Among the many dangers of the opioid epidemic are the overdose risks. The key, of course, is to help addicts not only understand the benefits of substance abuse programs, but also to find the strength to take advantage of the opportunities they present.
As we note: “Long-term use also of opioids can lead to physical dependence – the body adapts to the presence of the substance and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly. This can also include tolerance, which means that higher doses of a medication must be taken to obtain the same initial effects. Note that physical dependence is not the same as addiction – physical dependence can occur even with appropriate long-term use of opioid and other medications. Addiction, as noted earlier, is defined as compulsive, often uncontrollable drug use in spite of negative consequences.”
CBS News reports: “Addiction is a disease, they’ll tell you, and the national opioid epidemic does not discriminate. With more than 115 Americans addicts can be found in homeless shelters, mansions or your own home.”
60 Minutes showed just how dire the situation can be for opioid addicts — and the role for Naloxone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, explains what Naxalone is and how it works: “Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.”
Click on the below 60 Minutes video to watch the report.