Power of the Many

Substance use disorder is continuing to gain concern from the general population. As everything from south Florida alcohol treatment centers filling up to the poster child of the addiction epidemic leading many to seek treatments for oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, the spotlight on addiction treatment and awareness continues to expand and get brighter, shining a light on an extremely large blind spot in American healthcare concerns and especially coverage.

While it’s easy to tell each person you might meet suffering from the debilitating symptoms of addiction to just ‘get over it’, eventually, you will run out of breath, requiring a more dragnet-style approach, utilizing the power of the collective culture harnessed through government representatives to truly address the growing problem that claimed more lives than car accidents in 2018. In fact, congress passed SUPPORT For Patients and Communities act which expands coverage of research-based (not faith based like 12 step programs) addiction and mental health treatment.

While this is a good gesture to begin with, there’s no reason to stop here. Several more considerations could be implemented into policy that could have long lasting benefit to keep America from facing a seriously problem like this ever again:

  • Foster the increase of treatment personnel with fiscal policy that encourages people to enter the field. Not only will this help curb the growth of addiction in communities, it will help the preventative measures that can keep the problem from becoming so widespread as it is now.
  • Encourage cross training of physicians into the field of psychology and psychiatry. Many physicians today espouse the false beliefs of how addiction works, that it’s the role of an individual that causes that individual to form an addiction in the first place, passing judgement rather than identifying the problem AND handing them off to a certified treatment facility.
  • Modify policies to include addiction in chronic disease category. This would allow for funding of long term treatment for those who find themselves battling with substance use disorder. While treatment and detox last just a few months, the condition never truly subsides as the neurobiology of a person has permanently changed once the disorder takes hold.
  • For addictions that have medication assisted treatment, lowering the cost of these drugs through collective bargaining as well as expanding the availability of doctors to prescribe these drugs would greatly increase the chances that they can be used for patients that need them.

While the country continues to wake up to the reality that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, it’s imperative that everyone reading this understand that it will take the power of culture and pressure to successfully overcome what is an epidemic that is costing the country twice as much as cancer annually and is already five times the cost it took to get a handle on the AIDS/HIV crisis during its absolute height.

We can do better.

If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic substance use disorders, find them quality treatment in a south Florida drug rehab center like First Step Behavioral Health by calling (866) 319-6126.

Funding the Future of Addiction Research

Substance use disorder is a relatively new field of research compared to many other kinds of medicine and even in psychology, which is itself a young field of study. Neurobiology and genetics are also new field of research but with each study, we discover more about our world, our place in it and our own nature and the nature of things that lead people to need south Florida rehab centers for their condition. Even though the entire nature of addiction is not fully understood, south Florida drug rehab facilities still use the most up-to-date information possible and frequently look to new studies to constantly improve their approach in treatment.

One such area of study is the relationship of genetics to risk of addiction. Maine’s Jackson Laboratory is receiving $255,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to further explore the nature of a person’s genetic makeup and how it can affect a person’s ability to develop substance use disorders, how their own genetics can change as a result of the condition as well as how genetics may increase difficulties in treatment.

The vice president of Jackson Laboratory comment, “[The grant] is an important step in propelling our work forward to help people around the world impacted by addiction.”

Currently, it’s understood that genetics play approximately role of about fifty percent in a person’s risk factors to develop and recover from substance use disorders. This means that if two people are in identical environmental and societal situations, but one has genes that have been identified to put them at risk for addiction to a substance, then that risk, at worse, for that person is fifty percent higher than the person without any genetic components factoring in.

Substance use disorders themselves trigger genetic traits that can remain dormant in a person’s neurobiology or can ‘rewire’ a normal function that genetics are typically in charge of. There’s not any current medications that can directly affect these traits at the moment, but as they say in treatment, “Identifying a problem is the first step to treating it”. Currently, science is still doing much of the identification process which will contribute to future treatment options that are likely to be far more effective. Even considering the spotty scientific understanding of addiction the medical and psychology fields have about addiction, the results of implementing this knowledge into treatment for things like oxycodone withdrawal symptoms is far more effective than the traditional faith-based/twelve-step programs that many people believe are the most effective, despite evidence showing the contrary.

