By Sheriff Scott Henriod WPCSO

The opioid epidemic is considered the deadliest drug crises in U.S. history. The Trump Administration recently declared a public health emergency to deal with the epidemic. These are the headlines that the nation is now seeing as the opioid crises has reached new levels.

First, what is considered an opioid? Opioids are a class of drugs that include both legal and illegal substances. The legal substances are prescribed by doctors. They are drugs that help the patient deal with pain, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and fentanyl.

On the illegal side the most used drug is heroin. Any long term use of these substances can put the user at risk of addiction. Many people who use opioids will develop a tolerance to them that can trigger the cycle of addiction. This means that the same amount of the drug no longer has the same effect as it once did. When this occurs, people routinely take more and more of the substance to reach the desired relief. The increase in the dosage places the user at a greater risk for an overdose which could result in death. Statistical information reveals that 42,000 deaths occurred in 2016 in the United States. 387 of those deaths occurred in the State of Nevada.

Out of those 387 deaths one was from White Pine County. New laws are now in effect in the State of Nevada that put stricter regulations on how medical professionals prescribe and re-fill opioid prescriptions.

If you feel that you have an addiction or heading down that path there is help available. First you need to speak to your doctor and explain your symptoms so that you can work with them to head off a tragedy. There is also a crises call center that can assist you. You can call them at (775) 784-8090. They will assist you and provide needed information to help you battle your addiction.

Remember you and your family are not alone in this battle. Help is available and recovery is possible.