It's difficult to pick up a newspaper or log onto your favorite social media site today without reading about the opioid epidemic of 2019. Opioids are still an issue, even leading into the new decade, and 130 people still die every day from opioid overdose. The good news is, however, that word is out. Prescribers are cutting back on the number of prescriptions they write for opioids, and community organizations are spearheading multiple campaigns aimed at furthering the message. If you're struggling with opioid use disorder in 2020, Recovery Ranch in Tennessee offers the highest levels of care and treatment. Opioid Drugs Defined Opioid drugs may be prescription-based drugs such as OxyContin or Percoset. Alternatively, they may be illicit drugs known as heroin or fentanyl. All are dangerous when used long-term. Because these drugs are highly habit-forming, the legal forms are recommended only for the short-term use of severe pain. Anything beyond this can easily turn into an addiction. The street versions are never recommended, and having them in your possession is a crime. In part, this is because they're much more deadly than legal forms of opioids. What's So Bad About Heroin and Fentanyl? Heroin is bad, but fentanyl is worse. Fentanyl is not only cheaper than heroin, but it's also much more potent. Even in small doses, fentanyl can lead to an accidental overdose. Additionally, however, you never really know what you're getting when you purchase drugs off the street. Often they're cut with other substances that are harmful or even fatal. It's not uncommon to find such bizarre ingredients as rat poison and black shoe polish in your heroin. Consequently, you might find fentanyl or meth mixed in as well. What Started the Opioid Epidemic? The opioid epidemic of 2019 actually began building back in the 1990s. Opioids became available, and with them, the assurance that they weren't habit-forming. Today, we know this information to be false. But in the 90s, physicians believed the false marketing materials being fed to them from unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies. For this reason, they dispensed opioid drugs freely, feeling they were helping patients manage pain. In reality, this only began a problem with addiction that would span decades, culminating, 20 years later, into the opioid epidemic of 2019. Opioid drugs are still a problem today, and conditions are only expected to worsen over the next few years. But at least fewer physicians are now prescribing them, and fewer pharmaceutical companies are actively pushing them. Effects of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019 The effects of 2019's opioid epidemic range far and are expected to continue for years to come. Research has shown an increase in deaths, beginning in 1999. Through 2006, deaths rose steadily. From the period of time between 2007 and 2014, deaths due to opioids slowed a bit. Sadly, from 2015 going forward to 2019 and beyond, people are dying in droves. Why Are Opioids So Deadly? Opioids are such a problem because your body builds up a tolerance to these drugs. Over time, you must take more and more to find the same level of pain relief. Consequently, too large a dose can stop your heart. People who use opioids often don't realize just how much they're taking or how often they're taking it. Instead of sticking to a schedule, they're taking a new dose when the pain returns. This leads to an accidental overdose. Overdose from opioid drugs now kills roughly 42,000 Americans annually. If you're still using prescription or other forms of opioid drugs, today is the day to reach out for help. It may be nearly impossible to break the cycle of addiction without intervention, which is why Recovery Ranch in Tennessee offers the highest quality of care for clients who struggle with opioids. Call us today at for help to break free from these potentially fatal drugs.