The Opioid Epidemic: Where We are Now

More than 115 people die every day from an opioid-related overdose. Nearly 30 percent of all people prescribed pain killers misuse them. Nearly 80 percent of heroin users started out misusing opioids. These numbers are devastating, and they have had an enormous economic impact on our country as well. The total annual cost of the opioid epidemic is an estimated $75 Billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These statistics tell the story of the Opioid Epidemic in the United States.

While awareness has certainly increased and actions have been taken to combat opioid abuse and overdose, the epidemic is still in full swing. The number of opioid prescriptions has decreased and the requirements and regulations related to these prescriptions are much more stringent, the problem is far from over.

What Caused the Opioid Epidemic?

In the 1990’s pharmaceutical companies began releasing potent pain killers to be prescribed for pain relief. They claimed a magnitude of studies had been done that substantiated the theory that these drugs were not addictive. After much debate, many were released to the public and very shortly after, the numbers of overdoes skyrocketed. Opioids have proven to be effective pain relievers, but have also proven to be highly addictive. Studies have also shown a distinct correlation of opioid abuse and heroin use.   

What is being done to help?

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made progress in their efforts over the past few years. They are focused on increased access to treatment and recovery services like Hired Power. Increasing awareness of the help that is available for people in need has made an impact. HHS has also made public health surveillance a priority. The sooner the problems are noticed, the sooner the solutions can be put into place. Lastly, HHS has promoted addiction and treatment services like Hired Power to assist in offering cutting-edge research on addiction and treatment.

In addition to the efforts of HHS, the National Institute of Health, a department of HHS has prioritized research into ways to prevent opioid addiction, overdose, and pain management. NIH partnered with pharmaceutical companies to work together to create a solution that doesn’t contribute to the opioid epidemic. They are focused on finding non-addictive methods for pain management, increasing awareness of the consequences of opioid misuse, and overdose prevention.

The Opioid Epidemic involves all of us, no matter what race, gender or age. If you or someone you know may be dealing with opioid misuse or addiction, seek help now, don’t waste another precious moment. Hired Power is there to help before treatment, during treatment, and through the road to recovery after treatment. No matter where you are in the journey, Hired Power can help.  Please call 714-559-3919 to speak with a professional about opioid addiction.