Holistic treatments that bring together research and evidence from multiple fields that include medical communities, scientific communities, psychiatry communities and psychology communities have proven to have a far higher success rate in treating substance use disorders and this new research project will only strengthen this approach in the future.

For individuals and families fighting with addiction to prescription, illicit, or purchasable substances, be it alcohol, opioids, heroin, or anything else, contact First Step Behavioral Health as soon as possible. The earlier treatment is received, the higher the likelihood that the addiction will end once and for all. Give us a call today at (866) 319-6126 to learn more about addiction treatment in Pompano.

Understanding Your Prescription Options Can Prevent Addiction

There is a saying that ‘Knowledge is Power’.  In the world of consumer advocacy, this is probably one of the most true statements one can make. Considering that the United States largely operates on a consumer/market model for things like dentistry, being an informed consumer could be the difference between a successful visit with no problems or having to check into a south Florida rehab center for oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. The opioid crisis is often framed as ‘the opioid’ crisis with one or two names of drugs frequenting the news, often being oxycodone and heroin, but the truth is, opioids have many forms and names and even dentists have been living by the ‘ignorance is bliss’ saying rather than taking the initiative to understanding the drugs they prescribe for operations such as wisdom tooth removal.

As a consumer in a ‘free market’ such as this, it’s important to understand what exactly the risks are of drugs prescribed to you by a physician or dentist. While they may be experts on knowing what drugs will operate as a painkiller, they may not be aware of the addictive properties of said painkillers when prescribing them.  A recent article in the Washington Post by Ronnie Cohen described their own personal lack of attention paid to a relatively harmless situation.

“A few days before extracting my teenager’s wisdom teeth, an oral surgeon wrote him a prescription for painkillers. My son filled it but never felt a need for anything stronger than ibuprofen. Three years later, I found an unopened bottle of Percocet—an opioid– in the back of a bathroom cabinet. I had no idea a dentist had prescribed..the highly addictive pills.”

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, dentists prescribe twelve percent of all painkilling opioids and family doctors prescribe fifteen percent. An American Dental Association survey of 563 oral surgeons in 2004 revealed that eight-five percent of oral surgeons wrote opioid prescriptions to their patients after removing wisdom teeth.

While some operations and injuries do require heavy doses of painkillers, it’s often overkill for many kinds of visits. Anti-inflammatory analgesics like ibuprofen often end up being a more beneficial choice, not only for its lack of addictive properties, but also for effectiveness in minimizing associated pain. When coupled with the fact that many people who find themselves inside the halls of a south Florida detox program often find they have undiagnosed secondary mental health issues like depression or anxiety, it becomes even more important to really pay attention to what a doctor or dentist prescribes as it may be the difference between a simple procedure or a complicated lifelong chronic illness known as addiction.

As more studies come about showing the harmful effects of such drugs, physicians will eventually become aware of the carelessness on their part with their patients lives. Until then, however, you as the consumer have to exercise your role as being informed as possible when going into these situations. Otherwise, you’re playing roulette and the losses can be up to and including your life.

If you are or someone you know might be suffering from substance use disorder, call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 for treatment options.

Fighting Addiction: Worse Than Pulling Teeth

If you are considering entering a Pompano drug rehab program or know someone who could benefit from substance abuse treatment in Florida, you are probably all too aware that it can sometimes feel like pulling teeth to convince them they should seek help. If you’re the one making a decision for yourself, you probably have tons of concerns and fears about how others will look at you and treat you but also the fear of what will happen if you try to go it alone and fail in curbing your substance use. If you’re seeing someone you love go down the road of substance abuse, no doubt you’ve already had a talk or ten about trying to get them to seek treatment for their condition and issues and no matter how much you urge them, they seem to not want to go in.

It’s worse than one of the things that has been found as a contributing factor to increased opioid addiction: pull wisdom teeth.

