Opioid addiction. This disease, this deep-rooted recurring brain condition, is a health crisis in America affecting millions of people. The bleak statistics can tempt you to lose hope. Don’t.
Like other recurring diseases – cancer, diabetes, heart disease – opioid addiction is treatable. It’s not a character flaw or weakness.
among young adults ages
18-25 in the past decade.
1 in 15
people who take prescription
painkillers for non-medical use
within 10 years.
including those from
prescription pain relievers
and heroin, have
in the US from 2000-2014.
Let’s be clear. Opioid dependence is not a character flaw or weakness. It’s a disease, a deep-rooted recurring brain disease with both psychological and physical effects.
Physical effects occur in the limbic region of the brain and have to do with the way the brain reacts and adjusts to the constant presence of opioids.
Psychological effects of addiction occur in the cortex region of the brain and may include feelings about oneself, interactions with others, thoughts about opioids, and behavior, judgment and decision making.
Like other diseases, the first step to treatment is knowing your options, then talking to a doctor.