Some people have the idea that getting an interventionist to help get a friend or family member into drug addiction rehab is a drastic measure – uncomfortable for all concerned and, perhaps, too invasive. But alcohol and drug addiction are life-threatening situation. Is doing something that is going to save the life of someone you care about really too invasive?
In 2007, when Purdue Pharma was fined $634 million for fraudulent advertising, I wrote a blog warning that drug rehab centers were soon to be filled with people suffering from OxyContin addiction. My prediction was correct – the majority of people getting drug detox and prescription drug addiction rehabilitation are there for prescription painkillers. But the situation is even worse than I thought it would be. Check it out.
After her favorite nephew died of a heroin overdose in 2013 at the young age of 22, Kentucky state legislator Joni Jenkins decided that the current laws governing drug addiction treatment didn’t go far enough to get help to people when they need it the most.
On the one hand, her family was hamstrung by value systems that discourages prompt, effective intervention to help a family member in need. And the system itself is lacking in sufficient resources to help ensure that professional help is there when it’s needed.
Recent reports show that most heroin users in Ohio live in nicely-kept suburbia. Are you one of the suburbanites in need of drug addiction rehabilitation? But how did so many people in the suburbs start taking heroin?!
How do suburbanites wind up on heroin?
- One of the most common routes to heroin is prescription drugs. People take them for an illness or injury or stress, then get addicted.
- Then their doctor won’t fill their prescriptions anymore so they look for the drugs elsewhere.
- They may then go to another doctor who does give them more, and they could actually keep doing this – going from doctor to doctor until, finally, they can’t get them anymore. This is particularly true in the States that have a prescription drug monitoring program. The doctors and pharmacists can go into the prescription drug database and see that the person has gone from one doctor to another getting these drugs. Sooner or later, it becomes impossible to get them from that source.
- Next might be friends and family – it is amazing how many people have prescription painkillers like OxyContin or hydrocodone in their medicine cabinets. And they’re often more than willing to share them. Failing that, there’s always stealing some while using the facilities. But this might not last long – when friends and relatives see they’re dealing with an addict, they might not be willing to continue to supply the drug.
- The next step is the regular street drug dealers – that’s when it starts getting really expensive. Usually it’s around $1 per milligram, and the person can take anywhere from 30 to 80 milligrams or more every day.
Then what happens? If the person can’t afford to spend about $100 a day on pills, they might turn to heroin – which might cost $10 or $20 a day.
Huge Increase in Deaths from Heroin
The police in Ohio are very concerned about the number of deaths from heroin as well. Not that prescription drugs don’t kill you – nationwide the deaths connected to prescription drugs far outnumber the deaths from heroin and some other street drugs combined!
Nevertheless, in that area of Ohio, more people are dying from heroin.
No doubt it is because they don’t understand how much they can take safely. Well, safely, meaning without killing themselves. That sounds pretty obvious, but it is an important factor. They’ve been taking pills – there are not as many things unknown about pills as heroin. Pills have an exact dosage and exact ingredients. You never know how strong a hit of heroin is – especially if you have a new supply – or what it will be mixed with.
Keep an eye out for anyone on prescription drugs – especially painkillers – and make sure they get off them as soon as possible. There are other drugs they can take, that aren’t so addictive, to relieve pain if necessary. And then no one runs the risk of turning into a heroin addict.
If you are having trouble getting someone to stop taking prescription drugs, give us a call at 855-895-2090. We can help with good advice, intervention if necessary, and getting the person into the best prescription drug addiction rehabilitation center for their situation.
In an earlier blog we looked at the signs and symptoms of OxyContin addiction and dependency. You now have a better chance of recognizing that some you care about has a problem – so what do you know now?
Here are a few important steps, and things to remember.
You need to recognize you are dealing with an individual with a drug problem
They may not always tell you the truth. They may lie about where they’ve been or what they’ve done or how many pills they’ve taken in a day. Don’t believe every word they say. Don’t buy into their lies.
Don’t be fooled by their excuses anymore
Regardless of the pain they may experience, the OxyContin will set them up for greater pain and greater sorrow than the initial problem they were trying to handle. Don’t let them believe that you think they should just take as many pills as they want, regardless of the effects this will have on them. Make no mistake; too many OxyContin pills in a day can be fatal.
Above all, don’t give them any drugs or money for drugs
Sorry to say it but so frequently friends and family are the ones who enable. Your sympathy and love can be played upon and used to contribute to the problem. Don’t aid and abet them in their search for more OxyContin. Don’t turn them onto more doctors who might prescribe them more drugs. Get steely and say ‘NO’!
Do your homework about drug addiction treatment methods and facilities
Especially those that specialize in handling both the physical and the mental aspects of addictions. Even with physical pain and suffering, there are other issues that will lead individuals into drug dependency and those will need to be addressed as well as the physical side of the problem. Don’t fall for the ‘I can have you drug-free in 48 hours’ pitch, which includes, “and you can sleep through it, and never face up to any of your problems”. There will be work ahead for the person you are trying to help – you need to know that. There are thousands of available facilities. Call us if you need help sorting them out. 855-895-2090.
Try talking with the person you want to help
You may be the one who is able to reach him or her. Then, again, you may not be. It, in fact, may ‘take a village’. If you can’t get the individual to listen to what you are saying, which could very well occur, stage a drug intervention. They have been known to be very successful, and they have the added bonus of the fact that you will not have to go it on your own.
