The epidemic of opioid addiction continues to plague communities across the United States. Overdose deaths have reached an all time high. Some people may not realize just how close this crisis is to their doorstep. This is directly affecting our families, our neighbors and our colleagues a lot of times in secrecy behind closed doors.
Opioids are a broad term for substances that attach themselves to opioid receptors in our bodies that produce euphoria like effects and are commonly used to relieve pain. The term opioid includes opiates a older term that is used to describe drugs that are derived from opium, which is harvested from the poppy plant. Drugs that fall into this class of substances are morphine, codeine, thebaine, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl, buprenorphine and methadone. Some of these substances are manufactured illegally and some synthetically in lab to be prescribed to patients for medical purposes, mainly pain relief. Regardless of how they are manufactured all these drugs are considered to have high abuse potential. Let me assure you these substances are highly addictive and some people have become dependent on these drugs just after one use. If you are prescribed any of these drugs for pain relief it is imperative that you take them strictly as prescribed and for the least amount of time as possible. Never combine opioids with other types of medications like barbiturates and benzodiapines. When used in combination this drug cocktail increases your risk of an overdose exponentially. These drugs are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and insomnia. This includes medications like xanax, valium and klonopin. These are just a few there are many others. If you’re not sure what you or a loved one has been prescribed please call your doctor.
Here at Bay Area Recovery Center we have watched first hand the rise in opioid addiction through the numbers of clients we have treated for it. It is common for us find that many clients have accidentally overdosed before prior to seeking treatment. Most of whom thought it would never happen to them. Some are very lucky and never overdose but the risk is always high when abusing opioids.
Thankfully there is a medication called Naloxone, specifically designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This medication is an opioid antagonist. This means this medicine binds to opioid receptors in a person’s body and blocks the receptors, preventing them to respond to opioids. When someone is experiencing a opioid induced overdose first responders will administer this medication to counteract the effects of the opioids essentially bringing the patient back to life. Normally this medication is delivered intravenously or by intramuscular injection, however, within the last couple years Naloxone has been developed into a nasal spray as well. This nasal spray is a great breakthrough because friends and family of people who struggle with opioid addiction can now have access to Naloxone. Often times they are the first responders to overdose emergencies. This nasal spray allows them to help save a loved ones life when seconds matter. If you know someone that has an opioid addiction please research this medication and find a Naloxone & Overdose Prevention Training in your area. Knowledge is power and the life you save may be their own.
Upcoming Naloxone Training in the Houston, Texas area will be on:
Hosted by the Love Cassidy Foundation
Saturday – March 25, 2017
KC Event Center
2655 FM 1488
Conroe, TX 77305