One of the standardized part of the wisdom tooth pulling process is prescribe painkillers for a couple of days for the patient to use while the effects of the oral surgery heal. For a vast majority of people, non-habit forming ibuprofen works just fine. However, a study revealed that fifteen percent of all opioid-based painkiller prescriptions are coming from dentists whose expertise isn’t in medicines but in, of course, dental hygiene. This includes prescribing them to teenagers, who are just as susceptible to forming an addiction to drugs like Vicodin as Oxycodone as anyone else.

A lot of parents (nor dentists) aren’t even aware that the drugs, which come under many brand names, are potentially habit-forming or even part of the ‘opioid crisis’ they’ve likely heard about. They also have a high likelihood of having internalized false beliefs about the nature of drug addiction being something that only happens to ‘bad people making bad choices’, making this blind spot a easily passable barrier an addiction can find their child.

It’s important to research all drugs your doctor prescribes from the point of view on what’s known about its ability to become addictive. If your family has a history of addiction or trauma, it’s worth being extra cautious and ask for alternatives for medications that could be addictive. As noted earlier, it’s often times more effective to use ibuprofen for wisdom tooth removal aftercare than the go-to painkillers which are often responsible for being a ‘gateway drug’ to illegal substances like heroin and methamphetamine (crystal meth).  What typically happens for severe addictions to prescription pills is that once the access runs out, the only solution becomes heroin and likely the person has already bought illegal prescription pills and can probably find someone with heroin and be taught how to use it. The methamphetamines are often taken with heroin as a ‘pick me up’.

Either way, being an informed consumer will help keep you safe until the multitude of class action lawsuits happening all over the country as a result of these kinds of prescriptions not coming with full disclosure of their dangers.

If you or someone you know has had oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, they may have an addiction and need professional services of specialists like those at First Step Behavioral Health. Call (866) 319-6126 to find out more.

The Odd Difference

Substance abuse treatment in Florida has a unique problem; treating oxycodone withdrawal symptoms has regulation roadblocks that prescribing oxycodone doesn’t have. When a patient comes into a hospital and has a need for pain medication, far fewer regulations are in place to restrict doctors in prescribing addictive substances like opioid-based medications like oxycodone, despite all of the research that shows it has a high probability of adverse effects including severe addiction. Even knowing that many patients, when they either run out of money or run out of doctors to ‘shop’ for another refill, will continue to feed their substance use disorder with heroin, the use of medication to treat the exact same addiction is highly restricted.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (USDEA) has a system in place for buprenorphine, which is a special kind of opioid used in medication assisted treatment (MAT) that helps people addicted to opioids safely wean off of the chemical and neurological addiction and has proven to be highly effective when mixed with other treatments such as mental health screening and treatment. The drug itself curbs cravings and blocks the withdrawal symptoms that often drive opioid use disorder sufferers to continue use despite knowing the consequences. Often, not using is calculated to be worse than using to someone in such a position.

Another drug used in MAT, methadone, is even more regulated than buprenorphine and requires waivers, periodic training and is even limited with how many patients they can prescribe the drug to, which is typically between 30 and 50 patients in their first year, 100-150 in their second year and typically caps out just over 250 for their third year. On top of this, in order to reach those limits, the doctor must return to training. If they do not go back to the required training course, they face either having their cap remain low or their privileges are revoked.

Compared to the very lax regulations surrounding prescribing drugs like oxycodone which have contributed greatly to the over 70,000 drug overdose deaths of 2018, it creates a supply-side problem for people seeking the best treatment options for their condition. Even with the federal government now supplying drugs like naloxone to some hospitals, it’s main use isn’t in treatment of addiction but simply preventing overdose as it’s function as a drug is to block opioid receptors in the body, negating the effects of drugs like heroin and oxycodone. Overdosing on opioids often involves the body shutting down from being overwhelmed by neurological signals to opioid receptors, resulting in heart failure or ceasing breathing.

While there are a great many ways that the prescription drug industry can be criticized for their contribution and encouragement of promoting the addiction epidemic we now face as a country, there are some government-side regulations for treatment that deserve to be re-litigated and adjusted to meet the needs of the current situation concerning drug addiction in the United States.

