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Opioid Addiction and Treatment

Opioid Addiction and Treatment

Opioids are a class of drugs that have been used since the 1990s as pain relievers. They work by reacting with opioid receptors in human cells once ingested from a poppy plant. When opioids are taken for a prolonged period, they may cause addiction, which is the harm caused by opioid drug pain relievers. They can also be found in illegal drugs such as heroin, which is known to be a killer as well.

The use of opioid drugs has been affecting the United States due to the increasing rate of addiction and has been worsening over the years, affecting the country in several ways. According to (“NIDA.NIH.GOV | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA),” 2022), in the United States during the year 2019, almost 50,000 people died from opioid-involved overdoses. The country also experiences financial expenses caused by healthcare costs and addiction treatment. Lack of productivity has also affected the country since addicted people are less productive, hence decreasing the country’s value.

However, there are forms of treatment available for opioid addiction, including detoxification and opioid maintenance. Detoxification works by eliminating or reducing the withdrawal symptoms experienced after ceasing the use of the opioid drug. Counseling is standard; people may join rehabs, get counseled, and eventually stop using the medicine. Opioid maintenance, on the other hand, is meant to help addicted people live without the disturbances of illicit drug use. The World Health Organization recommends this due to its cheap costs (Hedrich et al., 2012). As for methadone, treatment can be taken as a pill or liquid to reduce the patient’s withdrawal symptoms or cravings.

Lastly, if I had a friend or family member going through opioid addiction, I would advise them to undergo opioid maintenance treatment combined with counseling and support them emotionally and socially. According to (Lobmaier, Gossop, Waal & Bramness, 2010), therapy combined with social support strategies tailored to meet the patient’s needs is the best way to treat addiction. In conclusion, opioid-addicted patients should avoid overdosing prescriptions and prevent the medicine once they suspect addiction.

References

NIDA.NIH.GOV | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2022). Retrieved 16 March 2022, from https://nida.nih.gov/

Lobmaier, P., Gossop, M., Waal, H., & Bramness, J. (2010). The pharmacological treatment of opioid addiction—a clinical perspective. European Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology, 66(6), 537-545. doi: 10.1007/s00228-010-0793-6

Hedrich, D., Alves, P., Farrell, M., Stöver, H., Møller, L., & Mayet, S. (2012). The effectiveness of opioid maintenance treatment in prison settings: a systematic review. Addiction, 107(3), 501-517. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03676.x

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Question 


Opioid Addiction and Treatment

Opioid Addiction and Treatment

What are some ways that opioid addiction is affecting the United States?
What are some forms of treatment available to those suffering from opioid addiction?
If you had a friend or family member who has an opioid addiction, what sort of help would you recommend they seek?

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