DRUG ADDICTION

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others. These drugs are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but they are frequently misused (taken in a different way or in a greater quantity than prescribed, or taken without a doctor’s prescription) because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief. Regular use—even as prescribed by a doctor—can produce dependence, and when misused or abused, opioid pain relievers can lead to fatal overdose. The current epidemic of prescription opioid abuse has led to increased use of heroin, which presents similar dangers. According to a survey conducted in 2014 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in USA. This means 125 people die each day all across the United States. Since 2000 the Death rate in the United States increased 137% due to drug overdose, and a 200% increase in deaths due to opioid drug epidemic. The death rate due to prescribed opioid pain relievers has increased 9% while on the other hand death rate due to heroin increased 26% in recent years. We are making efforts to strengthen safer guidelines for prescribing opioid pain relievers to fight against the opioid epidemic.

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