Opioids, The Biggest Killer In America

Max Kincaid, Staff

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The United States has faced many problems and conflicts since our nation was born. One dreadful problem that occurs in the United States is the abuse of opioids. The earliest discovery of opioids was in 3,400 B.C. in Mesopotamia. It was then given to Assyrians who then later passed it onto Egyptians. China also acquired this drug through the Silk Road in the mid 1800s. The British gave the Chinese opium and then they became addicted. When the Chinese came to America to work on the railroads and help during the gold rush, they brought their addiction with them. Opium dens, which are places to buy and sell opium, were built in America and that’s how the opioid crisis started.

To solve this issue we first need to know what opioids are. Opioids are drugs such as Heroin, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Codeine, and Morphine. Opioids attach to receptors in the brain and block pain, slow down breathing, and also act as an anti-depressant. Opioids also go for the reward system in the brain by overflowing the brain with dopamine. This causes people to be addicted and act up. Opioids have many bad effects on the human body when abused, the worst case scenario being possible death. Opioids cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, liver and brain damage, and dependence. These addicting substances are the cause of an escalation in drug abuse and deaths in America.

Around ten percent of Americans abuse opiates, but for teenagers it is a different story. About forty-two percent of teens have tried these drugs illegally, but only sixteen percent of these teens abuse opiates. Since last year, over sixty-four thousand people have passed away due to overdose and these numbers have exceeded deaths from car crashes and gun deaths. Car crash deaths are around thirty-eight thousand people and gun violence, which includes homicides and suicides, are over thirty-six thousand people. The opioid epidemic needs to be brought to a halt as soon as possible.

The best possible solution to stop the crisis is to seek treatment. Abusers can go to rehab for help. Depending on how much drugs you take and what kind of drugs you take, doctors will create rehab plans that will tailor to the needs of the particular patient. Parts of rehab include therapy, detoxification, and then they have to do a recovery stage. There are even two different types of rehab; inpatient and outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehabilitation is where a patient receives twenty-four hour care in the rehab facility. Outpatient rehabilitation is where patients meet professionals a couple of times a week during open hours. Out of the two, inpatient rehab is better because the patient is supervised all the time and they are not tempted to go get drugs. The United States has a budget to help stop this epidemic, but forty-five billion dollars can only do so much.

Abusing drugs happens all over the United States even in a small community. There was a video made right here in Allegany county about addicts around this area. One person was a nurse who was afraid to feel withdrawal after an injury so she illegally used opioids to make her feel better. Some of the people in the video just tried them and got hooked. One fortunate individual from the video got sober and told the audience that it is not worth it to do drugs. A student at Cuba-Rushford, Trenon Zeager, was asked by his BOCES teacher to edit the video. When asked what he learned he said “you can’t ever give up when you think there is no hope; there is always hope.” Trenon feels really saddened by this topic. “… more sad but also worried that we don’t have the programs to help these people really around here.” Trenon also thinks that more people should be informed about this topic. “Such a serious topic should be brought upon the attention of everyone around this area because you would think something like this is more of a city problem.”

Many Drugs are abused in the United States, but the drugs that have made the biggest impact on our country are opioids. Overdose death rates have sky rocketed in the past year and this problem is also closer to home than many other people think. If someone needs help for drug abuse or drug addiction call 1-800-662-4357.

 

Opioids

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids

 

Statistics on Opiate Addiction in the United States

Statistics on Opiate Addiction in the United States

How to Help an Opiate Addict

How to Help an Opiate Addict

Inpatient Or Outpatient Treatment: Which Should You Attend?

Inpatient Or Outpatient Treatment: Which Should You Attend?

Survey reveals shocking levels of teen drinking, drug abuse

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/survey-reveals-shocking-levels-of-teen-drinking-drug-abuse/

$45 Billion to Fight Opioid Abuse? That’s Much Too Little, Experts Say

 

Cannabis, Coca, & Poppy: Nature’s Addictive Plants

https;//www.deamuseum.org/ccp/opium/history.html

Overdose Death Rates

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than guns

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/drug-overdose-deaths-heroin-opioid-prescription-painkillers-more-than-guns/

 

 

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