If you or someone you know is seeking treatment for withdrawal from Oxycodone, call First Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126.

The Battle of Supply vs. Demand Continues

The Philippines is currently replaying the failed War on Drugs scenario that America perpetuated for decades and is heading down the same path and serves to remind us all that drug addiction has no easy or intuitive solution. The War on Drugs criminalized addiction and use but did so in order to stop the supply of drugs. The idea was that by imprisoning the demand, the supply can be stamped out since simply going after the supply didn’t stop addiction.

In a vacuum void of modern knowledge of what addiction is, how it works, where human rights violations don’t exist, where prisons aren’t ill equipped to rehab inmates back into productive society, this approach would seem completely sound. If there’s no supply, then how could a demand possibly exist for a product which is not a necessity?

Looking into the issue itself, we can see that this same approach has been tried before and resulted in a bigger problem than when the proposed solution was put into place with a drug everyone reading this has likely tried and likely saw some of it being sold today while out and about: alcohol. Prohibition in the 20’s was a reaction to the alcoholism that was appearing around society in an ever increasing wealth gap divide, as productivity soared while wages continued to drop. The US government passed a constitutional amendment which only stayed in action for just 13 years. Making the substance itself illegal, users criminals, suppliers outlaws and distributors sneaky introduced an uptick of crime itself, and not just the criminality of imbibing in a scotch after work on Friday.

Many have argued very convincingly that the infamous Italian Mob gain prominence by giving them a monopoly on the supply of alcohol. Individual demand didn’t dip whatsoever. With money to be made, the fact that people buying the product were also deemed criminals didn’t have the desired outcome of eliminating, or even reducing, alcoholism and alcohol use. People would end up dying from batches of product made with poison in bathtubs. Public intoxication was still a thing, alcoholics still would find a way to buy, and suppliers were always around to supply.

Even in the face of modern psychologists making the case directly with modern data and research, the Presidential spokesperson of the Philippines, Salvador Panelo doubled down on the violent tactics currently employed for ‘stopping drug use’. Many Americans echo his sentiments, though, even today. After presented with the lack of desired outcome of the solution of instituting draconian drug laws which has only had the same effect of the American War on Drugs (exploding the prison population and doing nothing to deal with the demand side of the equation) and prohibition (giving cartels a monopoly backed up with violence), he stated “Ineffective where? Why not? We have reduced, dismantled in fact a huge chunk of the illegal drug apparatus.” Unfortunately, the huge chunk dismantled is primarily the people with the illness of addiction, which is akin to putting people in prison for having cancer.

Massive amounts of otherwise rational people being put into prison for an illness that has treatment has repeatedly shown to be a non-starter solution. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, calling the a south Florida rehab center like 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 will connect you with a specialist that can confidentially discuss treatment options. 1st Step offers residential detox and is equipped to medically handle oxycodone withdrawal symptoms as well.

How to Successfully Complete Addiction Rehab in South Florida

If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may have learned that taking the first step toward addiction recovery is often the hardest. It can be difficult to admit that you have problem in the first place. Additionally, it can often be intimidating to even know where to begin navigating the process of seeking addiction treatment. 

The type of addiction treatment will vary from person to person. For example, someone who has been addicted to drugs such as opiates, methamphetamines or cocaine for a many years would require a specific treatment plan. Someone who has become addicted to alcohol because of something like situational depression would require a completely different plan or care. The first step in determining what type of treatment is best for you is to understand the basic two types of rehabilitation. There are many variations to outpatient and inpatient rehab treatment. Below is a basic outline of each type of drug rehab treatment. 

What is Outpatient Rehab Treatment?

Simply put, outpatient rehab treatment means that you are able to go through the rehabilitation process without checking into a full-time facility. Outpatient treatment can often be done while you live at your own home and continue to work in some capacity. Outpatient treatment can be performed in a variety of ways. First, there is intensive outpatient therapy (IOP). This often consists of daily counseling sessions that typically take anywhere from 1-3 hours. These are typically done in a group setting with people who have similar levels of addiction. Another option is one-on-one counseling with a drug and alcohol specialist. Some people may thrive in a group setting and others may do better working one-on-one with a counselor. You may not have a choice as to which type of outpatient treatment if you were assigned counseling by the court system after violating a law. 

