Articles, Blog

State of Addiction: Opioid epidemic grows in Iowa

December 12, 2019


OPIOID ADDICTION IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDERS IN IOWA. FROM PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS – TO THE ILLEGAL, SYNTHETIC KNOCKOFFS – TO HEROIN … THE CLASS OF DRUGS IS EXREMELY ADDICTIVE — AND OFTEN LETHAL. OPIOID OVERDOSES KILLED 61 IOWANS IN 2015 – MORE THAN DOUBLE THE NUMBER FROM 2005 THERE’S A PERCEPTION OF SAFETY – WHEN THE POWERFUL DRUG IS COMING FROM A DOCTOR, WITH YOUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND… THAT PERCEPTION HAS CONTRIBUTED TO WIDESPREAD MISUSE – AND ABUSE OF OPIOIDS … LEADING TO A NEW AGE OF ADDICTION. WHEN TONI VERMEER WAS 16 YEARS OLD SHE BEGAN TAKING PILLS RECREATIONALL Y. SHE GOT THEM FROM FRIENDS – WHO EITHER SWIPED THEM FROM A FAMILY MEDICINE CABINET, OR SOUGHT THEM OUT, AND EASILY RECEIVED THEM – FROM A DOCTOR. IT’S AN INCREASINGLY CLASSIC STORY – SHE WENT FROM ENJOYING THE EUPHORIC, CAREFREE FEELING THE OPIOIDS PROVIDED …. TO NEEDING IT. FENTANYL – A POWERFUL OPIOID PATCH – 50 TO 100 TIMES MORE POTENT THAN MORPHINE – GENERALLY PRESCRIBED FOR SEVERE CANCER PATIENTS. TONI’S STORY IS EXTRAORDINARY – IN THAT SHE’S STILL HERE, TELLING IT – AFTER 5 OVERDOSES…. BUT SIMILAR STORIES – OF OPIOID MISUSE.. ABUSE.. AND LIFE- SHATTERING CONSEQUENCES … ARE NOT.

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