The opioid crisis in the country has affected nearly every state, including Kentucky. Luckily, there are treatment facilities and rehabs in Louisville, Kentucky in place to help those who have fallen victim to addiction.
While drug overdose deaths overall have been rising in the state of Kentucky for the last few decades, this has mostly been fueled by the larger opioid crisis that has affected so many Americans. It is important to learn about opioids so that you can properly recognize a problem before it gets out of control.
Let’s take a look at what opioids are and the effects that these substances can have on people.
The Common Effects And Symptoms of Opioids
Before we look at the effects and symptoms associated with opioid use, let’s first examine what exactly opioids actually are.
Opioids are a class of drugs that are naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Opioids are often used as medicines and medications as they contain chemicals and substances that can be used to relax the body and relieve pain. Along with these effects, the substances can have psychoactive effects on the body and brain. This means that many people who take these substances will feel relaxed or a “high” this is why these substances can be used recreationally for non-medical reasons.
Unfortunately, when these substances are not used in a medical setting, they can be very dangerous and highly addictive which can make overdoses and death common.
Some of the common opioids that are prescribed include hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphine, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and more. It should also be noted that heroin is an opioid as it is derived from the poppy plant.
Opioids work by binding to and activating opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs that are in the body. The organs that are most affected are the ones that are involved in the feelings of pain and pleasure. Opioids will attach to these receptors and block the pain signals that they may experience. Opioids will also release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body, unfortunately, the release of this substance can reinforce using this drug and make the user want to keep using, which can lead to dependence, withdrawals, and addiction.
Let’s take a look at some of the common effects that people exposed to these substances will experience.
In the short-term, opioids will have a number of different effects on a person’s physical and mental health. Some of the common effects include:
- Slowed breathing
The slowed breathing effect that opioids can have is something that can lead to more serious problems such as hypoxia, a condition in which the brain receives too little oxygen which can cause many long-term psychological and neurological effects such as coma, brain damage, and even death in some cases. This is one of the long-term problems that can be associated with opioid use.
According to some studies, there are a number of different effects that come from using opioids in the long-term. According to one study published in the Pain Medicine peer-reviewed journal, found that long-term opioid use can lead to multiple psychological risks and consequences associated opioids including an increased risk of depression, abuse/misuse of medication, and overdose.
Obviously, overdoses are serious and life-threatening events that can lead to major health issues, including death.
Symptoms of Overdose
If you are worried that you or a loved one may be dealing with some sort of opioid addiction of dependence, it is important to learn more about opioid overdoses and the symptoms that people will go through when they are experiencing an overdose.
Overdoses are caused by taking more opioid medicine than you are prescribed, taking an extra dose of the opioid prescription or taking it too often, or mixing this medication with other substances such as alcohol.
Some of the common signs of opioid overdose include:
- A person’s face and body is pale and clammy to the touch
- Limp body
- Fingernails or lips have a purple or blue color
- Slowed or stopped heartbeat
Opioid overdoses are something that has caused a number of problems in the country over the past few years as the opioid crisis and larger drug overdose has taken over in the United States.
Let’s take a closer look at this problem that is uniquely American.
The Dangers Of The Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis in the United States is something that has taken control of the country over the past two decades and led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans during that time period.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day more than 130 people in the country die after overdosing on opioids. But, how did we get here?
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies allegedly began to use deceptive marketing tactics to influence health care providers and push their prescription drugs to the masses.
One specific case of this is Purdue Pharma and their drug, OxyContin.
The company has been sued by thousands of local governments for its role in creating and sustaining the opioid crisis that has killed so many Americans. While some of these cases are still pending, others have already settled, with the company having to pay $270 million to Oklahoma. The company even filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Essentially, these lawsuits have claimed that Purdue Pharma failed to accurately describe the dangers and risks associated with their substances which lead to opioids like OxyContin becoming so popular in the country.
Unfortunately, these alleged tactics are what led to opioids become such a problematic and dangerous problem that has affected so many states and citizens across the country.
Opioids in Kentucky
One state that has been adversely affected by the opioid crisis is Kentucky. In 2017, there were 1,160 reported opioid-related deaths in Kentucky, and that death rate was nearly double that of the national rate.
From 1999 through 2015 in Kentucky, prescription opioids were the underlying cause in the majority of drug overdoses in the state. By 2017, the main contributor to opioid-involved deaths shifted to synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl which contributed to over half of all drug overdose deaths in the state at that time.’
Part of the reason for this rise in opioid-related deaths in the country has been due to the high prescription rates across the nation and in the state of Kentucky. For example, in Kentucky, the prescription rate peaked in 2011 at 137 prescriptions per 100 persons, this number is much over 100 percent higher than the national rate of 58.7 prescriptions per 100 persons.
With the rise in opioids and drugs overall in Kentucky and in the country overall, many organizations, such as treatment centers and recovery facilities have stepped in and tried to mitigate these problems and help those who are suffering from substance abuse disorders and addiction.
If you are looking for substance abuse treatment, you can look nationally or locally for help.
Louisville Based Treatment
Landmark Recovery is one rehab in Louisville that is here to help patients with whatever problem that they are dealing with. Landmark has a number of care services in place to help patients who are dealing with substance abuse problems.
Landmark Recovery in Louisville has many different evidence-based treatment options in place to help patients with their respective substance abuse disorders.
Some of the common treatments that are used to help patients during Landmark’s individualized care program include medication-assisted treatment, detoxification, therapy, and an intensive outpatient program to help patients following discharge.
Landmark Recovery in Louisville
If you are interested in learning more about how Landmark’s rehabs in Louisville, KY and Carmel, IN can help you overcome addiction and to get your free consultation, please reach out to our admissions team today. Landmark’s goal is to help one million families over the next 100 years. We are dedicated to achieving this goal and helping each and every one of our patients live the life they’ve dreamed.