What caused the opioid epidemic?

Opioids come in one of two forms: legal prescription drugs and illicit drugs. Prescription opioids are used to treat pain and to help patients who are recovering from injuries. Illegal opiates include drugs such as heroin, which are said to have no medical value.

Some common prescription opioids include hydrocodone, morphine and methadone. Each has the potential for being abused. Similarly, illegal drugs, like heroin, are also addictive with the potential for abuse.

in 2017, 68 percent of drug overdose deaths were linked to opioids. Some of these deaths were a result of overusing prescription medications. Others were from illegal drug use.

Why are opioids so prevalent?

Opioid use is prevalent for a few reasons, one of which is that they were overprescribed. There was also the reassurance from pharmaceutical companies that patients couldn't overdose, which made them believe that it was safe to take opioids for long periods of time.

Unfortunately, today, most people understand how addictive these drugs can be. For many, it's an understanding that came too late, as they're now addicted to prescription medications or turning to the streets to get a fix of heroin.

As someone who takes opioids or misuses them, it's important for you to get to know your options. If you are arrested for misusing opioids, you need to look into your legal options. Your attorney can help you seek alternative penalties, such as attending drug addiction treatment classes so that you can potentially stay out of prison and get the medical care you need to stay off this addictive medication.

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