Over a century ago a doctor, who later became the president of the American Medical Association warned of widespread prescription pain pill use, 112 years ago he wrote in a medical journal that the overuse of narcotics were wrecking lives and happy homes, filling our jails and lunatic asylums. It may be time to heed his warning. Since the issue of that journal in 1900 the use of prescription medications has skyrocketed.
How much has pain medication use increases and why?
From 1900 to around 1960 doctors and patients had a different view on pain management. Many doctors feared the addictive qualities of many pain medications and there for were not as likely to prescribe these highly addictive pills in fear that it could cause an addiction which could have much higher consequences than pain itself. Many patients also feared becoming addicted themselves and looked at pain differently, maybe a little more tolerant of some pains.
In 1960 things began to change, doctors began to focus more on pain management more doctors and hospitals began to prescribe opiate based medications. Numbers began to rise, by the early 1970’s there were 300,000 reported new users of painkillers, by 1986 that number grew to 500,000 and between 1992-1998 that number exploded to 2.5 million.
Some contributing factors in this dramatic increase could be that several new pain medications were introduced in the 1990’s including Oxycontin in 1996. These numbers continue to rise. American’s currently consume 80% of the world’s prescription medications and studies have shown that 3 to 5 percent of people who take pain medication eventually become addicted.
The Danger Lurking In Our Medicine Cabinets One of the most dangerous elements of pain medication addiction is the accessibility. Most modern day medicine cabinets are stocked with a variety of pain medications to alleviate a wide range of symptoms. We may be becoming too dependant of covering up the symptom instead of treating the cause. Children growing up in a time of taking a pill for everything could lead to many problems with addiction down the road.
The other problem is that the drugs are very accessible. Recent reports indicate that most kids and young adults got their prescriptions from a friends or family members’ medicine cabinet.
Because the drugs are “legal” and many take them there is an idea that they are safe and non-addictive. This could not be further from the truth as witnessed by recent trends and statistics.
What Solutions Are Available To Solve This Problem To solve the dilemma of prescription use by Americans, education is key. Educate yourself and your loved ones on the side effects and addictive qualities of every medication you/they are prescribed. Start with not sharing medications. You could unwittingly start an addiction by simply sharing a pain pill with a family member or friend. Also keep close tabs on prescriptions that you have been given by your doctor.
Only take the amount you have been prescribed and never save left over medication for future use. You never know whose hands they could end up in.
Many cities have “Take Back” days where they will take back unused medication and dispose of it properly. Opioids are dangerous and highly addictive. We have become a little too comfortable with taking pain pills just because something is prescribed to you by your doctors does not make you immune to it’s addictive qualities. Seek help if you suspect you or some one you love may have a problem.
Narconon offers a successful solution through their inpatient program that includes Narconon sauna treatment to remedy the physical aspect of the problem.
With 16 million people addicted to alcohol, another 23.5 million abusing illicit substances and 8 million using prescriptions non-medically the United States is suffering with a major substance abuse epidemic. A recent New York Times article reports that the issue costs our country $468 billion every year. This not only covers the cost of treatment but incarceration, problems in the workplace and other negative consequences of addiction.
With everything negative that is attached to addiction, many wonder why someone would ever decide to use drugs in the first place?
The Cycle Of Drug Use And Addiction In The United States
The cycle of drug use and addiction in our country is pretty simple, if you look at all the components of the problem. The first component is the availability of drugs. A recent article indicates that half of all high school students knew where to get drugs at school or where they could get high during the day during or between classes. In addition, 17.8% of students or nearly 3 million are abusing drugs during the school day. And the main drug culprits include marijuana, prescription drugs, synthetic drugs and alcohol.
However, the problem isn’t just affecting school aged and high school kids as more reports have surfaced that drug abuse is also a concerning problem among the Baby Boomer generation as well as the elderly population.
The reasons are as follows:
1. The number of prescriptions written every year has risen 39% with only an 8% population increase in the U.S. Those filled by one pharmacy alone were 1.9 billion [CVS].
2. Enough oxycodone, hydrocodone and Vicoden prescriptions were filled in the U.S. to give every man, woman and child one pill each.
