How Does the Opioid Crisis Affect Young Adults?

The opioid epidemic affects more than just middle-aged adults. In fact, it can affect many young adults, as well. Here's what you should know.

The opioid crisis stretching across America is something that doesn't play favorites when it comes to age. In fact, the opioid epidemic affects adults of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds. According to the CDC, opioid prescriptions not only rose between 1999 and 2014, but actually quadrupled in number. These medications are widely prescribed as a way to treat pain; however, they are not only addictive, but life-changing, as well. Unfortunately, they don't always change lives for the better. If you or someone you know has been affected by opioids, there are a few things you need to understand about the opioid epidemic and how it can impact the lives of young people today.

There are alternatives for pain management

Sometimes opioids are prescribed as a way to manage pain; however, there are often alternatives that may not be as addictive in nature as traditional opioids, such as oxycodone and morphine. Young people who receive a prescription for opioid pain medication need to be especially careful to follow their medical provider's exact instructions when taking the medication. Because this medication is so addictive, it is especially dangerous for young adults who have problems with chronic pain or mental health disorders, such as depression.

Opioids may be difficult to stop taking

It's no secret that opioids offer extreme pain relief for those who take the medications. One of the biggest problems with opioid prescriptions is that young adults may find it difficult to stop taking them. Not only are these medications addictive in nature, but they may lead to younger adults taking them in larger quantities than prescribed. Even patients who begin taking these medications for a medical problem or condition may find that it is difficult to stop taking the medication once they have recovered. Young people do not need to have a history of addiction in order to struggle with taking opioids.

There may be physical side effects from the medication

It's important to understand that opioids don't just affect young adults who may experience an addiction. These drugs may also cause physical side effects as a result of taking them. It's important to be aware of side effects that may impact the patient, as side effects may have long-lasting complications. Common side effects for opioids include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting; however, more serious side effects are also possible. For example, respiratory depression may occur, as well as hormonal dysfunction.

If you or someone you loved has been affected by the opioid epidemic, it may be time to get help seeking compensation. Opioids are a very serious medication. Doctors and pharmacists need to take care when prescribing and dispensing this medication. It is vital that medical professionals take care and precautions to help prevent side effects and addictions from taking root and affecting young people throughout the United States. Contact an attorney who understands exactly what your rights are during this time and what your options are for moving forward after the opioid crisis has affected your life.