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Anaheim leads Orange County in opioid-related emergency room visits

Published On: 09-12-2017 in Category: Addiction, Opioids, Substance Abuse

The opioid epidemic has affected scores of lives in Orange County. According to a recent study conducted by the Orange County Health Care Agency, 7,457 residents visited the emergency rooms countywide for either addiction or overdose problems between 2011 and 2015. The study suggested that Anaheim led the county with the highest number of opioid-related emergency room visits, followed by Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.

As per the study, the four-year period from 2011 to 2015 saw 782 Anaheim residents visiting emergency rooms for abuse of prescription hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone and many others. Huntington Beach reported 726 cases, followed by Santa Ana (631) and Costa Mesa (559). The study also said that throughout Orange County, opioid use shot up by 141 percent during 2005 to 2015.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has described opioids as “powerful pain-reducing drugs” to manage pain when used for the right condition as prescribed by the physician. Any form of misuse or abuse could result in serious harm, addiction, overdose and death.

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel said in a statement, “Drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, which is alarming. There must be a community effort of individuals, private and nonprofit organizations and the government to reduce the number of people dying in this completely preventable manner.” The study showed that most of the overdose cases were the result of an accident, and more than half of the fatal overdose resulted from abuse of prescription drugs and illicit opioids such as heroin.

Commonly abused prescription drugs

  • Opioids: They are prescription medicines, which act on the opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain to numb the intensity of pain. Apart from alleviating pain, opioids are also known to activate areas in the brain associated with rewards, causing euphoric sensations. However, opioid drugs are highly addictive in nature. This highlights the great risks of potential abuse and addiction. Chemically, opioid medications have structures, which are identical to heroin and may assume the form of a gateway drug leading to other street drugs. Some examples of prescription opioid drugs are oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl, among others.
  • Stimulants: They are a class of prescription drugs used to treat a handful of health conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, etc. The most highly abused prescription stimulants are Adderall and Modafinil.
  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants: They are prescription medicines such as tranquilizers, sedatives and hypnotics, which can slow brain activity, and are used to treat anxiety and depression-related problems. Some examples of CNS depressants are Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and alprazolam, Non-benzodiazepines, such as zolpidem, and Barbiturates, such as mephobarbital, and pentobarbital sodium.

Leading a drug-free life

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to opioids or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Anaheim Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 714-589-2811 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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