3. The number one way that teens and young adults are getting prescriptions are from a friend or family member or by taking them from a medicine cabinet. This makes it seem like the drugs are safe and non-addictive so more people use them.
4. Marijuana was legalized for medical use 17 states causing more and more of the drug to be used in the United States in dispensaries that sold to those without valid prescriptions. This also opened the door to individuals who “faked illnesses” to obtain fraudulent prescriptions of the drug, pushed up the overall abuse rate, and made marijuana look like a safe and effective alternative for teens who felt that because it was “legal,” it was safe.
5. Synthetic drugs were marketed across convenience stores, gas stations, and paraphernalia shops advertising themselves as “herbal” or “natural,” again opening the door to abuse. The substances then caused many health problems, suicides, deaths and even murders across the country.
6. States put in less and less enforcement on underage drinking and excessive alcohol use. Drinking was supported by parents, to which some even provided alcohol for their sons or daughters. With all of the above happening it would be surprising not to have a major problem with substance abuse.
Time To Take An Active Role
The drug and alcohol abuse issues in the country should not be taken lightly. Anyone using drugs needs immediate help through long term treatment. Programs like Narconon, who use Narconon sauna detox are especially effective. The process helps to remove drug residues from the body and reduce physical cravings. The result is that seven out of ten graduates of Narconon sauna and the full Narconon program stay permanently drug and alcohol free.
For more information on this topic or to get help for a loved one with a drug or alcohol problem contact us today.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/us/28addiction.html http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/08/22/many-teens-drinking-taking-drugs-during-school-survey http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/Prescription-Drug-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276178,00.html
Recent reports show that heroin abuse is soaring in our suburbs among teenagers. The old image of inner city heroin addicts on street corners shooting up may have to be replaced with a new image. The fact is that recent statistics show heroin use soaring for suburban teens.
What lies behind this phenomenon may not be too mysterious if you are aware of the huge increase in prescription drug abuse, particularly of prescription painkillers in recent years. There are so many kids addicted to drugs such as Oxycontin, hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lorcet) and fentanyl that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have now called it epidemic.
The number of people admitted for drug abuse treatment over the past ten years has been stable overall. However, the increase in the number of people who are admitted for abusing prescription drugs has increased by 5.3 times in the past ten years. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed an increase in the rate of treatment admissions for the misuse of prescription opioid drugs from ten per 100,000 people in 1999 to 53 per 100,000 people in 2009.
Unfortunately, along with the increase in the number of people abusing prescription opioid painkillers, the number of young people dying of accidental overdoses of these opioids also increased nearly fourfold in just nine years. In the United States the number of deaths due to these overdoses was about 4,000 in 1999; by 2007 the deaths caused by overdoses of prescription painkillers had tripled to over 12,000. And, this number continued to rise to nearly 15,000 people in 2008.
The fact of the matter is that the opioids such as Oxycontin are highly addictive, and one can get addicted very quickly. The chemical composition and action of these drugs is very similar to heroin in the brain. On the street, the cost of one milligram of “Oxy” is about $1.00. Many kids take the 80 milligram pills, so this is a very expensive habit to maintain. The cost of heroin is about one-tenth the cost of Oxycontin. So when one is running low on money but still has the urgent need for the opiate-like high, heroin may be available to him, and at a much lower price.
There is another factor causing heroin use to soar for suburban teens. The company who makes Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, had to change its composition and formulation in 2010. Now, Oxycontin is formulated so that it cannot be crushed or dissolved. This prevents one from using the crushed form to snort or the dissolved form to be injected. So the pills are harder to abuse. However, the change in that formulation has now led to soaring heroin use and addiction among suburban teens.
Narconon Offers An Effective Solution To Addiction
Fortunately for those who are suffering from addiction to heroin, Oxycontin, or numerous other drugs or alcohol, Narconon provides an effective solution. The Narconon sauna-based program works to help one rid the body of the residues of drugs that may otherwise remain there for years. Drug residues bond with the fat cells in the body and are stored in fatty tissues of the body. These are difficult to remove and in many cases have been linked with later cravings for more drugs, even many years after drug use has stopped. The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program, the name for the sauna detox program, enables one to rid his body of these harmful residues. This is done by a very thorough routine one follows with moderate exercise, good nutrition and plenty of nutritional supplements, and time spent supervised in a Narconon sauna daily.
