Opioid abuse is creating people who are dependent users every day. Many opioid users begin the process of becoming dependent when they are prescribed pain medication like OxyContin, Percocet or Vicodin to treat post-surgical pain and discomfort.
The increase in opioid abuse is not isolated to the Yuba-Sutter region, but it's an epidemic facing the entire nation. In 2018 during our board retreat, the Yuba-Sutter Healthcare Council chose to focus energy and resources to address the local opioid problem. For the next several years, developing solutions for individuals and families struggling with opioid dependency will be a top priority.
All opiates have a strong risk of dependency. The most common opiate sold on the street is heroin. Fentanyl is quickly becoming a "drug of choice" and has increased the overdose and death by users of illicit drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an analysis conducted on data collected from 31 states in 2015-2016, revealed that overall drug overdose death rates increased by 21.5%. Males between the ages of 25-44 had the highest risk of death resulting from an overdose, across all demographic categories. The prescription opioid-related overdose death rate increased by 10.6% across all demographics. Some substance abusers have begun mixing Fentanyl with opioid and benzodiazepine pills, heroin and cocaine, causing the death rate from Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids to increase by 72% in just one year according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
The opioid epidemic facing our community and the nation has resulted in a rise in intravenous (IV) drug use. This risky behavior exposes substance abusers to a host of other medical risks, including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
As our team of healthcare professionals adopts recommended standardized treatments for fighting opioid abuse locally, we are confident that the Yuba-Sutter Healthcare Council is committed to helping individuals and families through the recovery process.