Tag Archives: opiate addiction

Opiates Gradually Overtaking Alcohol as #1 for Treatment Admissions

So far, news media have broadcast stories about two states that report similar rates of rehab admissions for opiates and alcohol. This may not be startling news until you realize that in most states, most years, alcohol far outstrips any other drug in the number of people sent to rehab. Here’s some specifics to look at.

New Jersey: According to Governor Christie, nearly half of all New Jersey admissions to treat-ment in 2013 were due to opiates or synthetic opiates (opioids) like hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lor-tab), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan) or heroin.

chart of  rehab admissions for drugs 2007

Chart data source: http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds07/TEDSHigh2k7.pdf

Compare that to this chart showing national statistics in 2007 for the drugs sending people to rehab. Alcohol was far and away the top drug driving arrivals at rehab centers. Continue reading

Teens, Young Adults and Opiate Addiction: How Does it Start?

It’s a terrible thing, but far too often these days, when a teen or young adult overdoses on an opiate drug, the parents didn’t even know there was a problem. Or maybe they did know there was a problem and they tried repeatedly to handle it but their loved one could never stay sober. Finally, an overdose of heroin or a painkiller or a combination of drugs takes him away from them.

How can this be happening with our young people?

The following is an excellent article on the phenomenon of teenagers getting started on painkillers, especially those in athletic programs.

High School Athletes and Prescription Painkiller Misuse

As the writer discusses, with too much pressure to get back into play before injuries are healed, a young person can learn to rely on painkillers to make the aches go away. On the other hand, doctors are still, by and large, not trained in the best ways to prevent dependence on these drugs. Many doctors still routinely prescribe 30 days of painkillers for a fairly minor injury or dental procedure. Sometimes all a person needs is a few days of pills for an injury. Continue reading

Are There Really Opiates in Every Town in America?

heroin and prescription opiatesIt seems like everywhere you look these days, there’s news about opiates. This is both good and bad. It’s bad because this means there are so many opiates in circulation that people need to be notified that there’s a problem. But it’s good because I think more people are becoming more aware of that something is wrong and needs attention. If they are more aware of it, they will be more alert to opiate abuse by a loved one.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, heroin abuse is on the rise. Past month use of heroin was reported by 281,000 people in 2011. In 2012, that number was 335,000. Continue reading

Maryland’s Drug Situation Illustrates the National Problem with Heroin and Pills

maryland mapMaryland has long struggled with a heroin problem. In fact, the Baltimore inner city has been renowned as a center of heroin abuse and addiction for many years. It’s not uncommon for multiple generations in the same family to seek help for addiction at the same time. But as opiate painkillers introduced a broad spectrum of people to a dependence on this type of drug, heroin abuse has followed and spread across the Maryland landscape. After all, there are drugstores in every town in every state in the US. And far too many states have unscrupulous doctors who are willing to make the money by selling prescriptions for addictive substances. The migration to heroin is seen as necessary when money sources dry up, because heroin is so much cheaper than pills.

Even though Maryland already had a high rate of heroin abuse, recent news reports state that there has been an 88% increase in heroin-related overdoses in a two year period. This increase really takes the problem to a fever pitch in the state. Continue reading

Not Just Suburban Families Suffering from Painkiller Addiction

sillouette of a soldierFor the last several years, the mainstream media has been reporting on the way that painkiller addiction has been working its way into the homes of people who never would have used an illegal drug. This addiction was initiated by the legitimate prescribing of painkillers like Vicodin, Lortab or OxyContin. As a person’s body builds tolerance to the pills, they need more of the drug just to feel normal and keep the pain away. This route to addiction is insidious because the person using the medication may not even realize when legitimate medical use slips into misuse and addiction.

Now, the story is emerging of how soldiers returning from deployments overseas either come back addicted to pain medication or how it develops after they continue the medication in the US.

One of the latest media stories on this tragic problem appeared in the Huffington Post. According to a study published on their website, nearly half the soldiers who return from deployment have chronic pain and 15% are using opioid (synthetic opiates) painkillers.