Most participants who complete this portion of the full Narconon program report that they have far fewer or even no more cravings for drugs. They also report a more optimistic outlook on the future, and some say that they feel a “fog” has lifted and they can see the world as it really is now, and think more clearly. For tens of thousands of people this program has been the solution that ends their addiction to drugs or alcohol.
When the cravings for more drugs are removed, this goes a long way toward recovery. But, Narconon includes far more than just the Narconon sauna portion of the program Find out about the full eight-phase Narconon drug and alcohol rehab program by visiting www.narconon.org.
More babies in the U.S. are being born with symptoms of opiate withdrawal than were seen a decade ago. In fact, about one baby is born addicted to drugs every hour in the U.S. And the drugs that the babies are hooked on will shock you; they are opiate drugs, mainly prescription painkillers.
Opiates are powerful drugs derived from the poppy plant that have been used for centuries to relieve pain. They can be natural or synthetic. The natural opiates include opium, morphine, and codeine. Other substances, called opioids, are man-made. These substances are like opiates in that they are most often used to treat chronic or severe pain and are also highly addictive. These substances include Dilaudid, Demerol, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Methadone, and Darvon. Heroin is another example of an opioid manufactured from morphine.
According to a study to examine the 2000-2009 rates of maternal opiate use, the number of pregnant mothers using opiates – including heroin, methadone and certain painkillers – increased from 1.19 to 5.63 for every 1,000 births. The number of infants born experiencing withdrawals a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) increased from 1.20 to 3.39 for every 1000 births.
Problems Associated With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Newborns with NAS were more likely than other newborns to have low birth weight, respiratory complications, feeding difficulties, and seizures.
The pain and discomfort felt by newborns going through withdrawal can cause a high-pitched cry that goes on and on for hours. Many of these babies are treated in the ICU with opiate replacement medications to help them wean safely. During this time, they may be extremely stressed and inconsolable, possibly suffering from breathing, sleeping and feeding problems, dehydration, vomiting, seizures and the list goes on.
Recent data have shown that about 16 percent of pregnant teens and about 7.5 percent of pregnant women ages 18 to 25 use illicit drugs. Most neonate withdrawal problems have been tied to maternal opiate use such as illicit opiate use or prescription abuse issues.
The latest news has fully covered the epidemic of prescription abuse in America and dubbed it the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified this issue as a national epidemic. Now the issue it not only affecting young adults, older individual’s but expectant mothers and newborn babies maternal opiate use at delivery increasing from 1.19 to 5.63 per 1,000 births.
What Solutions Can Be Put In Place To Help Expectant Mothers
When used during childbirth, opiates are considered the first option after less invasive or natural methods of pain relief. Opiates are given in small doses and usually administered during the early stages of labor. Opiates cross the placenta during labor and can produce the following side effects in the baby: central nervous system depression, respiratory depression, impaired early breastfeeding, altered neurological behavior and decreased ability to regulate body temperature. These babies then require additional care.
Could the increasing use of opiates during labor and delivery affect these increasing numbers?
Most specialists have not reported a relationship but narcotics used in any form (prescription or illicit) should not be administered to or used by a pregnant woman. In addition to this the standard medications to help with delivery can be used under the supervision of a doctor for a short and temporary period of time so that new mothers also do not fall victim to addiction problems like those being experienced by pregnant women and newborns.
If you know someone who is struggling with drug abuse issues and is expecting, get them immediate help as early into the pregnancy as possible. For more information on this issue or to get a loved one into Narconon sauna or other treatment delivered through our facility, contact us today.
Results from the latest studies of drug use among youth in the United States show that now synthetic drug use outweighs meth and heroin in some towns. According to the Monitoring the Future study which surveys more than 46,000 students in both public and private schools around the United States, one in nine high school seniors have tried synthetic marijuana, often called Spice, K2 or “King Karma” in addition to many other names.
