September 22, 2017
It is estimated that 2 million Americans 12 or older are addicted to prescription pain relievers. According to the CDC, deaths from prescription pain killers have more than quadrupled since 1999, with 91 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose.
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“People sometimes think that an addiction is psychological. But we’re not talking about a psychological addiction here. We’re talking about an addiction that affects a number of structures [in the brain],” Dr. Phil says.
He is joined by Dr. Charles Sophy, who is board certified in adult, child and adolescent psychiatry, and family practice, and is the medical director for DCFS in Los Angeles, to explain how using opioids and heroin affect the brain.
WATCH: Doctors Shed Light On The Opioid Crisis In America
“Any drug that you’re putting in your body is changing the chemistry of your brain, which will affect parts of your brain,” Dr. Sophy says. “Frontal lobe is the part that does executive functioning, judgment, insight, impulse control.”