The Epidemic That Caught Us By Surprise: Opioid Addiction

Opioid AbsueLike a tornado that comes rumbling through a town, like a train off its tracks, it destroys everything in its path, with no direct target. Sex, race, and socioeconomic status mean nothing. It starts as a storm and can quickly transform to destruction. Such is the epidemic our nation faces, Opioid addiction.

There is no face of someone affected by opioid addiction. He’s the coworker who quietly takes pills to help get through the day. He’s the father who stays up all night worried about his child. She’s the wife who beats herself up wondering where the line falls between loving and enabling. He’s the child who watches a parent change into someone he doesn’t know, but can’t understand why.  Who it affects has no face. It’s anonymous, quiet, yet it surrounds us.

But there is hope, opioid addiction help is out there for the people that need it, the people that were caught off guard and become addicted to drugs that were supposed to help them.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are drugs that reduce pain by switching off pain receptors in the brain. The CDC states that what has fueled the epidemic, begins in the doctor’s office and spills out onto the streets. Some of the more common opioids are Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. In order to some control, guidelines on prescribing opioids for pain was released from the CDC to ensure patients have safer, more effective treatment.

From Opioids to Heroin

While painkillers are prescribed and legal, heroin is not. Both are opioids and block receptors in the same way. Many heroin users begin with painkillers that were prescribed by their physician. The medication, when removed, can trigger a craving for the drug. When they can no longer get the prescribed medication, they then turn to heroin which is much cheaper.

Heroin use has skyrocketed to nearly 2 million users in 2015 and heroin-related deaths have increased by nearly 300 percent in recent years. There are several theories as to why this number has jumped so quickly. One theory is the crackdown on medications like OxyCotin(oxycodone), Vicodin(hydrocodone), and Morphine. Reports have found those addicted to prescribed painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse or be addicted to heroin and that 45 percent of those using heroin are addicted to painkillers.

Signs of Opioid Abuse

Some physical signs that someone may be using or abusing opioids include:

  • Noticeable elation/euphoria
  • Marked drowsiness/sedation
  • Confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Slowed breathing
  • Intermittent nodding off
  • Constipation

Other signs of opioid abuse include:

  • Doctor Shopping {getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors}
  • Shifting or dramatic mood changes
  • Extra pill bottles showing up in the trash
  • Social withdraw
  • Sudden financial problems

Withdraw symptoms can mimic flu symptoms and include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea/ Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to sleep

Help Is Available, Opioid Addiction Clinic

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, know that there is hope.  Addiction Outreach Clinic(AOC) has a team of drug addiction specialists that will guide you through your recovery treatment.  Treatment does work and has made a significant difference in the lives of many.  You’re not alone. #ThereIsHope

Whether treatment is for you, a family member or a friend, we are happy to speak with you about our outpatient drug treatment program, and how AOC can help patients with their opioid addiction recovery. Since 2007, AOC has helped thousands of patients on their path to recovery.

Please read more about AOC, or call us at 330-259-4849, or email to schedule an appointment – it’s fast, easy and confidential.


3 replies
  1. Charles Gebhard
    Charles Gebhard says:

    Thinking back, I utilized to have a friend that constantly took his narcos and additional pain reliever supplements even after his surgical treatment. Reading this, I simply hope that he never developed an addiction to opiate abuse.

  2. Randy
    Randy says:

    #ThereIsHope whenever you or someone gets addicted to opioid. Seek help as much as possible from professionals. Thanks for sharing this great post!

    • AddictionOutreach
      AddictionOutreach says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post,Randy! Thank you for reading and for reminding that professionals are there to help.


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