The opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on communities across the country. Over the course of the past two decades, more than 60 billion opioid pills have been delivered to providers across the country. The rippling effect of the opioid epidemic continues to ravage the nation, despite massive pressure on providers to be extremely cautious in prescribing these dangerous drugs.
Opioid prescriptions can be a slippery slope, and it’s very easy to think that all drug addicts are the same. The urgency of patients’ needs, the demonstrated effectiveness of opioids for pain management, and the limited alternative treatments for chronic pain have all led to an overreliance on opioid medications in the United States, with alarming increases in overdose and addiction.
When it comes to the opioid crisis, there are many misconceptions clouding the problem. While we help those who have been affected by opioids, we also want to help decrease the amount of overdoses and addiction.
Myths and Facts about Opioid Abuse
- Myth: The more you take the better they work. Fact: More does not equal better. Over time, people build up a tolerance to pain medicine. Taking too much pain medicine can cause tolerance to happen faster and your chronic pain could possibly get worse as well.
- Myth: If you take opioid pain medications for a valid reason, you can’t get addicted. Fact: Opioid pain medications have a highly addictive nature. Anyone can be at risk of developing an addiction to these medications, especially if they are taken for a long period of time. To avoid increasing the risk of becoming addicted to these types of medications, it is important to use them only as prescribed and talk to your doctor about your prescription and pain frequently.
- Myth: Opioid abuse only happens to people who make bad decisions. Fact: People may think that those who are addicted purposefully sought out the drug with the intent of abusing it. However, many people originally gain access to opioids through prescriptions from doctors.
- Myth: You should avoid use of opioid pain medications altogether. Fact: There are a lot of risks associated with use of opioids, but when used carefully for short periods of time, opioids can be effective ways to manage pain. It is important to always take these medications exactly as prescribed and work closely with your doctor in trying to find other effective ways to help manage your pain as time goes on.
- Myth: Terms like “addict” and “junkie” are okay to describe people who are struggling with addiction. Fact: Using degrading terms like these are dangerous because they aim to sum up an entire person with a negative trait, when in reality it’s just a person who needs help. It puts a stigma on those who are struggling and want to ask for help—they may feel too ashamed to seek professional aid in beating their addiction.
We understand how prescription opioid addiction can put someone’s life on hold or tragically cut it short. When major pharmaceutical companies benefit from pushing these drugs on to the market, they put the lives of innocent people at risk. We’re not afraid to hold them accountable for what they’ve done. For a free consultation with our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, contact us today.