These synthetic substances like K2 or Spice were supposed to give one a high resembling marijuana, not be easily detectable in the usual drug tests, and were legally for sale. This made many young people think they were harmless because they could walk into a gas station, head shop or convenience store and purchase them. Being labeled “herbal incense” and marked “not for human consumption” the synthetic drugs may have seemed to be not as harmful and dangerous as they really are. But these drugs, which use synthetic chemical substances in varying amounts sprayed onto some plant material, are capable of causing horribly unpleasant effects. [Ref: http://cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/02-2012/emerging-threat-of-synthetic-drugs.asp]
Around the U.S., poison control centers have reported a twofold increase in the past year in the number of young people running into serious problems after ingesting these substances. Seizures, kidney stones, dissociative disorders, convulsions, psychosis, worsening of previously stable psychotic disorders and vomiting were reported. There have also been cases of heart attacks with the use of the synthetic cannabinoid K2. Clearly, one who ingests these substances has no idea of the effects he could experience. [Ref: http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/synthetic-drugs-k2-spice-bath-salts]
Recently, because synthetic drug use outweighs meth and heroin, in some towns’ sheriffs and police departments are trying to crack down on the convenience stores that still sell variations of the original drugs. In Pinellas County, Florida, as recently as July 2nd, 2012, County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced plans to aggressively enforce Florida’s newly expanded ban on many of the chemicals found in these synthetic marijuana products. Unfortunately for law enforcement, the manufacturers of these drugs are quick to change the formulas, and even one tiny change might make it legal. Narcotics labs must test the substances to determine if the contents are outlawed before arrests can be made.
Convenience store owners state that there is a huge profit to be made on these drugs. As one owner of two stores who eliminated the products from his shelves, fearing for his customers’ safety, explains, from a purely commercial standpoint, he says, it wasn’t the most logical move. Demand for the drugs is immense. Buy 100 packages and they’ll sell out within a week. It’s a great moneymaker.
You pay $1 for it and can sell it for $10. That’s why people don’t stop selling it.
A similar trend occurred with prescription drug abuse. The fact that nearly four billion prescriptions are written every year led many to believe that these drugs are neither harmful nor addictive. This was one of the primary reasons why many young people tried the drugs. There was also the problem of the ready availability of prescription drugs around the home or provided by friends or family members.
With synthetic drugs, fake pot or prescription painkillers, addiction is a huge risk. A user who consumed 3 grams of Spice Gold every day for several months showed withdrawal symptoms similar to those associated with withdrawing from the use of narcotics.
Doctors treating the user also noted that his use of the product showed signs associated with addiction. And, those addicted to prescription painkillers report that it is more difficult to withdraw from these drugs than from heroin.
At Narconon Sauna Plus Life Skills Equals Recovery From Addiction
When addiction to any drug occurs, the comprehensive program at Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers can return to a person a sober and drug-free life. The full program at Narconon Ð sauna detox following withdrawal, plus six more life skills courses results in seventy percent of its graduates remaining drug-free long after completing the program.
This holistic program includes a relatively tolerable withdrawal where the person can be supported by caring, trained Narconon staff members and by generous nutritional supplements. Most drug addicts have depleted their bodies of vital nutrients so this support is very much needed to help build the body back up. The withdrawal is made more tolerable with this generous nutritional support, as well as one-on-one attention from staff members including assistance much like a gentle massage to ease any aches and pains.
Following this withdrawal period, the person will experience the Narconon sauna, called the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program. This regimen includes moderate daily exercise, along with time spent in a dry heat sauna, and more nutritional supplementation. This combination has been demonstrated to help the body rid itself of toxic drug residues that remain lodged in the body’s fatty tissues long after drug use has stopped. People who go through this Narconon sauna program report an improved outlook on the future, clearer thinking, along with far fewer cravings for drugs and some report no more cravings at all.
Narconon Arrowhead is the premier facility of the entire Narconon drug and alcohol rehab program. Located on 217 acres of property on the shores of scenic Lake Eufaula, the largest lake in Oklahoma, this lovely modern facility is surrounded by Arrowhead State Park. Not only does this facility offer the perfect environment for recovery, it also is a training facility for staff that come from Narconon centers all over the world. In this environment, a recovering addict will find a drug rehab program that really works, evidenced by the more than seventy percent of Narconon graduates who go on to lead drug-free, sober lives.
Whether it is for synthetic drug abuse or addiction to any other drugs, you can find out all the details of the Narconon program. Visit www.narconon.org to get all the specifics and find out where there are facilities near you.