With an increasing number of individuals being prescribed opioids over the past few years, the risk of their misuse has also seen an upsurge. While overdose deaths from these drugs are increasing at a fast pace, federal as well as private stakeholders are constantly trying new steps to raise awareness about this epidemic. Doing their bit in the fight against this menace, the National Safety Council (NSC) adopted a mapping technology that pays visual homage to those who died due to opioid overdose.
The Celebrating Lost Loved Ones map is an interactive memorial, designed by Esri, a geographic information system software supplier that allows its users to pay homage to their loved ones who lost their lives due to opioid overdose. It encourages the users to add photos and memoirs, along with the place of their death. Created in 2016, this pictorial and graphical homage-cum-record of those lost to the opioid epidemic, has already gathered more than 1,300 memorials. The NSC wants to use the map to help increase awareness about the opioid epidemic ravaging the country and reduce the stigma associated with it.
“We are losing far too many lives to the opioid epidemic,” said a representative from the council in a recent statement. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 61,862,364 patients had at least one prescription for opioids filled or refilled in 2016. A national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that around 2.1 million people aged 12 or older had an opioid use disorder (OUD) in 2016.
Dangers of opioid abuse
Opioids are a group of naturally occurring and partially synthetic drugs that are derived either from the poppy plant or synthesized chemically in laboratory settings. Commonly prescribed for their pain-relieving properties, these drugs are also among the most commonly abused substances.
Opioid addiction can happen due to a number of factors such as genetic predisposition, indirect genetic influence, psychological pleasure, pain-relieving properties, etc. While using these drugs over a short period of time or as prescribed is considered to be safe, overusing them over a long period is actually dangerous and can lead to severe outcomes, including dependence and addiction. Therefore, it is important to identify the presence of opioid addiction in an individual so that the right form of help can be taken at the right time.
Some of the common symptoms that indicate an addiction to opioids in an individual are as mentioned below:
- Increased anxiety
- Higher self-esteem
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced appetite
- Lowered motivation
- High blood pressure
- Increased sexual arousal
When left untreated, opioid addiction can affect an individual’s health in a number of ways. These include:
- A sense of delight
- Physical and mental dependence
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling of confusion
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
Opioid addiction can be treated
The first step to attain recovery from prescription drug addiction is to withdraw from the drug and undergo a detox program. Detoxing from the drugs helps cleanse the body from all the accumulated toxins from the years of abuse of substances. This is followed by the treatment program, comprising medication and therapy, designed by an experienced professional to suit the individual’s need.
If you know someone addicted to opioids or any other prescription drugs and are looking for a prescription drug rehab center, the Prescription Drug Addiction Help can assist. We can connect you to the best facilities offering prescription drug addiction treatment in your vicinity. Call our 24/7 helpline number (866) 623-3847 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the comprehensive treatment plans offered at prescription drug rehab centers located in different parts of the U.S.