Opiate abuse is steadily rising creating a world of problems for millions of people around the world. Not only are those who abuse the drug affected, but society is affected as a whole in terms of loss of productivity, higher crime rates and increased healthcare costs. If you aren’t familiar with the opiate addiction facts, consider this:
Opiates are a Cash Crop
Derived from the poppy plant that grows widely in Afghanistan, opiates are a cash crop with an estimated value higher than that of any other product. The United States has spent billions of dollars attempting to prevent the cultivation of poppy plants for the production of drugs such as heroin but very little reduction in the presences of these substances on our streets has been seen.
Not All People Who Take Opiates Become Addicts
Despite what some may believe, taking opiates will not automatically lead to an addiction. Many people are able to use opiates such as hydrocodone or morphine for the treatment of pain and then later quit taking the drugs without any real effects or concerns. Opiates are regularly prescribed to patients for the treatment of pain, and despite the common concern that taking any opiate will result in addiction, the majority of those who take these drugs with a doctors consent do not every suffer the realms of an addiction.
Despite Crack Down on Pill Mills, Opiate Addiction Cases Continue to Rise
Since the early 2000s, law enforcement and other officials have been actively doing their part to crack down on pill mills and the illegal prescribing of prescription painkillers such as hydrocodone or Oxycodone. Unfortunately, cases of opiate addiction have continued to rise despite the efforts that are being made. Many of these cases are the result of heroin addiction as users are seeking an easier to find, cheaper high than the prescription pills can now offer.
The Number of Opiate Addicted Babies Born in the US Continues to Rise
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more babies are being born to mothers who are already addicted to heroin or other opiates. Nearly 15 thousand babies were born addicted to opiates from 2000-2009. These babies suffer an array of complications right from the start including strong symptoms of withdrawal, low birth weight, premature birth and other serious side effects associated with the mother’s decision to abuse drugs while pregnant.