One of the many difficult things about substance abuse is that it is a shape shifter. For some people one day it can be alcohol, the next cocaine, and another heroin. Trending of late, prescription drugs, especially painkillers have been haunting the lives of individuals all over the United States. A 2007 SAMHSA survey found that states in the South and mid-North East regions of the United States were the most heavy hit for painkiller abuse, but more recent surveys from 2010-2011 show that the abuse has now moved west hitting states including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. A popular drug for abuse has been oxycodone - extremely potent and addictive, this opioid painkiller claimed more than 378 lives in Oregon in 2011, that number up 172% from just a few years prior.
Every year over 16,000 lives are claimed by opioid overdoses and this is probably low for starters. While the numbers of abuse have fallen in the South, this might be because stricter standards have been taken over the past five years, while the epidemic still rages on in the West where many individuals are able to get their hands on large quantities of the drugs where the rules are more lenient.
Over the past few years prescription drug overdose has been on the rise in addition to oxycodone, include hydrocodone and methadone. One solution that has recently been mentioned would help stop doctors that too heavily prescribe these prescriptions, but it could lead to invasions of people’s privacy. Additionally, so researchers believe that the painkiller epidemic could be making way for the rise of street drugs again including the devastatingly addictive heroin.
Addiction is a serious and potentially deadly condition, however even prescription drug addiction can be treated by addiction specialists. One way to help a loved one find help is to rely on the expertise of an interventionist. An intervention helps a loved one that is in denial make his or her way to substance abuse treatment before it is too late.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, please contact us.
Photo courtesty of flickr
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.