Opioid Addiction: 78 Deaths A Day And Growing
Every day, some 78 Americans die from overdoses of opioids, either prescription painkillers or heroin. Binding to nerve receptors in the brain and body, opioids ease pain and create euphoria. At excessive dosages, they are lethal.
When people become dependent on these medications and can no longer get them, many turn to a cheaper and more readily available opiate — heroin. Overall, about 2 million people have a substance use disorder involving pain relievers; at least another 586,000 wrestle with heroin. Research shows that the most promising treatment for this population is medication-assisted therapy (MAT) combined with evidence-backed behavioral interventions. Yet less than half of individuals struggling with opioid or heroin use disorders receive MAT treatment.