How Prescription Painkiller Addicts Survive

Prescription Painkiller Abuse

It may be hard to understand how someone goes through each day knowing that they must find pills to keep functioning normally. But when one is addicted to prescription painkillers, life becomes a constant struggle to be sure to obtain one's daily requirement of hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percodan, Percocet or OxyContin), morphine or other prescription opiates. If none of these are around, heroin is sometimes the last choice for such addicts. Without some form of opiate, the addicted person will suffer from withdrawal sickness and severe pain. And sadly, some do not survive this addiction.

One action of opiates is to slow down respiration and if too much is taken, the person may stop breathing. This is even more apt to occur with a combination of opiates plus alcohol or benzodiazepines.

So many people have died from overdoses of these drugs that it has been labeled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemic. There are many personal stories of drug taking and some recoveries, but tragically, most involve the saddest thing a parent can imagine: losing a child.

There was one case in Billings, Montana of a mother who came home from a family wedding, thinking her son had remained clean and drug-free after battling with prescription painkiller addiction for several years. She dreaded coming home, having talked to him on the phone and learning that his ex-wife (who was still using drugs) was at the house. A heartbreaking scenario unfolded as she discovered her young son, lifeless in the kitchen.

Another case is that of Dustin Crone, age 19, the youngest son of John Crone of Valdosta, Georgia. Dustin was hurt on one of his father's construction sites by a falling wall. He was prescribed painkillers and started abusing them relatively fast. He traded pills with friends and relatives. His older brother Calvin, age 22 said he saw it coming, but there was nothing he could do to save his younger brother.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there has been approximately a 20-year increase in the use of prescription painkillers. Prescriptions for opioid analgesics have nearly tripled to over 200 million, from 1991 to 2009. Furthermore, emergency room visits related to the non-medical use of prescription opioids have doubled between 2005 and 2009 according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network system, which monitors drug-related emergency department visits and drug-related deaths.

Life Can Be Restored

While these medications are said to be crucial for pain management, their wide availability may also result in family medicine cabinets that contain leftover pills, which increases the opportunity for abuse, as well as a host of serious medical consequences including addiction. Most abusers say they get these medications from friends and relatives who had been prescribed opioids, or they are abusing their own medications. Addiction has taken hold and the addict is powerless to overcome his addiction alone.

Narconon offers a Way out of Addiction

Luckily for a person who has fallen victim to this prescription painkiller abuse, Narconon offers a drug-free way out. The Narconon drug rehab program, founded more than forty-five years ago, has been helping drug and alcohol addicts get their sobriety back in fifty locations around the world.

The program involves eight steps that progress from handling the physical aspects of addiction and cravings for drugs to the self-esteem, guilt and depression issues that addicts face. First, one must flush out residual drugs that are stored in the body with Narconon's innovative detoxification phase. Then he has more clarity of thinking with which to come to terms with the issues that led him down the road of addiction in the first place. The Narconon program offers six life skills courses that help one to find his way back and to chart his way to a drug-free, productive life. Narconon is so effective that seven of ten of its graduates remain drug-free following graduation from the program. Drug addiction, even to opiates can be handled, and the battle for sobriety can be won.

Find out more about the full eight-step Narconon program. Give us a call today.



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