Contrary to popular belief, the addiction of drugs doesn’t usually start with hard drugs such as heroin or crush. Although you might not believe it at first, over 100 people in the United States die every day from an overdose of an opioid. Between the years of 2000 and 2016, there were more than 600,000 documented cases of prescription drug overdoses. Two years ago, in 2016, there were more than 63,000 deaths from drug overdoses, according to a report released from the CDC in December 2017.

Studies show that when doctors in the United States administer narcotics to their patients, well over 95 percent of them give out prescriptions that overstep the federally recommended dosage limit of three days. In addition, a recent study indicated that considerable numbers of those who overdose on their prescribed narcotics are issued another prescription for either the same or a similar product within just six months.

According to another study conducted in 2016, almost 12 million Americans have abused opioid prescription painkillers during that year. Abuse of prescription painkillers is a very serious problem in the United States that really needs to be addressed.
If you’re wondering how addiction happens, here’s the condensed version. Addiction is actually considered a chronic disease of the brain that causes compulsive drug use and seeking, even though it causes harm to both the user and to others.

Dependence on drugs is an extremely complex process. The user is typically unable to stop the use of drugs under their own power. Just because someone is addicted to drugs doesn’t mean that they have bad character or are immoral; it simply means that they got in over their head and aren’t able to get out of it. As a matter of fact, complex changes in the circuitry of the brain occur. This is what makes it so hard for a user to resist the intense impulses to consume the drugs. And if the user is in a non-supportive social environment, it can be even harder to get out of the addiction. Even if the user is able to stop using the drugs, they are at a very high risk for relapsing. The good news is that there are very effective ways to detox from drug use and stay clean for the rest of the person’s life.

If you or someone you know is addicted to prescription drugs, consider contacting your general practitioner today for assistance in quitting.