What is Inpatient Rehab Treatment?

Inpatient rehabilitation is more intensive than outpatient rehab. Basically, you attend a full-time facility that serves as your home for a certain period of time. The length of a stay in an inpatient facility can vary. Typically, it lasts between 30 days and several months. Inpatient treatment is a good choice for people who have heavy addictions or have relapsed multiple times. Additionally, inpatient facilities offer a full-service detox facility that will provide full-time care. The detox process can be incredibly dangerous if it is not monitored closely by a medical professional. For example, Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous, even deadly, and should always be monitored by a professional. Inpatient treatment will also offer 24-hour access to a team of medical professionals and mental health experts. Many people also benefit from the sense of community that is established in an inpatient facility. 

Whether you are considering inpatient or outpatient therapy, the important thing is that you are taking the first step to get on the path to addiction recovery!

Call us today to learn more.

Why Some People are Saying Naltrexone Can Stop The Opioid Crisis

Naltrexone is a medicine designed to assist people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction in their detox and rehab recovery. Specifically, this medicine is designed to be especially useful for those who are suffering from an addiction to an opioid or to alcohol. Indeed, alcohol and opioid addicts are substantially more likely to successfully enter active recovery and remain there for the long haul with the help of Naltrexone. One of the best things about this drug is that it is not an addictive medication. Some other replacement drugs that are used for addiction recovery are indeed addictive. Naltrexone though is a non-narcotic drug that attaches to the brain’s pain and reward receptors and completely blocks them.

This functionally means that when a person takes codeine, heroin, or any different type of opioid, or drinks too much alcohol that the pain, pleasure, and reward controlling receptors of the brain will already be occupied and therefore the person taking the drug will not feel the effects of the intoxicant. This is a priceless boon in the detoxification and rehabilitation steps of recovery. As a person gets sober from their substance of choice, say oxycodone, heroin, or booze, they will experience serious alcohol, heroin, or oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, and those symptoms can and do frequently lead people to relapse.

If the user is taking naltrexone during their withdrawal from oxycodone or other intoxicants, there will be little incentive to take a pill or pick up a beer when they will have no hope of feeling the effects of the substance. South Florida rehab clinics and detox facilities often offer naltrexone to their patients who suffer from addiction in hopes of helping them through the difficulties of detox and rehab and giving them a good foundation for future active recovery. Naltrexone helps not only biologically, but also psychologically. Since the drug helps with cravings and triggers having naltrexone to lean on allows the patient to focus on their mental health and the life skills they need to sharpen to be ready for the outside world.

Naltrexone is the generic version of the following brand names:

  • Vivitrol
  • Depade
  • Revia


Medication Assisted Oxycodone Treatment Program

Medication assisted addiction recovery programs are designed to function using medications like naltrexone, in conjunction with behavioral therapies to treat alcohol or drug addicted individuals. While medications like buprenorphine and methadone do indeed leave space for a person who has been dealing with an addiction to opioids to become dependent on them, Naltrexone is a drug that does not. Opioids are intense intoxicating substances and very quickly engender a high tolerance and intense cravings within the user.  Because of this, it is highly advisable for the patient dealing with opioid addiction to be treated by a medication assisted treatment program.


Treatment For Opioid Addiction in South Florida

There is help available for opioid addiction. Oxycodone and other opioid addictions are difficult struggles for anyone to deal with and they are not just something you can walk away from on your own. Everyone needs help. 1st Step Behavioral Health can offer support in the form of an excellent staff of qualified and licensed medical clinicians and therapists. Call today to learn more about our rehab programs.

The Cornerstone of Oxycodone Treatment

When an oxycodone addict goes through a medically supervised drug detox program they are likely to suffer side effects while they go through withdrawal from oxycodone. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will vary in severity depending on the physical fitness and general wellbeing of the patient. After detox the addict will go on to rehabilitation. The best recovery programs in South Florida will modify their programs to fit the individual needs and struggles of each individual patient.


