opioid epidemic continues to affect thousands in the United
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from
prescription opioid medications drugs such as oxycodone,
hydrocodone and morphine have more than quadrupled since
1999. Deaths from illicit drugs, such as heroin, also continue
to be a major issue.
Michael Hooten, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and pain
specialist, has the latest on what the opioid epidemic
exactly is the opioid epidemic? Is it about prescription drugs
a combination of both problems."
says back in the mid- to late 1990s
Opioids were being recommended to treat chronic pain. The
problems associated with long-term opioid use include,
probably the most important is, addiction to the
the term for opioid addiction is "opioid use
of opioid use disorder include, primarily, an increasing
preoccupation with the medications," Hooten says.
"So individuals will start organizing their lives and
organizing their daily structure around taking that particular
some struggling with severe addiction, if they cant get
medication from their health care providers, they may turn to
heroin. But you can break an opioid addiction.
are other nonopioid medications that can be helpful,"
Hooten says. "There are other behavioral interventions
that can help individuals learn to manage and cope with