Doctors Hospital talks about the dangers of overusing opioid

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG)

The opioid addiction epidemic sweeping the nation is showing no signs of getting better and doctors are seeing more patients in the emergency room.
In fact, ER visits have increased 30 percent between June 2016 and September 2017. Health experts say the problem is not the number of people addicted to opioid but how deadly opioid can be. The over usage of painkillers both over the counter and prescribed is being seen more and more across the country.
According to a recent CDC report, 15,000 die every year due to it.
Over the counter and prescribed painkillers work great for short term pain but it is not good for long term usage. Taking these kind of drugs for an extended amount of time can cause serious health problems such as depression, liver disease, and obesity. Your body can also become almost immune to the effects of the opioid and the only way to get results is if you increase your dosage which is dangerous. Dr. Thomas Zickgraf at Doctors Hospital says because of the increase in people misusing painkillers doctors are being pushed to alter the way they prescribe. "There is more pressure on us to reduce and eliminate the use of it long term but I don't think it will ever go away because it is very effective short term . . but long term usage of opioid . . the culture of using it as often and as frequently as we do in this country is going to change . . . it has to change."
He says there are many people who use prescription opioid that are not prescribed to them and for non medical reasons; that is very dangerous and can lead to major health problems. Doctor Zickgraf suggest If you need pain medication on a regular basis that is probably your body signal to your brain that there is something wrong and you should see a doctor.
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