Although there has always been drug use and abuse within Broward County, you are much more likely these days to know someone who has been afflicted with or you have found yourself with an opioid addiction. Considering the national figures, though, it would likely be rarer these days if you are an adult who does not know someone, including yourself, who has an opioid addiction in Broward County. We might understand how bad the problem is and can be, but where did it come from in the first place and why has it corresponded with a huge uptick in heroin abuse and addiction?
Beginning of the Opioid Problem
The opioid crisis in Broward County mirrors that which the country as a whole is going through. Most people now addicted to opioids began using these narcotic drugs because they received a prescription from a legitimate medical practice sometime between the mid 90s and 2000s. The doctors aren’t to blame, though, as they were told that opioids are neither addictive or dangerous – that they should just throw opioids at any patient who experienced any pain, even if it was fairly minor.
And while doctors saw and reported individual cases of addiction take root, the pharmaceutical industry did nothing to dissuade over-prescribing these notoriously addictive medicines. It wasn’t until large numbers of people started dying from opioid medicines like fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and tramadol, among quite a few more that people started to take notice of how dangerous they are. By then, there was a legitimate crisis of addiction that’d spread nationwide.
The Real “Gateway” Drug
When politicians started to take notice of the opioid problem was when they realized how easily they led to heroin use, which has a massively negative stigma attached to it. That came about because heroin and opioid medications have very similar effects, but heroin has become substantially cheaper than its pharmaceutical relatives.
If you’re looking for help entering an opioid or heroin drug treatment program in Broward County, contact us for more information or to schedule a meeting with one of our addiction specialists.