Opioid use disorder on the rise in Missouri
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Opioid use disorder is on the rise across the nation and in the Ozarks.
The Missouri Department of Social Services reports that 1 in 56 deaths is due to an overdose, and 1 in 3 people are impacted by opioid addiction.
“What that means is that a patient has or a person has been using opiates for an extended period of time and their body has become physically dependent on that medication,” said Director of CoxHealth Center for Addiction Tressa Moyle. “They’ve also likely developed some psychological dependence, which means they exhibit cravings, preoccupation, and strong desire to use. They may have had some areas of their life impacted by their use like relationships, employment, financial status, even legal status and those kinds of things.”
Most addictions start after a patient begins taking pain medication as prescribed by a doctor before becoming dependent. Some of the symptoms of opioid use disorder are sniffling, sneezing, muscle aches, cramping, nausea, and vomiting. During the withdrawal phase, these flu-like symptoms can last for several weeks.
“So, unfortunately, any kind of long-term use of pain medications is going to result in physical dependency,” said Moyle. “It’s just the nature of pain medications. Make sure that you’re taking them exactly as prescribed by your physician to be mindful of the length of time you stay on them. We know that there are chronic conditions that people need to stay on pain medications long-term for, so we would encourage people who need to be on them for a long time to make sure that you’re frequently communicating with your physician.”
CoxHealth officials reported that of the 750 patients seeking care at the center for addiction, more than 500 are struggling with opioid addiction.
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