The real problem (and solutions) of opioid abuse

spilled pillsHalf of all opioid overdoses in the United States involved a prescription drug, according to recent facts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Currently in the midst of opioid epidemic, occurrences of overdoses are all too common to the physicians in local emergency departments.

"It's very unfortunate at how often we see this," said Dr. Harrison Tong, an emergency medicine physician with McLaren Oakland and McLaren Clarkston. "It's truly an epidemic as it effects all of us by keeping a lot of prescription pain medication on the streets. But there are steps we all can take to address this problem."

Signs of opioid abuse:
Euphoria or over-elation
Noticeable sedation and sleepiness
Confusion
Constricted pupils
Slowed breathing
Intermittent loss of consciousness
Going in and out of sleep
Constipation

Ways to quit or help those addicted to quit:
Going "cold turkey"
Slow, tapering off opioid pain killers
In-patient rehab for detox and addiction treatment
Out-patient rehab for opiate addiction
Physician-assisted medication therapy

To seek help for prescription drug addiction or to learn more about how you can help yourself or loved ones, visit familiesagainstnarcotics.org.