The Opioid Epidemic

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The Opioid Epidemic

Have you Been Affected?

We often see opioid use hollywoodized or glamourized in celebrity news, or in thrilling movies.
Some witnessing from the comforts of their TV viewing rooms, are quite removed from it.
Others, maybe you who are reading this, have personal experience with the painful reality of
opioid addiction.

But no matter where you stand in the opioid crisis, as a family member, acquaintance, or
having personal experience with it, it sweeps across the country- An internal battlefield of sorts
amongst tens of thousands of users, and an external one for those that fight for loved ones’
lives.

In one sense it is not a matter of simply finding a cure and administering it. When it comes to
addiction, there are complexities, only those affected can sort out, and opioid addiction is no
different in this way.

At the same time, there is hope; there is an effective treatment, there are ways to cope with
cravings, there are communities of healing and restoration, building new ways to exist in a
world where the opioid epidemic is sweeping through whole communities and generations.

How did we get here, to the point where we are grasping to save tens of thousands of lives
from obliteration? Who is affected? And What is there to cling to, both for those affected, and
those who are fighting for the lives of loved ones?

First off, What is an Opioid?

Opioids are a class of narcotic substances, both legal and illegal, made from the opiate Poppy
plant (mainly grown in regions of central Asia) shipped here, and synthetically manufactured in
all sorts of health crippling varieties of chemical composition.

Illegal Opioids include:
• Carfentanil
• Opium
• Heroine
• Kratom (actually legal in most states, with pending bans and pharmaceutical uproar)

Prescription Opioids include:
• Codeine
• Fentanyl/Duragesic
• Meperidine/Demerol
• Hydromorphone/Dilaudid
• Hydrocodone/Lortab,Vicodin
• Methadone
• Morphine
• Oxycodone/Oxycontin
So yes, a wide variety of pain relief provisions for a society who experiences a lot of pain. Why
is it so painful to be alive for so many today? …Might be a question worth pondering…Or
perhaps it might be helpful to ponder the question, “why do I experience so much pain?”- a
question we explore in depth at Oasis Recovery Center in order to find healthy avenues of
relief.

How did we get here?

It started out as a feeling- a feeling of need for relief… In the 1990’s, along with chokers,
windbreakers, and gameboy color, came a much more detrimental trend: pharmaceutical
companies promoting prescription pain pills for a wide variety of non-cancer related pain
symptoms.

Then in 2010, after efforts were made to scale back the prescription of pain pills, and make
them less accessible, folks who were already in the momentum of addiction turned to heroine.

Around 80% of heroine users around this time admitted to abusing prescription pain pills first.
Following this, as the lethal fentanyl began to rear it’s ugly head in the mix, deaths began to
multiply astronomically. One of the largest accounts of drug-related deaths occurred in 2016,
when over 20,000 deaths in this country were related to fentanyl overdose.

Who suffers in war

Though certain areas are more intensely affected, The Opioid epidemic does not discriminate
and affects all walks of life, from young people exploring their family’s medicine cabinets, to
elderly folks attempting to alleviate legit pain (but really what pain is not legit, when it all gets
translated through the complexities of the mind, and can be equally debilitating.)

IMAGE FROM THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE,
WWW.DRUGABUSE.GOV

What is the Solution?

At Oasis Recovery, we believe that there is not exclusively one approach that is the ultimate
remedy for anyone suffering from opioid addiction, but rather there are many proven elements
that contribute to a successful treatment program, and different combinations work for different
people.

The path to recovery, while incredibly challenging at times, is achievable to everyone, with the
help of a support system and a variety of effective methods for coping and treating opioid
addiction. These methods include:

• Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT). Though many believe this is not a long term approach,
there is much evidence that supports certain medications like buprenorphine/subutex/
suboxone as being effective in weaning people off of opioids and giving them a fighting
chance at refocusing on the root causes of their addiction, without the catastrophic
distraction of a severe withdrawal period.

• Mental Health Services, including various types of therapy and assessments to determine
specific individual needs
• Trauma awareness based treatments, including somatic/body centered therapeutic
approaches to attend to physical discomforts and built up trauma held in the body
• Wellness, fitness, and nutrition education and support
• Twelve-step facilitation
• Spiritual exploration, care, and support
• Relapse prevention, post-treatment support, and aftercare

An important thing to remember, whether personally struggling with opioid dependency, or
witnessing a loved one struggle with it, is that you are not alone. Many are working to find a
solution, many have experienced a solution, and many are here to walk with you on a path
toward greater peace and freedom from the effects of opiate addiction. If you are seeking a
solution to your opiate addiction, click here. If you are seeking a solution for a loved one’s
opiate addiction, click here.