Colorado Drug Rehab: Opiate Addiction
In the past year, prescription painkillers, like Vicodin, OxiContin, Percocet have become America’s second most prevalent illegal drug problem after marijuana. When you include other prescription drugs, such as tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives, the problem becomes even larger and is the “number one” drug abuse and addiction problem in America today.
There are three classes of prescription drugs that are most commonly abused:
- opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, and morphine;
- central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines;
- stimulants such as dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate.
Prescription drug abuse and addiction among young people ages 12-17 is also reported as the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana. In actual numbers, marijuana is by far the leading illegal drug of abuse with this age group, but in analyzing the growth trend, prescription drug abuse is closing the gap at an alarming pace, exemplified by the fact that teens have recently been turning away from street drugs to prescription drugs to get high. New users of prescription drugs are reported being equal to new users of marijuana. Certainly, that is an alarming statistic.
There are a number of considerations that are support this new drug abuse trend:
- Consider the fact that many young people are prescribed Ritalin and Adderall for their restlessness and inability to stay focused in the classroom. This condition has been given a morbid psychiatric label of ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) A high percentage of these young people sell or share their “medications” with their peers.
- Consider the highly prevalent advertisements for sleeping aids, tranquilizers and other mood-altering drugs on commercial television that strongly suggest that life is better with chemical support.
- Millions of parents are given these prescription drugs by their physicians. This action condones the efficacy of needing a drug to feel more normal or to increase ones abilities.
- The majority of teens are getting prescription drugs for free and more easily than traditional street drugs (from their home medicine cabinets, for example.)
- Physicians not infrequently prescribe OxyContin and Vicodin to young people who complain of chronic pain or have an acute injury.
- Consider the challenge of the psychological thrill of taking a drug that others are touting to be “the same as heroin.”
Because of the liberal prescribing practices of many physicians throughout the country, our society is facing an opiate-medication epidemic. Nearly half of all requests seeking drug rehab are related to addiction problems associated with opiate prescription drug use.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that there are 50 million Americans suffering from chronic pain who find it difficult to locate healthcare providers who will prescribe an adequate level of pain medications to alleviate their pain. Many websites for professionals suggest that most healthcare providers have a fear of prescribing opiate pain medications because of their “opiophobia” (fear that patients will become addicted to this pain medication).
This is an example of our culture’s orientation to prescribing drugs to handle medical symptoms, since pain is always a symptom of an originating problem. Enormous profits are realized from the sale of opiate pain medications which, unfortunately, drives the underlying philosophy of our medical practice in America.
Because of the pain and suffering associated with the withdrawal symptoms from opiate painkillers, many patients exaggerate their level of pain to their physicians to help them document their reliance on pain medications. Intake counselors at Narconon drug rehab centers report that it is not uncommon with adult enrollee, seeking detox from pain medications, to state that their actual, original pain has subsided for years, but the patient had been unable to confront withdrawal from the medications.
America’s healthcare providers need to be guided by the medical principle – “Above all else, do no harm.”
Alternative pain management and treatment should be the order of the day when one considers the suffering that attends addiction to these medications.
Receiving treatment for addiction should be done in a safe & stable environment that is conducive to addiction recovery. Research studies show that residential treatment programs of at least 3 months in duration have the best success rates.Three months may seem like a long time, but one day in the life of an individual addicted to Opiates can feel like an eternity. Colorado Drug Rehab understands how hard it is to confront ending an addiction, in spite of all of the evidence that give one no alternatives. It is a moral crime for a residential drug treatment center or a drug rehab of any kind to make implicit promises that they can give you services that will end your addiction and, when you have completed the program, you are left without any mental or physical tools that could ever end addiction. Unfortunately, most of the residential alcohol and drug rehab centers are doing just that. They are redefining the addiction in terms that present it as a chronic and progressive disease...meaning that it will last forever, and it will get worse throughout you or lifetime, if you are using or not. Colorado Drug Rehab can explain a different and more truthful view of addiction and can introduce you to alcohol and drug rehab programs that end addiction in your life or that of your loved one. CAll 1-877-888-4802 and speak to a counselor and find out the truth about addiction.
Opiates are a broad range of analgesics that range from hydrocodone to fyntinal in their potency. Fyntinal is rated as being 1,000 times stronger than morphine. Obviously, this figure can't be scientifically accurate, but leave it to say that it is the strongest opiate on the market and is sometimes mixed with weak heroin to make the heroin appear more pure. This is a very dangerous activity since there have been many over-doses caused from this mixture.
The regular and continuous use of opiates, over a period of days, creates a physiological need to continue the administration of the drugs. Once the person stops taking opiates, he will experience some alarming physical symptoms as well as depression and a heightening of those mental issues that were so pleasantly relieved by the opiate in the beginning. It is the mental anxiety and other mental manifestations that drive the user back to the opiates and are the driving force in the person becoming an opiate addict. As the opiates wear off, the person will feel that time is beginning to stand still. He will have his thoughts focused on taking any form of an opiate to relieve this painful feeling of "unrealness". Most addicts report that they could easily get through the physical pain associated with opiate withdrawal, but the mental anguish is more than they can stand.
The effects of taking an opiate, if taken by a non-addict, are a general dulling for the senses, accompanied by a pleasant state of mind which is characterized by freedom from pain and worry and sometimes a more rapid flow of ideas. There is a stimulant effect when opiates are first taken. The effects of taking an opiate for the first time will vary in relation to the individual's need for pain relief, whether it be physical pain or mental anguish. Since most addicts "graduate" to opiates after trying to feel happy or normal with other drugs. A person that has unresolved problems of conscious, worry and anxiety, will find opiates to remove them from dwelling on these issues. The feeling has a quality of relief that the user hasn't found in any other drug and, if this is the case with the first-time user of opiates, it is a high probability that he will want more of this feeling and the drug as soon as these positive outcomes are wearing off.
Naturally, most people that are attempting to withdrawal from opiates without professional support will fail and may violate their own moral code to do whatever it takes to get some more of the narcotic and stop the withdrawal symptoms.
There are those who subscribe to the idea that an addict in this condition must "hit bottom", meaning that he needs to feel this hellish drama so that he can remember how horrible the opiates have caused him to feel and therefore be motivated to seek help and end his addiction to opiates. This seems somewhat logical, but it isn't a successful approach. The intensity of withdrawals certainly causes the addict to wish he weren't addicted, but because of the definite relief that he will experience from these feelings once he takes another opiate, it actually causes him to be more fearful of withdrawals and to stay more solidly addicted, not to mention, the invalidation that he now feels for failing to do what he hoped he could do, but also the feeling that others are not going to be supportive. Talk to one of the counselors at Colorado Drug Rehab and ask that they explain how the "tough-love" approach is not an ideal way to motivate someone to end an opiate addiction. 1-877-888-4802