Back in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared an opioid epidemic in the United States. However, that does not mean that the United States is the only place in the world that is grappling with an opioid epidemic, as many other countries are as well. Sadly, the abuse of these substances has occurred to the extent that it has because prescription drugs are readily available either by prescription from a medical professional or illegally from dealers.

While many people might think that heroin is the primary culprit in the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the globe, it is not. In fact, most individuals who are addicted to heroin abuse this substance because they first began abusing prescription drugs but found that heroin was more affordable and produced the same effects. It is important to understand how prescription drugs and heroin relate to one another, because it is reflective of just how significant prescription drug abuse is. In fact, the abuse of prescription drugs is what fueled the opioid epidemic in the first place.

The Opioid Epidemic in Other Parts of the World

We often hear about how the opioid epidemic is affecting people throughout the United States, but rarely hear about how it is affecting people in other corners of the world. However, this epidemic is just as strong across the pond as it is here.
In the United Kingdom, new research has shown that prescription drug addiction is more common than heroin abuse. This is an important discovery, as it shows just how prominent the abuse of these medications continues to be.

For example, the rehab facilitator UK Addiction Treatment (UKAT) has seen a 22% increase in admissions as of late, with more of those admissions including those who are abusing prescription drugs such as codeine and benzodiazepines. Currently, more individuals are being admitted with addictions to prescription drugs than any other substance, including marijuana and alcohol. Out of the 140 individuals that UKAT admits each month, 6% are addicted to prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Because of this increase in admissions, therapists who work at UKAT are asking the government to do everything within their power to offer better education on the many dangers of prescription drug abuse, as they claim that many individuals are unaware of the warning signs of prescription drug addiction.

What Should You Know About the Prescription Drug Epidemic?

As there is a major rise in the abuse of prescription drugs, it is imperative that the right information regarding these drugs is circulating in the right places. Those at UKAT believe that many patients do not believe that abusing a medication that has been prescribed makes them addicts. In fact, a myth still remains that if an individual is using something that has been prescribed, then they are safer than those who abuse hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. This could not be farther from the truth, as the abuse of any mind-altering substance, regardless of its origin, can lead to the development of an addiction.

It is important to know that treatment is available for those who do abuse prescription drugs. Depending on the drugs that are being abused, treatment options such as medication-assisted treatment are in existence to help those who are addicted to mind-altering substances like prescription drugs finally overcome the physical and psychological dependence they have established.

Author's Bio: 

At Sierra Tucson, our team of professionals works endlessly to ensure that each and every patient is treated with the utmost quality of care so that true recovery can be obtained. If you or someone you love is in need of treatment for a prescription drug problem, please do not waste any more time. Call us right now. We can help.