According to a recent study conducted by Trust for America’s Health, deaths that result from drug overdoses has risen in the United States. Overdose was the number one cause of injury deaths, showing that 44,000 people died from a drug overdose in 2013. This is double what it was in 1999. More than half of those deaths were related to prescription drugs, specifically opioid painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin.
Drug Overdoses Rising
More about opioids
Opioids are meant to be used to relieve pain, but they’re one of the most common forms of drug abuse in the United States. There are two natural products that stem from the poppy plant, morphine and codeine. All other pain relievers are synthetic modifications. Some of these (often abused) versions are called Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Percocet, Demerol and the well known street drug heroin.
Using prescription drugs as directed by a physician to treat current and chronic pain will more than likely not result in an addiction. These opioids produce a high when they’re injected or taken orally in higher than prescribed doses.
Signs of opioid abuse
If you’re worried about someone you know and love abusing these narcotics, some symptoms to look out for are fuzzy/woozy state, flushed skin, small pupils, slow breathing, slurred speech and confusion (just to name a few). Unfortunately for a drug user, symptoms of withdrawal are much worse, making it harder to have the willpower to stop. These symptoms include anxiety, muscle aches, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, tremors, loss of appetite and an increase in sweating.
Politicians take advantage of the issue
With the presidential candidates campaigning at full force, it’s the perfect opportunity for them to capitalize on the topic. In New Hampshire specifically, more than 300 people died of a drug overdose in 2014 from oxycontin and heroin. Ted Gatsas, mayor of Manchester, said “a dose of heroin is now cheaper than a six pack of good beer.”
As is evident by some of the candidate’s stories, drug policy is a personally important topic for them. On a recent trip to Farnum Center, a recovery facility in New Hampshire, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the story about a friend from law school who injured his back and got addicted to painkillers. “One Sunday morning, I got a phone call that they found him in a hotel with an empty bottle of Percocet and a bottle of vodka. And he was gone.” Christie’s position on the war on drugs is that resources should be put into treatment and recovery centers, instead of the current immediate next step, incarceration.
Since several politicians have their own personal stories, these types of opinions are now more mainstream, where in years passed, it would have been a taboo subject to discuss.
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If you or someone you love is suffering from opioid and narcotic addiction, it’s not too late to get help. Call 24/7: 1-800-861-1768 or Chat Live Now!Tags: celebrity deaths, drug overdose death, overdose deaths