  • Broken relationships (family, friends, community)
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Declining Physical Appearance/Health
  • Liver Damage
  • Kidney Damage
  • Brain/Memory Damage
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Overdose
  • Death