So many lives are affected by prescription opioids. It’s common for someone to know someone who is addicted or be addicted themselves. Some may also know the pain of losing someone to an opioid overdose. When it comes to the opioid crisis, there are many misconceptions clouding the problem. While we help those who have been affected by opioids, we also want to help decrease the amount of overdoses and addiction development. People need the correct information so they can look at the problem with clarity and understanding so they can work toward finding a solution. Let’s look at some of these misconceptions.
What Are Some Misunderstandings Concerning Opioid Abuse?
It’s very easy to think that all drug addicts are the same. This line of thinking allows people to separate themselves from those who are addicted, making it a problem for other people. However, this is not the way that solutions will be found. A perspective of compassion and empathy is the first step toward educating oneself about opioid abuse misconceptions. Let’s take a look at those now:
Opioids aren’t that addictive. Many people may brush off those who have an addiction. They think that it’s because the person’s willpower isn’t strong enough and it’s simply a problem in their head. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Opioids change brain chemistry. As the person continues to take the medicine, their body can develop a tolerance for it—meaning they’ll need more to feel the relief they’re seeking. But this often results in them taking too high a dose of opioids. Addiction is when the person continues to take the drug even if they wish they could stop or are experiencing negative affects of the drugs. They lose their sense of control and this can be terrifying to many people.
Opioid abuse only happens to people who make bad decisions. People may think that those who are addicted purposefully sought out the drug with the intent of abusing it. However, many people originally got access to opioids through prescriptions from doctors. They may have dismissed the idea that these potent drugs could cause issues because they assumed it was safe simply because of the way they got the drugs.
Abuse starts only when the person seeks more opioids. Abuse can begin even when the person is taking opioids that were prescribed to them by a doctor. If they begin to take more than the recommended dosage or use them in a way that was not prescribed, then that is abuse.
Addiction is easy to beat. Once someone has taken opioids, they may feel symptoms of withdrawal when the drugs start to leave their system. This process is often unpleasant and could make people want to turn back to the drug that will stop these symptoms. There are early and late withdrawal symptoms. Early symptoms, usually after 6-12 hours of taking opioids, include feeling agitated, anxious, sweating, feeling muscle aches, racing heart, fever, hypertension, and issues with sleeping. The late symptoms can set in 72 hours after taking the drug, people may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, depression, and diarrhea. If someone knows this will happen to them if they stop taking the drug, there’s a high chance they will turn back to the drug to avoid these symptoms.
Terms like “addicts” and “junkies” are inappropriate terms to describe people who are struggling with addiction. Using degrading terms like these are dangerous because they aim to sum up an entire person with a negative trait, when in reality it’s just a person who needs help. Language like this prevents us from feeling compassion to those who are struggling. It also puts a stigma on those who are struggling and want to ask for help—they may feel too ashamed to seek professional aid in beating their addiction.
Prince Law Firm Will Protect Your Rights
We understand how prescription opioid addiction can put someone’s life on hold or tragically cut it short. When major pharmaceutical companies benefited from pushing these drugs on to the market, they put the lives of innocent people at risk. We’re not afraid to hold them accountable for what they’ve done. Get in touch with us so we can go over your case and find the best course of action for you.
Mark Prince Selected as 2019 Illinois Super Lawyer
What Is Considered a Personal Injury?