Exact statistics are not available on this, but it is very clear that a good number of people who get addicted to prescription painkillers started their journey by getting a prescription from their doctor. How can that possibly result in the patient getting addicted? And what can doctors do about it?
Using drugs to handle drug addiction is today’s trend. Instead of getting people through drug rehab so they can stop drugs and get their life back, they’re given other drugs. Some experts call that trading one drug for another. Others see taking the new drug as an actual solution, as treatment. Is taking drugs to treat drug addiction forward progress, or not?
People with addictions usually have triggers – things that will send them looking for whatever they’re addicted to. It doesn’t matter whether their drug of choice is ice cream, chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription painkillers or cocaine. The triggers happen, the cravings follow, and the possibility of relapse gets to the point of it being unbearable. But a Pittsburgh company is developing a wearable device that could help warn addicts that the chances of relapse are getting higher, and they may be able to do something to prevent it.
The higher the legitimate sales of prescription painkillers, the higher the deaths from the same pills, says the CDC. How’s that for cause and effect? And according to the CDC, that’s been happening since 1999. Every year. More prescriptions filled = more deaths. That should make anyone think twice when they’re offered opioid painkillers by their doctor. Of course, not all people who overdose and die from these pills have legitimate prescriptions – far from it. But even those who do – and even those who think they’re taking the pills the way the doctor ordered – are at risk and can overdose and die. Here’s how.
There’s a lot of focus on how bad the drug addiction scene is in the U.S. It seems that things are getting worse and worse. And, in a way, they are. I read and write about it every day. But I also read about more and more communities across the U.S. pulling together to do something about it and there are ever-increasing resources available for someone who’s on drugs and their families to get help. Here’s a round-up of the type of things being done.
Obviously, not all drugs sold on the street are sold through pharmacists. But pharmacists often sell to addicts, unknowingly, as well as to those who aren’t addicts yet but will end up that way, and to dealers who doctor shop – pretend they are in pain and go from one doctor to another to get painkillers then sell them to others. Being on the front lines, Canadian pharmacists have decided to up their game in the battle against the opioid epidemic.
It’s tempting to send someone to a detox program that lasts a few days or a short-term residential drug rehab program. It’s usually less expensive, and is more convenient in other ways than a long-term residential rehab. However, the chances of the person staying off drugs without a long-term program are pretty slim. Experts know this, but new research from the University of Southern California has verified it once again. Look at the numbers, and decide whether you want to waste your time and money with a short-term program.
You’d think that someone who’s on a drug rehab program of any sort wouldn’t be taking drugs. But according to a recent study, more people who are on methadone treatment are using marijuana much more than the general population. Using marijuana may make people feel better, but there’s virtually no chance of them achieving the goals of drug treatment – off drugs, and a revitalized life.
How many reasons to we need to make sure that people taking drugs get into rehab? How about this? Poison control centers in the U.S. get 32 calls a day from panicked adults about infants who’ve ingested prescription painkillers. Or about teenagers who’ve gotten the drugs from friends or a family member’s medicine cabinet (and that could well be where their friends got them too) and are now in need of medical help – often ending in not just an ER visit, but actually admitted to the hospital in an effort to save their lives or fix with the damage done. What can you do about it?