Opioids trace back to 1775 when opium first became available in the United States. During the Civil War in the 1860s, opioids were used to treat soldiers who had experienced severe injuries. Sadly, many soldiers quickly became addicted to these powerful drugs, and by the early 1900s opioid abuse and dependence had taken the country by storm for the first time. In 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Act was passed, which began to limit the recreational use of opioid narcotics and mandated that they could only be prescribed by a licensed medical professional. After the Act was instituted, the rates of abuse and addiction declined steadily. However, they rose dramatically once again once prescription opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone hit the market in the early 1990s. Since then, hundreds and thousands of innocent men and women have lost their lives to opioid narcotics of all varieties. Opioids have always been extremely dangerous – ever since opium was first introduced. However, over the past several decades, opioid narcotics have become more dangerous than they ever were before.
How Did Opioids Become Dangerous?
When opioids were first introduced, they were very potent and habit-forming. Americans didn’t quite understand the severity of opioid addiction, and they handed out opioid medications readily – regardless of necessity. As time went on, the dangerous nature of these drugs became more and more apparent. Overdose-related deaths were occurring more regularly, and a clear line was drawn. When prescription opioids reemerged in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies assured medical professionals that they were all but harmless. They suggested they were not only safe to use, but they would not result in physical and psychological dependence unless they were blatantly misused. It was soon discovered that even when taken exactly as prescribed, these medications had the potential to result in addiction. Despite government crackdowns on distribution, many American citizens had already developed opioid addictions. Instead of seeking help to overcome their substance abuse disorders, they turned to heroin – which is often cut with fentanyl, a highly dangerous synthetic opioid that results in thousands of overdose deaths annually.
The Dangers Involved in Opioid Use
There are many dangers involved in opioid use – dangers that are more far-reaching than eventual addiction and overdose. Some of the additional dangers involved in opioid use include:
- Interpersonal issues. Active drug addiction of all kinds causes serious interpersonal problems, severely damaging relationships, and hurting those that are the closest to you. While most of these relationships can be repaired over time, reversing the devastation caused by addiction will take intensive therapeutic intervention and the willing participation of everyone.
- Legal issues. Many individuals who struggle with opioid addiction will face a wide range of legal issues by the time they seek treatment. Because opioids are so powerfully addictive, many people resort to illicit activities to support their habits.
- Financial issues. Financial issues are also extremely common among men and women who struggle with opioid addiction. Fortunately, with the right life skills training (which typically takes place in residential rehab), men and women can get back onto their feet with the support of financial counselors…
- Permanent health-related consequences. Many health-related consequences go hand-in-hand with active opioid addiction, from tooth decay and skin abscesses to permanent brain damage.
- The contraction of certain blood-borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. Rates of these bloodborne diseases are significantly higher among intravenous drug users.
- Homelessness. many men and women who struggle with opioid addiction will experience homelessness as a result of interpersonal
Evoke Wellness and Opioid Addiction Recovery
At Evoke Wellness we know that opioid addiction recovery is always possible when the right treatment program is in place. We believe that everyone should have access to effective and affordable healthcare, therefore we have developed an admissions process that is simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated. As soon as you or your loved one gives us a call, we will set to work developing a plan for your intake. We will help you figure out insurance coverage and travel plans – we know that this can be an exceptionally stressful time for everyone involved, and our main priority is making things as stress-free as possible. You look forward to speaking with you soon and helping in any way that we can.