It appears our war on drugs strategy may need a makeover. Why? Because the issues at hand have changed. We are no longer simply battling the issue of street drugs—in fact, street drugs seem easy compared to the new target: pain meds. With prescription painkillers emerging as a leading threat among drugs in America, we are entering a whole new ballgame with an entirely different set of rules.
The Challenge of the Painkiller Epidemic
Painkillers have been referred to by many as “legal heroin,” as they plague our schools, homes and communities with dependence and crime. Our criminal justice divisions on all scale are overwhelmed with narcotics cases—drugs like OxyContin, hydrocodone, Vicoden, Percocet, etc. Of course, the trading, selling and possession of these drugs without a prescription is highly illegal and prosecutable by law. Yet millions are addicted and continue to get hooked on opioid pills every day. Prescriptions are apparently hard to obtain, so why is this issue out of control on a national scale?
The answer is simple: when you have doctors doling out literally 210 million prescriptions (as they did last year), the source of these drugs is clear. Majority of users obtain their first painkillers from a legitimate prescription. Becoming addicted, they falsely claim pain symptoms to obtain more (which is not hard to do.) If their source fails them, they can try another doctor or one of the many online resources.
If the time comes that a painkiller addict finds his pills too expensive or hard to obtain, the last resort is to turn to heroin—a drug which is much less expensive, requires no doctor’s consent and yet which provides the same high. Prescription painkillers can and do act as a gateway to other illegal opiate use.
Prescription Painkiller Abuse In Our Schools And Communities
According to a recent survey done, one in five high school students reported use of prescription drugs (like oxycodone and other opioids) without a prescription or a medical need.
As a result, state-funded drug abuse treatment admissions for opioids has increased by a stunning 60% over the past several years. ER visits, overdoses and deaths and suicides subsequently have soared as a result of accidental and intentional over-use, further evidencing the fact that we have prescription painkillers emerging as a leading threat among drugs in the US.
Many kids find it increasingly easy to abuse pain drugs, because of their availability right in the home medicine cabinet. While it may seem daunting to buy heroin from a drug dealer downtown, the prospect of stealing a few pills is very easy to conceive of. In fact, prescription drugs are often tied to a large misunderstanding that they are “safe,” because they are prescribed by doctors.
What Does It Take To Stop Abusing Painkillers
According to Narconon drug rehabilitation, because the body stops producing its own natural painkillers (endorphins) once it begins receiving signals that opioids are in the body, it quickly forms a dependency on the drug. This is why withdrawal from pain drugs and heroin is highly dangerous and majorly uncomfortable.
It is possible to successfully withdrawal from painkillers and quit using them altogether, but long-term treatment is recommended for lasting results.
Narconon drug rehabilitation has one of the most successful treatment programs in the world for painkiller addiction and achieves a 76% success rate. Treatment for the problem is long term and completely drug free. Many who have tried other treatments, without success, have been able to get their life back through Narconon drug rehabilitation.
For more information on help through Narconon drug rehabilitation contact us today.