Opioid Crisis in the United States - Essay Prowess

Opioid Crisis in the United States

Opioid Crisis in the United States

 

Introduction

Opioids are classes of drugs that consist of banned substances such as strong pain relievers including fentanyl, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone as well as heroin. Statistics have indicated that about 33,000 individuals lost their lives due to excess use of opioids in 2015. Moreover, approximately, 1000 people in the country are treated each day in the emergency department for using opioids prescriptions (Dasgupta et al., 2018). Again, drug overdose is greatly contributing to the unintended loss of lives in the United States, and addiction to opioid is acting as a catalyst to this epidemic. Opioid crisis refers to the fast upsurge in the utilization of non-prescription and prescription opioid drugs in the country. The problem started in the late 1990s and is sustained in the past two decades (Hadland et al., 2016). Opioid crisis is a serious public health concern in the United States because of its health and economic burden.

Opioid is a drug, which attaches itself in the spinal cord and brain receptors interrupting pain signals. They also trigger the reward regions in the brain by emitting the hormone dopamine, establishing a sense of ‘high’ or euphoria (Cicero et al., 2016). Opioids such as codeine and morphine are naturally manufactured from poppy plants. The opium plants are widely growth in South America, Central America, and Asia. Morphine is used to derive Heroin drugs (Dasgupta et al., 2018). Oxycodone and hydrocodone are sub-synthetic opioids produced in laboratories with synthetic and natural ingredients. Hydrocodone is the most extensively prescribed drug since 6.2 billion pills of the drugs were dispensed across the country (Cicero et al., 2016). Reports from the International Narcotics Control Boards in 2015 highlighted that the consumption of

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