While Americans have been focused on the virus pandemic, we’ve lost sight of the worst drug epidemic in our history. Opioid overdoses continue to take lives daily and the numbers are shocking. In fact, since the virus mandates began, opioid use has increased significantly.
According to researchers, the death toll from drug overdoses reached nearly 100,000 between March 2020 and March 2021. That is a 30 percent increase from the year before and it is a record high. Almost 80 percent of the overdoses involved opioids.
Why Are People Using More Opioids Today?
Opioid overdoses have been on a steady incline for years. But, the virus pandemic contributed to further increases in opioid use for several reasons. Many people are stressed about contracting the virus. Some of them lost their jobs and are struggling financially because of the mandates. So, they turned to drugs and alcohol to help them cope with the unwanted changes in their lives.
People who use opioids to manage anxiety and depression often have misinformation about the dangers of these drugs. Many believe the drugs are safe if they are obtained by prescription. In truth, legal opioids can be as deadly as illicit ones if used improperly.
Debunking the Myths About Opioid Overdoses
Opioid users need to understand the truth about opioid dangers and stop believing the life-threatening myths about overdose. We will debunk some of the most common myths about opioid overdoses and hopefully, this information will save lives.
Myth: Experienced Opioid Users Won’t Overdose
Fact: This myth is one of the major contributors to overdoses. Someone who has used opioids for long periods may have a high tolerance. If they increase the dosage to get the desired results, overdose is likely.
Myth: A Cold Shower Will Bring Them Around
Fact: According to experts, cold showers or baths will not help an overdose victim. Why? Because opioid overdose causes respiratory depression. Water will have no effect on the person’s ability to breathe normally. Also, cooling the person’s core temperature can slow down their bodily functions even more.
Myth: Injecting Salt Water or Milk Will Halt an Overdose
Fact: This myth is totally untrue and highly dangerous. Injecting milk or saltwater can cause cardiac arrest.
Myth: Inducing Vomiting Will Help
Fact: Giving a person something to drink during overdose can cause vomiting. This action could place the person at risk of choking to death.
Myth: Calling 911 Could Mean Criminal Charges
Fact: When someone overdoses, you should not hesitate to call 911. All 50 states have some form of “good samaritan” laws that provide legal protection for bystanders in an overdose situation. The fear of criminal charges should not interfere with calling for life-saving help.
Fentanyl Is a Major Cause of Fatal Opioid Overdoses
During the virus pandemic, many illicit drug supply chains were interrupted. Street dealers had to find creative ways to increase profits. They began lacing heroin, meth, marijuana, and other drugs with fentanyl. Since fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine, it only requires a small amount to produce the euphoric effects desired. Fentanyl is also cheaper, so adding it to other drugs was a way to stretch the supply and improve profits.
People who buy drugs from unscrupulous street dealers don’t know they are getting fentanyl. As a result, many of them die from an overdose. About 46% of fatal overdoses are attributed to the presence of fentanyl in a person’s system.
Because of the increase in opioid and fentanyl overdoses, it’s wise to learn how to administer naloxone (Narcan). This drug can reverse an opioid overdose by blocking opioid receptors in the brain. Many first responders are being trained to administer naloxone which has resulted in many saved lives.
Effective Treatment for Opioid Addiction at Design for Change
The best prevention for opioid overdoses is a professional opioid addiction treatment program. At Design for Change Recovery, clients benefit from a customized, comprehensive program designed around their specific needs.
Our program offers a range of evidence-based therapeutic modalities to ensure our clients achieve wellness of body, mind, and spirit for lasting recovery. We provide the following therapies to help clients develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to maintain sobriety for a lifetime:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Family Therapy
- Holistic Programs
Depending on a client’s needs, we provide inpatient, outpatient, and extended care programs. We work with various insurance providers to help clients get the treatment they need. If a person doesn’t have insurance we will work with them to make other financial arrangements.
If you need help overcoming opioid addiction, please contact us at Design for Change in Lancaster, CA today. One of our representatives will assist you in creating a treatment plan suited for your unique needs and get you on the road to recovery soon.
- washingtonpost.com – Opinion: US Overdose Deaths are Soaring
- odprevention.org – What is Naloxone?