One Type Of Legal Drug Is Killing Far More People Than Heroin - And Deaths Just Hit Record Numbers
In the past year alone, the amount of deaths caused due to drug overdose has increased by 14%. This spike is in the category of opioid painkillers, that is, opium based painkillers that are available over the counter or by prescription, and Heroin use.
This statistic was recently revealed by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention report on drug overdose. It is an astonishing increase and we must ask ourselves why.
It is a truly shocking discovery that the most commonly prescribed opioid painkillers such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone were the reason for more drug related deaths than any type of drug. It caused a whooping 9% of all overdose related deaths.
In fact, between 2000 and 2014, an approximate of half a million Americans died from overdose involving these drugs. Filling the void inside you with legal drugs like painkillers or illegal ones like Heroin can lead one down a self destructive path. Why does this happen?
#3 Heroin and Prescription Pills
Research shows that prescription and over the counter pills act similarly upon the brain as hard illegal substances like Heroin or Cocaine. Research has suggested, such as the words of CDC director Tom Frieden, that abusing opiates can make people more susceptible to future Heroin abuse. In fact, a report released by the institution in July found that opiate painkiller users were 40 times more likely to abuse Heroin.
Prescription medication is cheap and easily available over the counter, making it a fatal gateway drug. When ingested, both Heroin and prescription pills get converted by the brain into Morphine. Morphine's property as a painkiller is universal. Morphine combines with certain molecules in nerve cells located in our brain and body that perceive pain. There is a surge of euphoria; a rush. What follows can be deadly.
#2 Drug Overdose
After the preliminary rush of the drugs, the person's skin gets warm, his arms and legs begin to feel weighed down and heavy and more crucially, his thinking slows down. Overdose is caused by the simple process of pain receptor cells, also called opioid receptors. The problem lies in that the brain stem also contains these receptors. The brain stem is the center of all automatic processes such as blood pressure and breathing.
An overdose of morphine to the receptors can stop the body from breathing, causing brain damage, coma and death. A recent survey showed that 3 in every 1000 Americans are Heroin users. This is compared to 2 per 1000 in the previous decade. This is a 62% increase. As mentioned earlier, half a million people died in the last decade in America due to drug overdose. Drug addiction and drug treatment is a difficult thing to deal with, and prescription pills are making addiction easier.
#1 Struggles Of A User
The girl in the picture is Billie Fisher. She began taking the drug Naloxone a few years ago, in order to reverse her heroin addiction. Fisher explained that after being on Heroin for years, she was in an emergency room in painful withdrawal. Naloxone works most of the time to help the withdrawal process, but national statistics aren't kept up to date with regards to long term cure. Some end up overdosing again immediately afterward.
Some people manage to get treatement and stay clean, but there is a limited insurance and health care coverage, very high costs of treatment medication, and a shortage of drug rehabilitation homes. This leads to a difficulty in reversing the path of addiction. Filling the void inside you with legal drugs like painkillers or illegal ones like Heroin can lead one down a self destructive path.
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