Oxycodone Rehab

This second step in a tiered addiction treatment plan, rehabilitation, is generally largely centered around different forms of therapy. Behavioral therapy has especially become the cornerstone of treatment for drug addiction, including oxycodone rehab programs.

Behavioral therapy is a category of therapy comprised of many different types of therapy such as: dialectic behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, system desensitization, aversion therapy and interpersonal therapy, among others. These therapies are meant to help a person suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction to look deeper within themselves and within their environment to find the source of their triggers. This teaches them about why they react the way they do in stressful situations. In the end this knowledge will help the addict to take control of their reactions in the moment and, with the life skills they learn in therapy, be able to resolve the situation without turning to oxycodone to soothe their anxieties and calm their bodies down.

Behavioral therapy will surely be a part of any good oxycodone treatment offered from an addiction treatment center. Even after an addict successfully completes a recovery treatment program and their behavioral therapy at the facility has come to a close they should seek out continuing therapy as a form of relapse prevention. Oxycodone addicts have a tendency to slide into a serious addiction to other more dangerous opioids such as heroin or fentanyl when a person does not take the necessary care of their disease. Without continuing therapeutic care someone addicted to oxycodone could very quickly find themselves either back in the control of opioids, or worse experiencing a devastating overdose.


Dual Diagnosis Treatment in South Florida

So many people who suffer from opioid addiction also suffer from some form of comorbidity such as a co-occurring mental health disorder. A dual diagnosis like this makes therapy trickier. Not only is therapy important for someone suffering from a dual diagnosis, but it is vital that the therapies that are undergone can address both the addiction and the mental health disorder. If the two disorders are not confronted by therapy together, they will keep each other alive, feeding on the one while the other is being treated. They feed off of one another and frustrate each other’s symptoms, making the patient more sick on both accounts.

At 1st Step Behavioral Therapy we offer comprehensive oxycodone recovery including the vital therapies that can help an addict prepare for a life lived in sobriety. Call today for more information.


Oxycodone, A Common Killer in Florida and Across The Globe

These days oxycodone, sometimes called the brand names Percocet or OxyContin, is one of the most widely prescribed pain pills across the state of Florida. The Sunshine State is one of the easiest places to illicitly acquire opioid drugs, not only that, but they are widely distributed legally in the healthcare system in the state as well. This sort of availability has had devastating effects on the population; 16 people die in Florida everyday due to opioid related issues. That ends up calculating out to be almost 6000 Floridians a year lost to an opioid addiction that probably started with a drug like oxycodone.


Doctors may prescribe Oxycodone to the person who has been through surgery, has hurt their back at work, or gets a wisdom tooth extracted, all understandable reasons to need some form of medical pain relief. Oxycodone is prescribed for a myriad of different discomforts, chronic and acute in large number. According to CNN, “The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by doctors steadily increased from 112 million prescriptions in 1992 to a peak of 282 million in 2012, according to the market research firm IMS Health. The number of prescriptions dispensed has since declined, falling to 236 million in 2016.” 


Florida is at the heart of this crisis in a big way. That’s why local and state governments have been focusing so heavily on putting measures into place to lower the tragic number of overdoses, fatal or not, in Florida every day.  Recent legislation, that was passed and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in July 2018, was a direct response to the palpable opioid crisis in Florida. According to an article from the Associated Press, Mark Fontaine, Executive Director for the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association says that the law is “ a pretty comprehensive approach to addressing the epidemic, It has education programs and helps control the measures for availability.” The new law is striving to address all sides of the crisis including the availability of drugs such as oxycodone. It creates more rigid limits on pain pill prescriptions. It also funnels more money into treatment for those struggling with the drug addiction.


