Opioid abuse is a major problem in the United States, with prescription addiction being one of the biggest drug problems today. Prescription Opioid medications are relatively easy to obtain. It is estimated that over 200 million prescriptions for opiates alone were dispensed in 2010. What is not understood is that prescription opiate abusers are far more likely to develop a heroin addiction than a non-opiate abusers, one of the many reasons is heroin is far cheaper to buy.
You may hear the terms Opioid abuse and Opiate abuse, what’s the difference? Opiates are drugs naturally derived from the active narcotic components of the opium poppy, whereas Opioids are synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs. These are modified versions of the opiate chemical structure. Opioids usually reference prescription drugs. But the terms Opiates and Opioids are often used interchangeably.
Abuse of opiates, whether prescription drugs or heroin can have a serious impact on your health and wellbeing. The hazards of overusing opioids, sharing needles for injecting heroin or injecting pills that have been crushed has its own dangers. These substances and practices will affect almost every part of your body, leading to permanent damage to your health.
Here are some examples of Opiates:
- Oxycodone (trade names include: OxyContin and Percocet).
- Hydrocodone (trade names include: Vicodin and Lortab).
Oxycodone is the generic name for a range of opioid pain killing tablets. It is a prescription synthetic opioid which is being abused at epidemic levels. They are very potent and dangerous and it all starts in your medicine cabinet. When used improperly, these legally prescribed drugs have the same risks as illicit heroin sold on the street. 467,000 people in the United States have struggled with heroin addiction and over 2 million were estimated to abuse opioid painkillers.
Statistics recently released.
Statistics released by the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. These were broken down into different drug classes, example of which are below:
- Deaths from Heroin overdose 14,000
- Deaths from Synthetic Opioids 20,000
- Deaths from Opioid abuse 35,000
- Deaths from Benzodiazepine drugs 9,000
- Deaths from Cocaine abuse 10,000
Video: Courtesy of NIDA
One solution to Opiate abuse is to use our recognised drug test kits. They will instantly tell you what drugs are being abused. These are urine tests which will help to establish what drugs are being used. Tests for unknown pills and powder can also help establish your suspicions.