Opioid Abuse: An Epidemic in Utah
Does someone you love have an addiction to opioid drugs such as Dilaudid, Demerol or Percocet? Utah ranks seventh in the country for drug overdoses. About six people die of an overdose in the state each week. Roughly 50 percent of adults aged 26 and older have tried drugs at least once in their lives and pill-related deaths in the state have grown by more than 400 percent since 2000, making opioid abuse a very real problem.
Dangers of Opioids
Long-term abuse of opioid drugs often leads to serious medical problems, including increased risk of bone fractures, bowel dysfunction and sleep disorders. Opioid addiction may also lead to breathing problems, heart problems and the body’s physical dependence on the drug to function.
Signs You Know an Addict
Drug addiction has some universal symptoms. The person in question may exhibit drastic changes in weight, be increasingly aggressive or irritable, change his or her friends or suddenly start having financial issues. Many addicts are quite adept at hiding their problem, so it isn’t uncommon for friends and family not to notice a problem for months or even years.
How to Fight It
If you or a loved one is addicted to opioids, a combination of mental health counseling, support groups and a rehabilitation program may be able to help. Programs such as Brighton Recovery Center provide inpatient services for 24-hour treatment of addiction.