There are many threats to health that people are faced with every other day, but there is perhaps none more dangerously deceptive than opioids. The nature of opioid addiction is far more excruciating than anyone who has not experienced it, either themselves or from the sidelines, can possibly comprehend. While of course any kind of addiction is harrowing in its own right, opioid addiction is such because it can creep up on people, with many users not realising how dependent they are upon the drugs until their prescription runs out, or the effects begin to dissipate more and more over time. Every year, more and more people lose their lives to opioid addiction, with the problem becoming so common that it has now essentially bloomed into a full-blown epidemic of global proportions. In the USA alone, hundreds of thousands of people have died from overdosing on opioids. It is an uncomfortable truth, and it is one that is in dire need of attention and viable solutions. Finally, at long last, those solutions are presenting themselves.
Designed to be drugs to help with pain management and treatment of other illnesses, opioids are often deceptive from the onset. Because they are prescribed to individuals as a means of dealing with pain and other illness offsets, people take them as prescribed – often without being forewarned about the side effects of such medications. By nature, opioids are addictive, and so it is imperative that individuals taking them are aware of this fact, and keep an eye on their use. Sometimes, even the prescribed amount is too much, so taking the time to mentally check oneself along the road to recovery is crucial to ensuring that one is doing everything they can to avoid addiction. Further, opioids’ effects begin to dissipate over time. This means that oftentimes individuals start to seek out opioids that are stronger, oftentimes even being unaware of this key trait of the drugs, due to lack of awareness or lack of understanding.
Addiction is a terrifying ordeal, and once one has fallen down that hole far enough, it becomes exceedingly difficult to find their way out of the darkness. Opioid addiction has been treated with the same negative attitude that all other forms of addiction have been throughout the years. This stigma has arisen thanks to misunderstanding and a lack of willingness to be open and supportive in the face of such a dangerous health risk. More than anything else, it is important to remember that lives will continue to be lost as long as we continue to approach opioid addiction (and all forms of addiction, for that matter) from a point of negative approach. Quite simply, we must be willing and able to do the work to create a more positive approach in the future towards this health risk, or be willing to watch the death toll continue to rise exponentially, year after year. And is anyone okay with that?
The fact is that opioid addiction recovery is a long and challenging road. Successfully navigating its reaches demands a lot of energy, time, and even money. It is not at all uncommon for an individual struggling with opioid addiction to have to take the pathway multiple times before the approach sticks and they find their way out of the darkness (if they ever reach that point at all). The millions of lives that have been lost, and continue to be lost, around the world in the face of opioid addiction tell the harrowing tale of an attempt to better lives going horribly, even fatally, wrong. While there is movement to encourage a more positive approach to opioid addiction and the road to recovery now, there is still a long way to go, and much work to be done. We are amid the beginning of a battle that is going to take a lot of energy, money, and time to correct, but it is entirely worth it.
Addiction in any capacity, on any substance, or in any other form, is undeniably shocking and terrifying. This much is true. However, there is an additional layer to opioid addiction that makes it especially dangerous. That layer is the fact that opioids are often prescribed medications designed to help individuals overcome pain and other symptoms of illnesses or other health issues. Often, what occurs is that individuals do not even realise they are addicted to these medications until their prescription runs out or they start to realise that the effects are not as strong as they once were. That is the nature of opioids; unfortunately, they can be addictive, and this is where the trouble often (if not always) sprouts from first and foremost. A prominent form of addiction, opioid addiction has been treated with the same bad attitude as all forms of addiction – until now. Finally, the tides are turning, and we are creating a more honest, open, and supportive foundation for those suffering with opioid addiction to come forward.