Opioids: The Unexpected Killer

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Opioids: The Unexpected Killer

Hannah Trinh, Staff Writer

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In 2017, there were over 47,000 deaths in the United States as a result of overdoses from highly addictive painkillers known as opioids. How did this drug take over the industry? In the late 90’s, many pharmaceutical companies claimed that opioid painkillers were not addictive and could be prescribed in greater amounts. Since then, the death rate from these painkillers is increasing rapidly. 

When opioids enter your system, it releases endorphins and gives you a sense of pleasure. Over time, you are going to want the good feeling back and find that you can not reach it unless you take higher doses (drug tolerance). This is how one becomes addicted to the substance. Some of the symptoms include poor coordination, mood swings, euphoria, depression, anxiety attacks, and drowsiness. A person is more likely to develop an opioid addiction if he or she has a history of substance abuse.

On September 17, 2018, the Senate passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act. This act gives funding to states to address opioid abuse. In addition to that, it helps set up support groups in multiple states. As of now, opioid abuse is still an ongoing issue in the United States and continues to get worse.

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