The Hawaiʻian islands once had a major rat problem. To combat it, sugar cane plantation farmers imported mongooses to kill the rats. Unfortunately it did not work and now Hawaiʻi also has a mongoose problem. Similarly, a person who starts taking a prescription medication for a legitimate health concern may become addicted.
Understanding the Danger
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused category of drugs, behind alcohol and marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.”
Nearly twenty percent of the US population has abused prescription drugs. Some of the common reasons include:
- Misunderstanding them to be safer than what’s found on the street
- For relaxation or appetite suppression
- Falsely thinking it’s a legal way to drugs
Types of Medication to Be Careful With
NCADD provides a list of frequently abused medication including street name variants, intoxicating effects, and health consequences here. The most commonly abused abused categories include pain relievers, tranquilizers and sedatives, and stimulants.
Pain relievers include such opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin. These drugs may cause drowsiness and euphoria. They are also highly addictive, can slow breathing to dangerous levels, can be overdosed, and are dangerous when combined with alcohol.
Tranquilizers and sedatives are depressants. A few common examples are Xanax and Valium. They are often used to treat common issues such as anxiety or sleep problems. They can also cause drowsiness and a relaxed feeling. Negative consequences of abuse include dangerous slowing of one’s breath and heartbeat and major withdrawals such as seizures.
A few examples of stimulants include Ritalin and Adderall. They are designed to increase alertness and can also provide a sense of euphoria. However, they are addictive, can overheat the body of a person who abuses them, and can result in a seizure.
Think you or a loved one might have a problem with prescription medication? Call us at (866) 319-6126 right away.
Out of the Way
The rural parts of America are in many ways third-world in nature. They can be many miles away from skilled medical help, they are often poorly stocked with supplies, medical or otherwise, and access to information on the internet is often throttled by poor connection speeds. In places like these, opioid abuse can be even more dangerous and deadly than anywhere else in the United States. However, despite this, there are certainly ways to combat the powerful grip opioids have on people.
Fighting Rural Opioid Abuse
- One of the best things about small towns and other rural areas is that often, people know each other quite well. Word travels fast when there’s only a few hundred people (or less) to spread. So when one bears that in mind, it becomes obvious that the makings of a support group exist in this state. People are social creatures, and if enough people who care about each others’ well-being unite to call to action, they can help convince people who might consider themselves isolated to step forward and detox from opioids.
- In the most rural areas, medical assistance is limited and often channeled through a single doctor or clinic. Thankfully, the last two presidential administrations have been very vocal about the effects of opioids and the damage they cause, so most clinicians and doctors are well aware of the dangers of opioids. However, there is still some progress to be made on education and rehab. Making sure that a small town’s medical staff are able to handle the burdens is very important, and can be assisted through town hall meetings and other regional efforts.
- While rehab can be done at home, it is difficult, and trying to recover in a setting where one would usually expect to get high in the first place can be difficult and frustrating for an addict. Having people to keep track of those in need is vital to success, whether they move to a rehab clinic for residential detox or if they do it at home or another non-clinical space.
No one sets out to fail at what they try earnestly to do. It is important to remember that the main goal of quitting drug dependence is to make the addict’s life better. Relapsing after going through withdrawal from oxycodone, heroin, alcohol, or any other substance can be one of the most damaging events that could happen for any addict trying to improve their lives.
Depending on the kind of drug and the particulars of the person addicted to the substance, their lives can be very difficult. When a person has a chemical reliance on substances, then that begins to take over their lives. So what happens when that person tries going back to their old life?
Attempting to stay drug-free after detoxing is a difficult process. Even though the body is not necessarily dependent on the chemical anymore, the mind remembers how it felt. Altered states are very memorable experiences, and remembering how good it felt, compared to how it feels at the moment they’re remembering it, can be a great temptation.
Speaking of temptations, most people after rehab will be going back to their lives in some way or another, and in that old life are the reasons and methods the former addict got addicted in the first place. There are people who they met, old dealers and pushers who can spot a target, that have an interest in making that former business client relapse into addiction. That’s no reason to abandon one’s old life, or to desperately abandon what they once knew, but it can be difficult.
Ways to Help
Of course, there are ways to combat this without resorting to cutting your bridges and running. At drug clinics, there are many options for post-rehab care that will make readjusting to the patient’s new life easier. There are support groups that will often use rehabs as a recruitment center or meeting place, and the rehab clinic staff will usually know who and where to find that sort of help. If support groups are not the patient’s way to go, then repeat visits to the clinic for advice and a friendly face also can help.
To learn more about rehab options in South Florida and what to do after rehab is over, contact us at (866) 319-6126.
Regardless of what you may have heard a decade ago about oxycodone being non-habit forming and without its risks, the drug is especially dangerous and addictive. In recent years, there has been an uptick in overdoses and addiction to this once-promising drug, but now it is often discussed through the lens of its benefits versus its drawbacks. As far as those benefits are concerned, there is only one – oxycodone is a powerful pain reliever. It’s drawbacks, however, are many.
Physical Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
For those who are addicted to oxycodone yet understand how dangerous that addiction can be, they often think about quitting. The thing is, though, that having a strong enough addiction to oxycodone will also mean experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Some of these physical oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Heavy sweating
- High Blood Pressure
- Faster and/or irregular heart rate
- Runny nose
- Body aches
So while the pharmaceutical industry told us that opioids like oxycodone were safe to take, people were being prescribed left and right some very dangerous drugs.
Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms of Oxycodone
Although the physical withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone are already difficult enough to deal with, the emotional and psychological problems encountered are often more difficult to deal with than the physical for patients. These emotional withdrawal symptoms you might experience include:
- Can’t focus
- Suicidal thoughts
- Irritability and easy to anger
As you can see, the way oxycodone affects your brain is especially negative for addicts when going through the difficult-but-highly-recommended detox phase of rehab.
How Oxycodone Became Such a Huge Problem
Like many other opioid medications, oxycodone’s widespread abuse and addiction came from doctors over-prescribing them. The doctors didn’t know better at the time, though, since no one had properly tested opioids to discover their dangers – they were greenlit far too quickly.
Don’t let oxycodone take over your life. Let us help you detox the meds from your system and teach you ways to tackle your daily life without resorting to drug abuse again. Contact 1st Step with any questions or to set up an appointment.
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.