What are Opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone, (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.
When used correctly under a health care provider's direction, prescription pain medicines are helpful. However, misusing prescription opioids risks dependence and addiction. Misuse of prescription opioids is a huge part of the epidemic. Misuse includes people with a prescription not taking it as prescribed--taking too many pills at once, for example--or people without a prescription taking pills they get from a family medicine cabinet, friends, random strangers at a party or drug dealers selling pills illegally.
Addiction and Treatment
Addiction isn’t limited to the people using just the illegal opioids, like heroin. Regular use of opioid drugs, even as prescribed by a doctor or medical professional, can lead to dependence.
Taking opioids at too high of a dose, or for too long a period of time, increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and death. The likelihood of using opioid painkillers long-term spikes after just five days of use.
The main treatment for prescription opioid addiction is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). It includes medicines, counseling, and support from family and friends. MAT can help you stop using the drug, get through withdrawal, and cope with cravings. There is also a medicine called naloxone which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and prevent death, if it is given in time.
To prevent problems with prescription opioids, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions when taking them. Do not share your medications with anyone else. Keep them secure and contact your doctor with any concerns. Be sure you are following proper disposal precautions for medications that you no longer need, by contacting your pharmacist, or your local ambulance district.
Find help with addiction by contacting: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357) www.samhsa.gov
Signs of Overdose
If someone has signs of an overdose, call 911:
- Pale face, clammy to the touch
- Body goes limp
- Fingernails or lips have a blue or purple color
- Start vomiting or making gurgling noises
- Cannot be awakened or are unable to speak
- Breathing or heartbeat slows or stops
We have a problem…..a social, economical, health crisis in our community led by substance abuse. By not fighting drug use within the community, are we condoning it? Drug abuse has become an overwhelming problem. As a Drug and Alcohol Testing company we see many of the devastating results when people choose drugs over health, family and overall wellbeing. It may start with difficult challenges with health, leading to overuse of a prescription. Peer pressure, gateway drugs, and overwhelming stressful situations are other common causes addictive personalities progress to stronger substances. This is generally always followed by an inability to pull themselves out of a path of destruction without intervention. Drug abusers unchecked, will lose their children, jobs, home, connection to other family members, a financial burden to society or find themselves homeless on the streets.
Finding drug free workers has become a huge task for businesses and industries of any size. In so much as they may choose not to do pre-hire testing. In choosing not to secure a drug free workforce, businesses are unwittingly allowing our society to fail. It lowers, productivity, efficiency, safety, adding to higher insurance, ill health, and loss of revenue. If an employee is not tested and is aware of no plan in place for random testing once hired…. “what could possibly be the consequences of a one time indiscretion?” Just like allowing a “one too many” social drinker behind the wheel, putting their and other’s lives in jeopardy, so is a social drug user headed down a slippery slope to destruction. Society, our community is then left with picking up the pieces of broken lives and families tossed into chaos.
What if, we took steps to help our community be proactive in the fight against drug abuse? What could we as a single person, couple or family do? We could start one household at a time by staying clear of drug use and inspiring and mentoring others to do the same. We could insist that any company that does in-service home, work or repair, employ a drug free workforce. Frequent stores and businesses that prominently display they maintain a DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE. They can hire drug free, but wouldn’t you want to be assured the work person coming into your home is held to a higher standard? Maintaining drug free, takes random testing. It seals the deal, in that, it is less likely employees will jeopardize their employment by abusing alcohol and drugs. Insist on a drug free workforce.