Of the 63,600 drug overdose deaths reported in 2016, 42,249 were attributed to opioids. The effects on the brain of the two most commonly prescribed prescription opioids (hydrocodone and oxycodone) are virtually indistinguishable from those of heroin. The addictive nature of prescription opioids is partially responsible for the current prescription drug crisis and the huge underground market in which people buy and sell these drugs illegally.
As the U.S. faces the worst drug epidemic in history, veterans are statistically one of the most highly impacted groups when it comes to opioid addiction.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has entered the ring in the fight against opioid abuse. Recent mandates outlined in a new ADA policy urge dentists to limit, if not discontinue opioid prescriptions for dental pain and educate themselves on opioid abuse and the use of alternative pain medications.
Despite heroin use impacting people of all socioeconomic strata, from Middle America to Hollywood, the stereotypical image of a heroin addict persists. Many people still think of heroin users as painfully thin individuals with track marks up and down their arms. Although opioid abuse comes with a host of serious short-and long-term side effects, some drug-related changes in appearance might be more accurately attributed to a reckless lifestyle. For example, some users forgo food to buy drugs.
Certain types of hydrocodone, one of the most commonly prescribed opioid painkillers and the most commonly prescribed medication of any kind in the United States, can cause permanent hearing loss in people who abuse the drug.
Hydrocodone is currently the most commonly prescribed opioid painkiller in the United States. A semi-synthetic narcotic medication that is sold as a generic or under the brand names Vicodin, Hysingla, Zohydro, Norco and Lorcet, hydrocodone is also one of the most commonly misused or abused opioid painkillers.
The number of senior citizens with drug addiction is on the rise in the United States, and prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone and other opioids, play a major role in drug problems among the elderly. Opioid painkillers are the fourth most commonly abused substance among senior citizens in the U.S., following close behind alcohol, marijuana and stimulants.
Adults aged 50 and older are among the more than 3 million people in the United States who have opioid or opiate addictions. Overuse or misuse of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone is so widespread that President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public “health emergency.”
President Donald Trump recently held a news conference to declare the nation’s opioid epidemic to be a “Public Health Emergency.” He outlined a wide-ranging plan for addressing “solutions” to opioid addiction and stated emphatically that it is essential that addicted Americans are supported in obtaining opioid addiction treatment.
OxyContin is the brand name for an extended-release form of oxycodone, a prescription opioid painkiller that is one of the most overprescribed and misused medications in the United States. Highly effective, but also highly addictive in both the immediate-release and extended-release forms, OxyContin and oxycodone are prescription narcotics with opium-like effects.
Due to widespread overprescribing of opioid pain medications in the U.S. since the 1990s, more people are being exposed to narcotics and becoming addicted to them. This has resulted in the current opioid epidemic and escalating drug overdose deaths. But this problem is not new.
An international team of researchers has found that people age 50 and older who are affected by opioid use disorder die more often than their younger counterparts.
In America and certain other countries, opioid use disorder is the diagnosis used to identify people addicted to an opioid drug or medication, as well as people who develop a dysfunctional pattern of opioid abuse in the absence of addiction. Inappropriate consumption of an opioid substance can have fatal consequences, whether or not an individual meets the criteria for this condition. In a study published in December 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of Australian, American and British researchers assessed the odds that an older person with opioid use disorder will die at a relatively early age.
Opioid addiction, known formally in the U.S. as opioid use disorder, is known for its ability to produce seriously negative outcomes for affected individuals. Addiction specialists can help significantly reduce the impact of these outcomes by providing appropriate treatment options. However, the potential for problems does not end when treatment begins. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Addiction, an international research team looked at the long-term mortality rates of individuals who seek help for an opioid addiction. The researchers concluded that the vast majority of these individuals ultimately die from preventable causes.
Methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone are two of the primary medication options for treatment of people affected by opioid addiction. Both medications belong to a treatment approach called opioid substitution therapy. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from six U.S. institutions compared the effectiveness of methadone to the effectiveness of buprenorphine/naloxone. These researchers found that each medication option has its unique benefit as an opioid addiction treatment. They also found that relatively high doses of each medication produce better results than relatively low doses.
Personality disorders are entrenched patterns of thought and behavior that damage affected individuals’ ability to do such things as maintain friendships or relationships, maintain a productive daily routine or take advantage of social opportunities. The American Psychiatric Association gives doctors the freedom to diagnose 10 main forms of these disorders. In a study published in January 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, a Belgian research team assessed the impact of various personality disorders on the chances that a person will successfully complete an opioid addiction treatment program that uses an oral medication called naltrexone.