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Opioid death rate increasing by 10% each year in Texas
Posted in Addiction

The Texas House Committee members met on April 17, 2018, to discuss the rising rate of deaths due to the ongoing menace of opioid crisis. According to the experts, the rate of opioid overdose deaths has been consistently increasing by 10 percent every year since 2014. They said fentanyl and heroin were the major contributors to the rising death rate. Matt Feehery from the Houston’s Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center, apprised the legislators that a variety of treatment choices should be available for tackling the newer challenges posed by synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

Given the lower positive outcomes due to the abstinence from substances, he further added that many state and federal responses are focusing on harm reduction. This strategy is playing a crucial role in preventing the incidence of unintentional deaths by decreasing the prevalence of communicable diseases (e.g. AIDS and hepatitis C) and keeping tabs on criminal activities due to opioid abuse. There were 1,174 opioid-related deaths in Texas in 2015, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Adverse effects of opioids The above rise in opioid overdose deaths due to the foray of deadlier synthetic drugs like fentanyl that is manufactured clandestinely, the need of the hour is to spread awareness about the impact of such drugs. As such, opioids are tied to various adverse effects. Some of them are:

  • The long-term use of opioids causes constipation that adversely affects the quality of life. In addition, opioids can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, gastrointestinal bleeding and bloating.
  • Other implications of the chronic use of opioids are sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and ataxic breathing. Furthermore, in the case of an opioid overdose, users can witness bradycardia, hypotension and respiratory depression.
  • Opioid therapy is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular complications like heart failure, cardiac revascularization and myocardial infarction.
  • Opioid neurotoxicity is a major issue among the elderly. The long-term opioid therapy is associated with dizziness and sedation that can lead to unintentional injuries due to falls and fractures. In the patients undergoing a chronic opioid therapy, hyperalgesia has been reported because of the extreme sensitivity to pain. In addition, the prolonged use of an opioid is related to the comorbid presence of clinical depression. The simultaneous use of other depressants can cause apnea.
  • In humans, opioids react with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Opioids affect the release of every hormone from the anterior pituitary like growth hormone, prolactin, lutein-stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Opioids can affect the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which may manifest as hypogonadism in males that leads to fatigue, sexual dysfunction, androgen deficiency, infertility and a decreased level of testosterone. While a decrease in testosterone is associated with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in males, the reduced quantity of gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone can adversely affect the female fertility.
  • Morphine and fentanyl have immunosuppressive properties. The increased incidence of pneumonia has been reported in elderly patients on an opioid therapy.
  • Injecting opioids can increase one’s susceptibility to hepatitis C and AIDS. Injecting heroin or crushed pills can cause the veins to collapse. It can also cause tuberculosis infection, septic pulmonary embolism and interstitial lung disease.

Road to recovery

The long-term use of opioids not only causes physical harm but also affects a person psychologically, socially, professionally, financially, etc. Thus, one must seek treatment at addiction drug rehabs.

Drug addiction treatment at the Sovereign Health rehab centers combines residential detox with various alternative therapies and counseling sessions. We also impart necessary life skills to help patients adapt to a normal life after the completion of treatment. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-399-5740 or chat online to know more about our heroin addiction treatment centers.

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