Make sure they get to the prescription drug addiction treatment facility you’ve chosen
You, and the rest of’ the village’ should at this point be able to take him or her to a rehab facility to begin treatment. With OxyContin addiction, you will need a facility that has a proven success record with OxyContin rehab.
Go home and get a good night’s sleep
You get to breathe a little easier, knowing that you have done all you could to ensure this individual has a chance at a clean and sober, drug-free life.
One last important point to remember is that you do not have to do this by yourself. There are people who will walk you through this process. They will help you accomplish your goal. You want to help this person to recognize they have a problem and be willing to do something about it. When an individual is willing to acknowledge that they have a drug problem, that’s huge. That’s the start-point of their healing process, their independence from drugs, and a whole new life!
Three years ago, a 29 year old girl named Jennifer Blair died from an overdose of painkillers. She had started using drugs 13 years before her death, and quickly became addicted. Her mother, Sharon, tried to get her daughter to get help, but Jennifer refused. Now Sharon Blair has lobbied for The Jennifer Act – a new law that will allow relatives to force addicts in their family into drug rehab.
Sharon and her two daughters lived in Clearwater, Florida at the time of Jennifer’s death. But, afterwards, mom and her remaining daughter moved to Indiana.
In Indiana, they’ve already passed the bill. Now Sharon’s working on Florida.
Florida currently has a law that enables someone to force a relative into detox, but that’s only for 72 hours. That’s a far cry from a good drug rehab program – which can take months. In fact, it wouldn’t even get some people through the detox process.
Sharon wants to get the law passed throughout the U. S. Sharon sees it as a form of drug intervention.
But there are other options – real drug intervention being the main one. While it’s true that a lot of people deny they have an alcohol or drug problem or simply refuse to get treatment, a good interventionist can usually turn that around and get the person to get into rehab. That way, you don’t have to get your family involved with the law. Much more pleasant.
A lot of people are going to be screaming about this – some people are of the opinion that taking drugs, or not, is a personal choice and that no one has the right to interfere with that no matter what the consequences on themselves or others.
But I doubt you’re going to get too many parents objecting to this law, especially if they’ve had a child die or get into serious trouble with drugs.
What do you think?
There are a lot of reasons behind the substance abuse problem in Illinois, and in the entire U.S. for that matter, but perhaps one of the most significant is the number of people who don’t think they have a problem or, if they do, don’t try to get help.
Vancouver Canada has been in the news recently because it’s where the 2010 Winter Olympic Games were held. And, while all of the Olympic coverage was taking place, across town, like many other large cities across Canada as well as the US, there are daily problems with illegal drugs.
Vancouver has come up with an interesting “social experiment” having to do with the illegal use of injection drugs. Addicts line up every morning at a facility called Insite, where they can safely and legally inject their illegal drugs like Heroin, Cocaine, Morphine, etc. Basically, the only requirements for addicts are that they register their name and substance of choice, and that they inject themselves under the supervision of nurses who will provide them with sterile injection equipment.
The basis of this program is harm reduction. Over the seven years that this facility has been in existence, there have been studies done, since it is basically an experiment, that show that it has reduced the number of public injections, overdose fatalities, transmission of blood-borne illnesses like HIV & Hepatitis C and injection related infections. While all of these results are good, you have to wonder what type of message this sends out to the public.
What is lesser known, at least from the information that I’ve read and viewed about this program, is that they do offer the addicts who use the facility a chance to work with drug counselors who can get them to detox and drug rehabilitation programs, which are part of their facility called Onsite.
I can honestly say that this will be a controversial topic, no matter how you look at it. And, whether you agree with the “it’s legal here so just come in and be safe” approach or something else, the bottom line is that what is really needed is for people to be offered good drug rehab solutions.
It’s obvious that pouring resources into legal systems and jails isn’t fixing the problems that have become a worldwide epidemic. And while I don’t fully agree with Vancouver’s edgy and controversial approach, I think it’s noble to have thought outside the box.
An interesting commentary article from the Phillipines talks about enablers – people who somehow support the bad habits of their friends and family. Gamblers who are loaned or given money, and drug abusers, and dealers, whose parents and family members turn a blind eye instead of getting them into an addiction treatment center where they can get help.
One of the problems mentioned in the article, which leads to ‘enabling,’ is trying to avoid conflict. I would say that’s a major problem – especially within a family.
When someone tries to talk to their husband, wife or kid about their drug or alcohol problem, there’s a good chance they’re going to meet with hostility. The addict, or alcoholic, will throw everything you’ve ever done wrong in your face, or will be beligerant and angry, will storm out of the house or go into another room and slam the door, and so on.
In other words, they attack the person who’s trying to help them and make the situation so uncomfortable the person either backs down or gets so embroiled in the argument themselves they can no longer do what they’d set out to do.
How can you avoid this? First, don’t try to speak with the person when they’re currently on drugs or drinking. When they’re sober they’re more likely to agree they have a problem. Second, try not to get upset when they do so you don’t give them anything to fight with. Generally, it takes two to argue.
Third, and most important, be ready to take them to an addiction treatment center right then and there. Have it set up beforehand so as soon as you get the person to admit they have a problem, you can put them in the car, on a plane, whatever it takes, to get them into treatment before they change their mind.
If you can’t do this, get help from an interventionist. They can help you see the whole thing through to the end. In fact, most interventions aren’t what you would expect. A good interventionist can get the job done without a lot of drama.
All the reasons you have wanted a loved one to stop drinking or taking drugs, all the fears you’ve had about it, are a reality. If you haven’t yet experienced the worst of it, ask anyone who has. And then get help through a drug addiction treatment center.