Opioid dependency is a severe health crisis with epidemic proportion in the U.S. Once considered only to affect military veterans, it has now spread to all sections of our society. Millions of people especially the elderly are affected by this scourge. Opioids are used to relieve pain and sometimes prescribed during dental procedures, surgery, and treatment of injuries.
They prescribe them to people with chronic illness like cancer. Prescribed opioids can become addictive when stolen or misused for recreational purpose. Below is what you can learn from the opioid crisis.
The most common opioids include heroin, morphine, and painkillers. Lots of people from all walks of life are suffering from opioid addiction. It affects people of all ages. This crisis has primarily affected teenagers, women, and older adults. It has left many Americans with severe physical and mental problems.
Dependence on opioids has ruined lots of lives emotionally, socially, physically and financially. The opioid crisis has destroyed Families, professions, and jobs. Further, there has been a crop up of a dangerous and burgeoning black market for illicit drugs on the streets.
Prevalence of the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic has impacted on the old in various ways. It has significantly contributed to the unprecedented abuse of elders by addicted relatives. A report by the Boston Globe in 2016 discovered a thirty-seven percent increase in elderly abuse in Massachusetts since 2011. People were found to indulge in using substances while living with their grandparents.
The gullible elders become easy prey to these addicts. They usually target security or pension checks their grandparents receive. It is because the addicts continuously need money to finance their addiction. So, their grandparents become soft targets. Some of the problems the elders are subjected to by these addicts include the following.
Disappearance of valuables and cash
It is not cheap to maintain a steady flow of drugs and pills. Addicts need enough money to finance their habit. However, most of them are jobless. The addiction renders most of them incapable of continuing with their jobs. The easily find a way out by stealing items like jewelry, money plus other valuables from home. They take whatever can generate money. It explains the prevalence of theft cases of such things in the community.
There are cases of physical damage inflicted on the elderly by drug addicts. It is understandable why the fire department, police, and medical service crews are now more vigilant. They put in all to track incidents of related nature. A campaign was introduced to check for unusual bruises on forearms and wrists of elders. They might be a result of scuffles with grandchildren who are addicts. These might try getting money from their grandparents through duress.
Diligent searches inside the home are recommended. They might reveal some dark secrets about what goes on. It is a big problem which does not affect Massachusetts.
To get rid of an opioid addiction is a tricky situation since it involves the use of medication. Opiate addiction rehab requires long-term therapy for success. However, it is not easy for many addicts to adhere well to treatment. Many people disengage from medicine, yet it is crucial in getting their lives back to normal. Some ways of containing the epidemic are below.
Containing the violence at home
There is need to create awareness among the population. It helps to assure the elderly of safety. Helplines plus quick response numbers can be availed. These can help one reach for help at a touch of a button. Families of addicts have to protect grandparents from the potentially dangerous grandchildren.
It is better to get proper treatment for anyone suffering from opioid addiction. It is more of a disease than a crime. So, it is imperative to take each addict to a rehab center if the opiate crisis is to be eliminated from the society.
Understanding an opioid addiction
In medical terms, addiction is a complex and severe chronic condition which gravely affects one’s brain function and behavior. According to WebMD, the symptoms of addiction include:
• Unbearable craving
• Dilated pupils
• Chills and goosebumps
• Abdominal pains
• Severe negative moods
Those distressing symptoms might last from hours to days and even weeks. After the symptoms, one might experience persistent discomfort for weeks. Thus, medication is necessary to retrain the person from reverting to drugs. Medication suppresses the agony of withdrawal symptoms in the detoxification process.
Further, it is also beneficial when re-establishing proper functioning of the brain.
Alternative treatment for opioid addiction
Apart from medication, an addict can receive help with his lifestyle choices as a way of becoming from addiction. To get addicted to opioids is more than having uncontrollable cravings. The person needs treatment which addresses the various facets of seeking compulsive drugs. According to NCBI, behavioral therapy contributes to modifying the attitude of a person towards drug abuse. It also enhances healthy life skills.
This treatment might include individual or group counseling, motivational interviewing and incentives. Behavior treatment helps a person to engage better in the treatment process. It improves the effectiveness of medicine which helps the patient stay longer for treatment. Expert help is needed to support an individual fight opioid addiction. It helps the person to cope better with withdrawal symptoms, behavior and lifestyle plus any potential triggers which might lead to relapse. A combination of treatment and therapy is essential to get back to sober living.
You can overcome opioid addiction can with the right treatment. Using an appropriate approach yield desired results in combating the opiate crisis. For people escaping from the jaws of opiate addicts, look into inpatient drug rehab that offers the highest quality care.