Although the opioid addiction epidemic in the U.S. continues to escalate, the daily struggles of opioid users are often hidden from public view. Over 130 people die each day in the U.S. from opioid overdoses, and its widespread availability is largely to blame (CDC).
This crisis is far reaching, affecting adults, teens, and families across the country and from various socioeconomic backgrounds. Understanding the unseen struggle with opioid addiction can help you seek treatment sooner for yourself or a loved one.
How Addiction Develops
A nurse practitioner or physician may prescribe an opioid medication such as hydrocodone (Vicodin®) to relieve moderate-to-severe pain. While they relax the body and treat pain, opioids also cause people to feel a state of euphoria—one of the properties that make them so addictive.
Studies show that just five days of use can lead to the beginning of addiction. People addicted to opioids may take a higher dose than prescribed, struggle to cut down on use, use prescriptions intended for other people, or seek non-prescription drugs like heroin. The symptoms of withdrawal can be difficult to handle and may include symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, vomiting, and tremors.
Opioids: A Closer Look at a Growing Problem
An opioid may be either a prescription painkiller, like Vicodin® or OxyContin®, or an illegal substance like heroin. These drugs have highly addictive properties, and the number of deaths associated with their abuse grows every day. Here are some more facts on this epidemic:
- Opioid addiction can occur after just 5 days of use. (CDC)
- Around 80% of heroin users began their addiction with the use of prescription painkillers. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Young adults (ages 18 to 25) abuse opioids at a higher rate than other demographics. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- 20% of teens will misuse a prescription drug by their senior year of high school. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids will struggle with opioid addiction. (CDC)
How to Seek Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Young adults are at a high risk for opioid misuse and addiction. It’s important for parents and loved ones to recognize the signs and seek treatment as soon as they notice the symptoms. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available and hope is here.
Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction in teens in our guide. And call Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729 or visit our Rosecrance Lakeview center for adults or Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus for teens to seek treatment and to schedule your free consultation