Opioid Epidemic In The United States

Daniela Zazueta, student-journalist

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The opioid epidemic is currently affecting people who take or abuse prescription drugs all over the United States.

These synthetic drugs are given by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but they can also have very harmful side effects.

It has become an epidemic, due to the fact that opioids have killed more people than HIV. From drug abuse to fatal overdose many people still continue to use these narcotics.

The Center For Disease Control (CDC) reports that these drugs have become a huge problem in the United States. More than 191 million people have dispensed these drugs in 2017.

The use of these narcotics has increased tremendously over the past two decades and it continues to rise each year. Hospitals proceed to give patients these pain relievers even though they are proven to be highly addictive.

Addiction to these sedatives can be very dangerous. Not only is the drug addictive, but it is also extremely difficult to get.

It blocks the feeling of pain and releases dopamine. When this is let go, the drug makes the brain free excessive amounts of it.

Regular use of these sedatives even if prescribed, can lead to misuse and dependence. The vulnerability happens when the body adapts to the presence of the drug.

Many people struggle with addiction, it is not easy to stop using them. Going through withdrawals since the body has already become dependent on the drug, some of the withdrawal effects include nausea, sweating, vomiting, fatigue, and stomach cramps.

People get a strong urge to use the narcotic. It goes on for 2 to 3 weeks to fully recover from a withdrawal.

Opioid drugs alter your brain by creating artificial endorphins. Besides blocking pain, these endorphins make you feel good. You also will need more opioids over time because of drug tolerance,” reports medical website Familydoctor.org.

It is no one’s plan to get addicted. Instead of using opioids, some people turn to off the street drugs since they are easier to get and in most cases, less expensive.

US News.com reports that things are much worse compared to how they were 20 years ago and that people are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car crash.

These depressants slow down breathing and most of the other effects are life-threatening. People do not realize the fact that these narcotic drugs are slowly killing off the population.

Unfortunately, there is no actual cure for addiction. There is only treatments or therapy.

Opioid deaths have become a national crisis that is continuing to hurt many people. Everyone needs to put a stop to it before it is too late.  

About the Writer
Daniela Zazueta, student - journalist

15 years old, 5’2, long hair, braces, and thin are just some things that describe Daniela Zazueta. She was born on June 29th, 2003 at Sharp Memorial...

1 Comment

One Response to “Opioid Epidemic In The United States”

  1. Lilina Sato on May 3rd, 2019 10:21 AM

    Good points about the negative effects. I wonder how the issue can be fixed…

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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