The opioid epidemic national and international effects are just as difficult to read about as Florida’s. Indeed, opioids are in the spotlight right now not only in South Florida, but throughout the US and across the world. The amount of deaths the drugs induces has spurred attention from world leaders and the healthcare world. In 2016, according to the World Health Organization, opioids were responsible for almost 75% of the world’s drug fatalities. So many people addicted to more powerful opioids began their addiction with an honest and legal prescription. Many people who are addicted to Heroin and end up at 1st Step’s Heroin Drug Treatment in Broward County by way of oxycodone or hydrocodone first. According to CNN’s Opioid Fact Sheet:  

“Hydrocodone and oxycodone are semi-synthetic opioids, manufactured in labs with natural and synthetic ingredients. Between 2007 and 2016, the most widely prescribed opioid was hydrocodone (Vicodin). In 2016, 6.2 billion hydrocodone pills were distributed nationwide. The second most prevalent opioid was oxycodone (Percocet). In 2016, 5 billion oxycodone tablets were distributed in the United States.”

With the common knowledge of the prescription to illicit opioid slippery slope, those numbers of opioid prescriptions should strike some alarm in everyone’s mind.


Where did Oxycodone Come From?

Oxycodone, sometimes also known as OxyContin or Percocet, was developed in Germany in 1916 as a semi-synthetic form of an opioid. It’s an opioid that is usually prescribed in a pill form, to be taken orally. When taken illegally it may be taken orally, but many addicts will puncture the capsule or grind up the tablet to take orally, sniff through the nostrils or even injected into the veins to experience the high more rapidly.

Oxycodone didn’t take long to become a popular street drug. The drug, like most opiates binds to the pain, pleasure, and addiction controlling receptors in the brain in order to reduce discomfort in the physical body, and induce a sense of relaxation and contentment in the mind of the person taking the substance. With side effects like that, oxycodone was almost destined to become a hot drug on the illegal markets. Many people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol are looking for a calming of a tortured mind or relief from chronic depression or chronic pain (which leads to depression). A drug that can offer relief to both a person’s physical and mental trouble is hard to resist for anyone with a propensity toward addiction.


Heartbreakingly, oxycodone is a silent killer that kills young and old alike. It’s the kind of drug that seems safe because people are often first introduced to it in prescription form, but if abused it can slip an addict easily into overdose, and even death. If it doesn’t come to that, the rate at which opiates engender growth of tolerance in their users is aggressive, and it’s not long before a user will likely have to seek out stronger opiates to retain the feeling of euphoria or contentment that the Oxycodone gave them when they started using the substance. All opioids will offer that feeling of contentment and relief and all opioids will build tolerance in the drug user at an exponential rate. The stronger the opioid, the more volatile and deadly it seems to be. Opioids are killing hundreds of thousands people worldwide every year.


Doctors may prescribe Oxycodone to the person who has been through surgery, has hurt their back at work, or gets a wisdom tooth extracted, all understandable reasons to need some form of medical pain relief. Oxycodone is prescribed for a myriad of different discomforts, chronic and acute. According to CNN, “The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed by doctors steadily increased from 112 million prescriptions in 1992 to a peak of 282 million in 2012, according to the market research firm IMS Health. The number of prescriptions dispensed has since declined, falling to 236 million in 2016.”


Even though these staggering statistics feel so disheartening, there is hope. Bringing issues like Oxycodone addiction to the forefront will help researching scientists, political leaders, and healthcare professionals to see the real danger and create more legislation to safeguard against the abuse of drugs like oxycodone. Measures like Florida’s recent legislation are being taken throughout communities across the world. 25 states had already passed a similar kind of law as Florida’s when Gov. Scott signed the law.  


Oxycodone Treatment in South Florida

The development of addiction to oxycodone or any other prescription opioid can be a slippery slope from something that seems so innocuous into something really devastating. And though legislation cannot save those who are already addicted to the drugs, they don’t have to slip through the cracks. Treatment is available for oxycodone addicts, and can be the difference between life or death.


1st Step Behavioral Health can help people struggling with withdrawal from oxycodone and are here to make sure that their addictions are taken care of in a safe environment in a healthy manner. Treatment available at 1st Step treatment facility locations includes medically supervised detoxification while the user is experiencing oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, addiction rehabilitation treatment that focuses on personal and group therapy, as well as aftercare relapse prevention therapy. Call today to learn more about 1st Step’s rehab options.