“Opioid” refers to drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the body, including heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and more. Understanding the broad range of opioids is crucial, as they can be illegal substances or drugs prescribed by doctors, both of which have a powerful effect on the body.

Even if prescribed by a doctor, regular use of opioids can be hazardous and lead to dependence. The Ramos Center recognizes the risks associated with these medications and actively seeks alternative treatment methods for their patients, as misuse of prescription opioids is a significant part of the opioid epidemic in Florida.

Misusing prescription opioids, such as taking too many pills at once, sharing medication, stealing prescribed medication, or taking higher doses than recommended, increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and death. In fact, the likelihood of prolonged opioid painkiller use increases after only five days of use.

According to Truth reports, in 2016, more than 42,249 people died from an opioid overdose in the United States, which amounts to over 115 individuals per day. Other important facts to consider include:

  • Between 1994-2007, opioid prescribing rates among young adults doubled.
  • The opioid epidemic has cost Americans more than $500 billion.
  • Opioid-related deaths increased 5X from 1999-2016.
  • Dependence on prescription drugs can develop in as little as five days.
  • At least 80% of heroin users began with prescribed painkillers.
  • Americans account for 78% of the world’s use of oxycodone prescriptions.

On July 1st, Florida enacted the HB 21 bill to combat the state’s opioid crisis, and Dr. Ramos of the Ramos Center has become a local expert on the law. As an active lobbyist for over a decade in the fight against the growing crisis, the Ramos Center only initiates opioids as a “last resort” and keeps the number of patients prescribed opioids at an industry-low level.

Dr. Ramos stated, “As you have heard from me in the past, I am proud of the fact that the Ramos Center is one of the largest and most effective Pain Medicine practices within the state of Florida over the past 19 years… Because we hold ourselves to higher standards of patient responsibility, we have earned a spot as one of the most referred to practices in the state.”

If you are experiencing chronic pain and are seeking alternative methods of treatment, consider making an appointment with the Ramos Center by clicking here.

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