In 2017, the United States government officially declared the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. After decades of uncertainty on the dangers of opioids, the United States now faces the reality of over two million Americans with opioid-related substance use disorders. Although the country is taking steps to undo the damage of prescription painkillers and other opioids, there are still millions of Americans who need treatment from a comprehensive addiction treatment program.
How Did the Opioid Epidemic Begin?
In the late 1990s, medical professionals began prescribing opioid painkillers to their patients, assuring that there was no risk for addiction. However, this oversight led to one of the United States’ largest crises: the opioid epidemic.
It was not until recently that the medical community realized the overwhelming addiction potential of prescription opioid painkillers. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers were so widespread by then that its use was already developing into prescription and non-prescription addictions. Those who received prescription painkillers became dependent on them, and many turned to alternatives when their prescriptions ran out. These alternatives included “doctor shopping,” taking loved ones’ prescriptions or using non-prescription opioids such as heroin.
Ending the Opioid Crisis
In 2016, over 11 million Americans misused prescription opioid painkillers. Of those 11 million, over two million had opioid-related substance use disorders, and nearly one million of those addictions were to heroin.
As a nationally recognized public health crisis, governments and the medical community are taking steps to end the opioid epidemic. Many medical professionals hesitate to prescribe opioid prescription painkillers unless absolutely necessary, and if they do they only prescribe enough for one week.
Parents and loved ones are also doing their part to end the crisis by locking away any prescription painkillers, or returning unused prescriptions to their pharmacies. Many communities also offer prescription drop off locations or events where families can return or destroy unused prescriptions.
While these steps help limit the spread of the opioid epidemic, ending the crisis depends on helping those with opioid addictions find the substance abuse treatments they need.
Addiction Treatment at New Bridge Foundation®
When it comes to ending a struggle with opioids, look no further than New Bridge Foundation®. New Bridge Foundation® is a comprehensive addiction treatment facility in Northern California with 50 years of experience. Our diverse and compassionate staff helps individuals work towards a healthier, substance-free life. We offer many addiction treatment programs to help clients overcome opioid addictions, including:
- Short-term residential rehab (Helios)
- Short-term outpatient rehab (Helios)
- Long-term residential rehab (START)
In each of these programs, clients have access to a variety of treatments, including individual counseling, group counseling, family program and help with dual diagnosis. Issues. To begin the journey and help end the opioid epidemic, call New Bridge Foundation® today at 866-772-8491.