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Opioid Epidemic… Story by Catherine Ross

An epidemic. That’s what it’s being called. Why is this? It is being called an epidemic because 100 Americans are dying everyday due to opioid overdose, which means within a span of one month, 3,000 Americans will die. What exactly is an opioid? It’s a drug, however it’s not an illegal one. It’s a prescription drug. This drug is prescribed by local doctors and hospitals across the United States due to the fact it’s a cheaper option for their patients. This drug is used as a painkiller, for things ranging from broken bones, to chronic illnesses or diseases which cause the patient pain.

Opioids give a similar effect to that of morphine, which means it’s really good for those who are constantly hurting. Or at least that’s what the public thought. In actuality, opioids are highly addictive drugs, which can cause patient after patient to overdose. The dosage of the addictive drug increased this year, which is why the death count is much higher than before.

Mapping Opioids... From 2015, this map shows how the opioids overdoses increased considerably (Photo by: CDC)
Mapping Opioids… From 2015, this map shows how the opioids overdoses increased considerably (Photo by: CDC)

In 2015, 33,091 people died due to opioid overdose. Now, the death count is said to be higher than ever, as reported by CNN and the Washington Post, although no details on the death count have been released.

The addiction is spreading like wildfire, causing popular pharmacies to limiting the prescription refills to one week. One of the biggest pharmacies in the U.S, CVS, put a restriction on opioid prescription refills. But is it really stopping the issue? According to an article by the New York Times, the opioids are causing fear and panic to blossom in everyone. Patients are beginning to refuse to purchase these drugs. The prices on the opioids are lowering, but more and more people are becoming scared and are either spending a large sum of money on hospital prescribed drugs, or are choosing nothing at all. So on top of the painful overdoses, people are beginning to prefer constant pain rather than risk becoming addicted.

But is the addiction really that addictive or is it just tailored towards the same type of people? The effects that all opioid drugs can have, causes people much pain and suffering. However, pharmaceutical opioid drugs aren’t the only ones becoming a problem now. Non-prescription opioids have been becoming popular since 2010.

Overflowing Opioids… Various pill forms of opioids that are prescribed to those with chronic pains. (Photo by: Healthline)
Overflowing Opioids…
Various pill forms of opioids that are prescribed to those with chronic pains. (Photo by: Healthline)

The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis made an announcement which compared the opioid epidemic to that of September 11th.“With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks,” So what exactly is the United States doing to help this epidemic?

The president of the United States made a statement in August that it is considered a national emergency. The death toll is only climbing each day, which means more lives are lost and more families are destroyed. The problem is still at hand, and it’s only continuing to get worse. When will it stop? When will it no longer be an epidemic? Nobody can guarantee when the epidemic will cease to exist, but if it doesn’t get much more attention, it could very well wipe out far more people than it currently is.

If you or someone you know is currently taking opioids such as fentanyl, codeine, morphine, and opium and are experiencing symptoms of addiction, please don’t be afraid to contact this hotline. It’s important to get help as soon as possible as this addiction is extremely dangerous and more often than not, fatal. If you do find yourself or a loved one in a fatal situation due to opioid overdose, please call 911 immediately.

Opioid Hotline: 1-888-538-9831