It’s also notable that of those taking painkillers, 44% state that they have had mild or no pain in the last month. Continue reading

Opiates, Opioids and the Veterans Administration

veteran soldiersThere seems to be a lot of conversations about prescription drugs these days and that’s a good thing. We have been developing a serious problem related to abuse of prescription drugs for several years so the more we talk about it, the more we may be able to join forces to overcome it.

For example, there was an article about the way the Veterans Administration has been dispensing and monitoring the use of painkillers. According to VA policy, before a person is started on opioids (semi-synthetic or fully synthetic opiate-like painkillers), they are supposed to get a urine test and then get a follow-up within 30 days. These actions would prevent a veteran from coming in to the VA to get drugs for an addiction and would help reduce the chance of long-term abuse and addiction. But a report from the VA stated that an examination of VA procedures showed that these actions were only done in 6.4% of cases.

This failure really means two things. Continue reading

Opiate Addiction Now Takes Many Forms But Cannot Successfully Be Treated with More Drugs

Thirty years ago, opiate addiction had a very limited range. Most opiate addicts were simply using heroin. A few might be abusing morphine and in a few regions, addicts might have access to opium. In recent years, this landscape has changed entirely. In the last couple of decades, there has been an enormous swing to prescription opiates but the effects of the addiction that results is little different from the earlier ones.

Opiate addiction now could involve fentanyl, a painkiller said to be 50 times stronger than heroin, or the well-known and widely abused Oxycontin. Oxycontin abuse has been so deadly that efforts have been made to formulate new, abuse-resistant pills. As these pills thwart addicts, those who need the drugs simply migrate to other opiates. The new substances sought to satisfy these opiate addictions include the original heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone or morphine.

When those suffering from opiate addiction migrate to heroin, they immediately put themselves at risk for overdoses. These people are usually not accustomed to dealing with the varying potencies of heroin and can easily overdose. Around the country, some heroin overdoses have been attributed to this switch from prescription to street drugs. In Norman, Oklahoma, law enforcement officers watched as addicts in the area switched from Oxycontin to Mexican black tar heroin.

Getting a Person Stably Off Opiates The Holistic Way

There are short term drug rehabs that claim to put an addicted person through a recovery program in under a month. There are “medication assisted” programs for opiate addicts that prescribe months or, more often, years on synthetic opiates as a way of keeping an addicted person from using illegal means to get drugs. While a person is helped to stay out of jail and has control of the dosage he or she is receiving, this is no way to bring about sobriety.

In fact, interviews with people on Suboxone, methadone or buprenorphine show that many of them continue to illicitly abuse drugs while they are taking the medication or that they only save a little of their drugs for an emergency (when they cannot get their hands on heroin) and sell the rest. It depends on how strictly run the addiction treatment program they are part of is. In some programs, the participants are drug tested and may be thrown out if they test positive for anything other than the drug they are administered.

Holistic recovery means that a person’s whole life is addressed. Treatment is very different from giving a drug that covers up cravings by supplying other opiates. Holistic recovery means a person learns to deal with the life issues that might have started them using drugs in the first place. The physical damage done by addiction is also addressed.

Narconon Of Vista Bay Services Offers Holistic Recovery

There are more than fifty Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers around the world, and each one is long-term and holistic. Every person who comes to Narconon for recovery proceeds at his or her own pace, not being discharged before recovery is complete. Cravings are addressed with a deep detoxification program that utilizes a low-heat sauna and nutritional supplements. After this step is complete, those in recovery talk about brighter outlooks and lowered cravings. Some people even say their cravings are gone.

Then each person must learn or relearn the life skills that are destroyed by addiction with any program including NA and others. When drug use starts very young, it is possible that these skills were never learned in the first place. These skills include being able to use communication to successfully deal with life issues and people, knowing how to recover and preserve one’s personal integrity, and knowing and using a stable personal moral code to guide one’s decisions.

When these and other life skills actions are complete, Narconon graduates from centers like Narconon of Vista Bay services in Northern California and Narconon Hastings in England understand how to create new sober lives for themselves.

Find out how quickly someone you love can go from addicted to lasting sobriety. Call Narconon of Vista Bay services today for the whole story. Call 1-800-775-8750 today.