It isn’t that difficult to get off prescription drugs – with the proper treatment – but getting to the point of being willing to do something about the problem is like pushing a boulder up a mountain.
As news items and articles increase the awareness of the potential for prescription drug addiction, abuse and deadly overdoses, the number of people going into prescription drug addiction treatment centers is rapidly surpassing those seeking treatment for street drugs. In fact, we’re only skimming the surface: If everyone with a prescription drug addiction or abuse problem decided to address it, treatment facilities would be so in demand it would be hard to find something available.
It’s been noticed for some time that an increasing number of older people are in drug addiction rehabilitation and treatment programs – especially those for narcotics like heroin and prescription painkillers. But no one’s really studied this age group to see how bad the situation really is. NY University has now completed a study that gives us some alarming information.
Heroin abuse is much more common that it used to be, says a Penn State study. And who takes it is also completely different. Heroin used to be associated with dark and dirty alleys, floors full of mattresses, used needles, and garbage. But thanks to prescription painkillers, that’s all changed.
Not to say there aren’t still dark alleys, mattresses, needles and garbage, but the average heroin user today is more likely to be someone who used to be on painkillers – often for a legitimate reason like surgery, dental work, broken bones, and so on – but had trouble getting them.
They started with OxyContin, hydromorphone, Percocet, Vicodin, Opana, or any of 50 or more other prescription narcotics, then got addicted. So despite no longer needing them for the original purpose, they now needed them more than ever. But the doctor that was handing out the prescriptions is no longer doing so.
Years ago a friend of mine who was involved in preventing abuse of people with mental or emotional problems told me that there was more progress made in the three months after the release of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest than in the prior three years. That’s the power of film. It’s one thing to be told about issues like that, but it’s quite another to actually see it presented in all it’s gory glory.
While the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation (in association with other groups) film If Only isn’t that gory, it does a fantastic job at presenting the issue and its consequences in a very real and hard-hitting way.
Although prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs for 12- to 13-year olds, that is by far not the only age group that dies from these drugs. But the earlier they start, the greater the chances of them continuing to have a problem throughout their life.
The vast majority – 90% – of kids who use prescription drugs get them in their own home and from their friends. They don’t really have to have money or even know real drug dealers.
Watch this film. You can watch it or download it at dropthemoff.com. And show it to your kids – whether they’re involved in drugs or not – and anyone else you know who’s using prescription drugs for anything other than a short time when really medically necessary, like after surgery or a bad accident or injury.
And if you find out that your kids are using drugs – even if they’ve just started – do something about it fast. Call us at 855-895-2090. We can help. Don’t join the ranks of the thousands of parents, grandparents, kids, spouses, siblings and friends who have waited until it’s too late.
Methadone treatment for addiction to other opiates – primarily heroin and prescription painkillers – began years ago. But, in fact, it often results in trading one addiction for another. And methadone is much harder to kick than the other drugs.
Why is methadone treatment such a problem?
- The idea with methadone is to give it to addicts for a short time to help prevent painful withdrawal from heroin or other opiates. In theory, the amount of methadone is reduced regularly until the person gradually is off it. But if someone is taking, for example, 100 mg of methadone a day, they may not be able to reduce the dose by even 5 mg every two weeks. Which means they’re going through that – and not particularly comfortably – for 10 months. And it still might not work. The body builds up a tolerance to methadone – just like other opiates – so you need more and more of it to get the same results. Taking less goes completely against the normal.
- Even if you get medical help – taking a drug like suboxone, for example – it can still take many months to be methadone-free.
- Many methadone treatment programs don’t give the person the counseling, training, life skills, and so on that a person needs to stay off drugs. In other words, there’s no drug rehabilitation. So the reason why the person was taking drugs in the first place isn’t addressed, and there’s a good chance they’ll go back on them.
What are the better options?
Many people can get through withdrawal from heroin in less than a week. That’s the toughest part – physically. And it’s the reason why most heroin addicts can’t get themselves off heroin, and one of the things that makes it do hard to confront even going to drug rehab.
But, truthfully, getting off methadone can involve months of discomfort.
What is better? Getting through it in a week or so and then going on with whatever other drug rehab type help you need, or dragging it on for months and months and maybe never getting the results you want?
If you need help withdrawal from heroin, oxycontin, oxycodone, hydrocodone or any similar drugs, give us a call at 855-895-2090. We know all about the various types of treatment methods and centers and can help you find the option best for you.
Also, although not many drug detox or drug rehab centers will accept people who are on methadone – that’s how hard it is to get someone off it – we do know where you can get help.
Here are some startling facts about young people aged 12 through 24, suicide attempts, and prescription drug addiction and abuse.
- 8.8 percent of drug-related hospital emergency department visits made by kids aged 12 to 17 involved suicide attempts.
- The same is true of 6.3 percent of drug related ER visits for 18 to 24 year olds.
- 95.4 percent of those visits from 12 to 17 year olds involved prescription drugs.
- 92.8 percent of drug-related suicide attempts by 18 to 24 year olds also involved prescription drugs.
- Nearly 75 percent of the kids who went into the ER visits left with no arrangement to follow up on why they were trying to kill themselves.
When I was younger, you rarely heard of kids attempting suicide.
What prescription drugs were involved?
- Anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives and hypnotics – 27 percent
- Benzos – 16.7 percent
- Antidepressants – 17.6 percent
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – 11.7 percent
- Antipsychotics – 12.9 percent
- Narcotic painkillers (e.g. OxyContin) – 11.4 percent
- Acetominophen products (like Aspirin) – 15.1 percent
- Ibuprofin products (like Tylenol) – 11.3 percent
- Anticonvulsants – 9.3 percent
Many of these drugs are readily prescribed by doctors who don’t even do anything to get to the bottom of the problems people are getting them for.
As you can see, these drugs are dangerous. Many of them are prescribed for the reasons one would attempt to commit suicide so, obviously, they either didn’t work, or they caused the desire to commit suicide.
Drugs – whether prescription drugs or otherwise – don’t get down to the bottom of the problems the person is having and help them with them. They just make things worse. So much worse, in fact, that some kids are trying to commit suicide.
Prescription drug addiction and abuse can also lead to taking other drugs that are equally dangerous.
If your kids are taking drugs, the best way to keep them safe is to get them off them with drug addiction rehabilitation. If you need help, contact us at 855-895-2090.
Image: ©[ spotmatikphoto]/123RF.COM