Opioids are drugs that are medically intended to be used as painkillers. They act on the nervous system to help provide pain relief. They come in the form tablets, capsules, and liquids. They remain on the top of the list of most continuously abused drugs.
Opioids are set of different drugs within the same category. Here is a list of fast facts about opioid and its addiction:
- Opioids, in the form of pills, are most frequently being used in the current opioid epidemic.
- The ingredient that makes it a prescription pill as well as the most abused substance is morphine. Morphine is a derivative that is found in the opium plant.
- Some street names of opioids include Cody, Captain Cody, Schoolboy, Doors and Fours, Pancakes and Syrup, Demmies, White Stuff, Monkey, Goodfella, and Apache.
- One of the most prevalent fast facts about opioid addiction is that cough medicines contain codeine which is a strong opioid drug that can lead to its addiction.
- The street version of opioids is heroin. Though it may not be pure, heroin is also derived from the opium plant. Heroin can be made with varying ingredients on the streets. This makes it one of the most dangerous substance to control.
- The reason these drugs are called as opioids is because of the way they interact with the opioid receptors of the brain.
- The coincidence of opioids receptors in the brain and the ones that are synthetically made or found in the opium plant is rather uncanny. Opiates found in brain receptors inhibit pain by lowering the heart rate. Opiates found in drugs work because of naturally-occurring opioid receptors.
- One of the fast facts about opioid addiction is that even though it’s a prescription-based narcotic, it rapidly causes dependency. It causes dependency because the drug does not administer the pain unless advertised to. The pain becomes unbearable as the drug wears off. This happens because the brain becomes dependent on the synthetic opium that stimulates opium in the brain receptors to help relief from the pain.
Following are some critical and fast facts about opioid addiction and its abuse epidemic:
- In the past 15 years, deaths due to opioid overdose has quadrupled. The drug now unfortunately claims the lives of more people than car crashes across the country.
- One of the most scariest facts about opioid addiction is that the American Society of Addiction Medicine has recently revealed that the number of prescriptions for opioids have quadrupled between the years 2000 and 2010. By the year 2013, more than 300 million prescriptions were written across the country. The number is scarily large as it is enough to get every adult American addicted to the drug.
- Prescription and over usage of opioids leads to heroin use. Opioid are less likely to lead to addiction. Still, about 5% of cases have developed addiction of heroin due to abuse of opiates. A survey revealed that 5 in every 6 people in the country used prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes.
- Fentanyl and carfentanil is 100 times more powerful and potent than morphine and have been causing high death rates among the drug abusers. Drug handlers usually use protective gear such as masks and gloves to prevent themselves from accidental exposure.