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Opioid Crisis and Its Consequences

The opioid crisis has been a devastating tribulation across nations, and it has caused many deaths over time. Situations have worsened concerning this crisis since it has been a high-rank catastrophe that needs urgent response. The opioid crisis has particularly affected the United States of America (USA) and Canada, primarily young and middle-aged adults. The number of surgeries globally has been increasing and has led to the increase of opioid drugs in the relief of pain, significantly contributing to the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis emanates from the increased use of prescribed and non-prescribed opioid drugs and in surgeon solutions, and its uncontrolled use leads to increased deaths and reduced labor force participation.

Increased use of prescribed and non-prescribed opioid drugs has led to the opioid crisis. Opioid drugs are a group of pain-relieving medicine that works with the brain. Opioid drugs direct agonists to the brain’s opioid receptors to produce their behavioral impacts. The behavioral effects of opioids are converted by three trans-membranes G-protein-coupled opioid receptors -µ, δ, κ- and second-messenger gene transcription changes, and the µ opioid is responsible for pain relief and intoxicating opioid effects. Opioid-increased prescriptions by surgeons have directly and indirectly contributed to the crisis. According to Huang et al. (2023), prohibited opioids caused 24% of the 68,630 deaths in 2020. Massive use of opioids has contributed to the rise of the opioid crisis in many countries. Therefore, the opioid crisis is a consequence of unregulated and uncontrolled use of the opioid drugs.

Surgeons have primarily used opioid drugs to treat surgery chronic pain. According to Fuster Muga (2018), USA prominent political and health officials have dictated this national emergency. The National Institute of Health has been fighting this crisis by raising funds for Biomedical Research (Fuster & Muga, 2018). A survey of 22,000 people aged 12 to 49 years in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany showed that Spain leads in the inappropriate use of opioids (Fuster & Muga, 218). About 15% of the patients from surgery transition to chronic opioid use; therefore, surgeons have a responsibility to address this worsening crisis (Fender et al., 2023). Therefore, the massive use of opioids has led to the opioid crisis.

Consequently, the opioid has led to increased deaths. Illicit opioid users have a high risk of death through overdose infections and suicide. For instance, in the USA, the opioid crisis kills approximately more than 90 Americans each day, and an estimated 2.1 million people suffer from opioid use disorder (Knestrick, 2017). Nearly 5000 people have a heroin addiction (Knestrick, 2017). In Canada, more than 30000 people have died from opioid-related overdoses, which have slowed life expectancy trends (Fischer, 2023). Therefore, the opioid crisis has led to many deaths in the world, which dramatically has interfered with life expectancy.

Furthermore, the opioid crisis has led to reduced labor force participation, incurring substantial economic costs. Increased opioid use leads to abusive consumption and addiction, and physical and mental health issues, leading to a high level of unemployment (Böckerman et al., 2021). The opioid crisis introduces uncertainties to labor investments, which may cause a postponement of the investment, and this will result in inefficiency; this crisis contributes to social phobia and depression, which affect teamwork in the workplace (Jia & Li, 2023). Therefore, the opioid crisis interferes with individuals’ health and, thus employment.

In precis, the opioid crisis has been a severe disaster in nations that has dire consequences. It emanates from the high use of opioid drugs, highly used in pain relief. It has led to massive loss of lives in states, bringing frustration to families. Furthermore, it has led to reduced labor force investment, bringing a substantial economic cost. Therefore, the opioid crisis is a worldwide emergency tribulation that has severe consequences for individuals and the economy.


Fender, Z., Bleicher, J., Johnson, J. E., Phan, K., Powers, D., Stoddard, G., Brooke, B. S., & Huang, L. C. (2023). Improving pain management and safe opioid use after surgery: A DMAIC-based quality intervention. Surgery Open Science13, 27–34.

Fischer, B. (2023). The continuous opioid death crisis in Canada: Changing characteristics and implications for path options forward. The Lancet Regional Health – Americas19, 1–2.

Fuster, D., & Muga, R. (2018). The opioid crisis. Medicina Clínica (English Edition)151(12), 487–488.

Huang, L. C., Nibley, H., Cheng, M., Bleicher, J., Ko, H., Johnson, J. E., & McCrum, M. L. (2023). Naloxone co-prescriptions for surgery patients prescribed opioids: A retrospective cohort study. Surgery in Practice and Science15, 1–7.

Jia, J., & Li, Z. (2023). Opioid abuse and Labor Investment Efficiency. International Review of Economics & Finance89, 1267–1285.

Knestrick, J. (2017). Impact of the opioid crisis. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners13(9), 1–1.


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