According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 130 people die every day in the United Starts due to opioid overdose. Furthermore, 21-29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them, with 8-12% develop opioid use disorder. A new study found that the longer immigrants live in the US, the more likely they are to use prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and tramadol. This fact contradicts popular opinions about American culture, implying that it uniquely supports prescribing opioids and may promote their use.
The Study’s Findings
The study examined the influence of American culture on opioid use among 42 million adult immigrants. The research found that immigrants living in the US for five to fifteen years are three times more likely to use opioids than new immigrants, while immigrants living in the US longer than fifteen years are four times more likely to use opioids than new immigrants. Surprisingly, US-born residents are five times more likely to use prescription opioids than new immigrants. About 8% of immigrants use prescription opioids compared to 16% of US-born residents.
The results of this study point to American culture having a strong influence on the prescribing of opioids and subsequent opioid use. Research shows that the longer immigrants spend living in the United States, the more likely they are to use opioids. Furthermore, these findings support the immigrant paradox, which opposes assumptions about people from underprivileged backgrounds.
Opioid use is a public health crisis that has destructive consequences. The fact that immigrant’s use of opioids increases the longer they live in the US provides insight into a frightening trend of American culture. Improvements in access to treatment and recovery services are imperative to successfully battle the opioid crisis. At Fort Behavioral Health, we are committed to being a positive resource to anyone struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction. We focus our treatment approach by looking first at the core issues that instigate and perpetuate substance use disorders in order to prepare our clients for long-lasting recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807.