Opiate addiction is now the biggest concern in the nation when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse problems in general.  These are issues that most definitely cause significant and truly horrendous problems that have wide-reaching consequences.  Opiate addiction is now skyrocketing in the United States thanks to an ever-present back and forth between heroin abuse and prescription drug abuse that Americans have been involving themselves with.

Because of this dual nature of addiction, it is doubly difficult to get these individuals to get off of opiates because they have two drug substances to take and get addicted to, not just one.  Also this way, the problem just worsens more and more and more as the years go by to the point of a pretty serious addiction issue developing as a result of it.  This is called addiction in tandem, and it is a very real thing in the United States.

Statistics on Opiate Addiction

To better understand the opiate addiction epidemic that has the nation in its grip, (that’s right, its an “epidemic” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), some statistics and research study results have been compiled on it.  These came from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA).  Some of them are:

• The greatest concern with young adults today rests on prescription and over-the-counter medication abuse.  Specifically, the abuse of OxyContin, a highly addictive form of hydrocodone, is skyrocketing from the previous five years.  Approximately 8.2 percent of high school seniors have admitted to abusing stimulants in the year prior to the survey in 2009.  As recently as 2015, this number soared to almost eighteen percent.  Obviously this is an actual epidemic of opiate pill abuse amongst youths, and is fast tracking to be the number one cause of preventable death amongst youths too.

• Heroin, (also known as dope, smack, horse), was found by a 2010 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse study that the average age when Americans use this drug for the first time is about 21 years of age, including 140,000 who reported using it for the first time in the year prior to the time the survey was taken.  Now, there are more than two million Americans who are addicted to this drug.  This is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, and if addicts run out of it they can just switch over to prescription opiate pain pills.

• No less than a full 94% of respondents in a relatively recent 2014 survey of people in treatment centers and programs for opioid addiction said that they chose to use and abuse heroin because prescription opioids were, “far more expensive and harder to obtain.”  True enough, tens of thousands of Americans switch to heroin every year after they run out of money for pills.

• Sadly, no less than 48,000 women died of prescription pain reliever overdoses between 1999 and 2010.  Furthermore, prescription pain reliever overdose deaths among women increased more than 400% from 1999 to 2010, compared to an increase of only 237% among men.  Essentially, whereas all other drugs tend to target men more than women, prescription drugs really target women far more than they do men.

• Women are sadly far more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription pain relievers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men are. Women may become dependent on prescription pain relievers more quickly than men do.  There are still technically more male prescription drug abusers than women prescription drug abusers, but if the trend of abuse continues in such a way that it has lately the tides on this will shift soon.

• Heroin overdose deaths among women and men alike have tripled in the last few years alone. From the years of 2010 through 2013, female heroin overdoses increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000 all in all, and men experienced a similar increase, but less so.  Sure enough, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the nation, even faster than marijuana abuse is increasing.

One New and Innovative Way to Curb the Problem

Opiate addiction is a particularly serious and concerning thing in Tennessee.  Tennessee has one of the worst opiate overdose problems of the 21st century, and this could not be any more perfectly summarized then by the simple fact that more and more individuals in urban and rural areas die every single day in this state from opiate abuse.  Opioid abuse has grown to be a massive problem in Tennessee, and the number of people looking for treatment has tripled in just two years.

Thankfully though, a new technological treatment in opioid addiction could ease withdrawal symptoms in a big way for the local residents and their families.  A new high-tech device just came out that and the people who made it have claimed that it can help ease withdrawal symptoms.

A clinic by the name of NOVO Healthcare in Madison, Tennessee was the first place in the southeast to offer what’s called “The Bridge.”  After testing it arduously, they began to administer it to patients.  Essentially, the device fits on your ear and sends electrical pulses that can relieve withdrawals and withdrawal symptoms. It has been cleared by the FDA and helps a patient detox so that they can get treated for their addiction once and for all.

This little gadget might seem like a small thing, but it is a giant leap in an area of combatting opiate withdrawal that had been previously practically unexplored completely.  With help like this, it finally becomes possible for those who are suffering greatly from opiate addiction to finally have their way out of the problem once and for all.  In this way, there finally is hope for those who are addicted not only in Tennessee but all across the nation for that matter.

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when help is so close.

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