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Pamela, a 43 year old housewife is waiting in a cell at the local sheriff's department for her husband to bail her out. Her 4 year old daughter and 6 year old son are in the waiting room playing with toys a deputy gave them. Pamela was caught driving through the streets of one of the toughest sections of the city, searching for a heroin dealer with the kids in their car seats in the back of the station wagon. They busted her in a sting operation.
Every day a person spends addicted to a drug or to alcohol increases their difficulties in recovery. Drug dependence and alcoholism are progressive, meaning the problem will continue to be more and more difficult to overcome with each passing use, with every binge or every lost week-end. And, with each use, the possibility of infections, overdose and organ damage increases while the likelihood of complete recovery goes down.
If the drug of choice is a prescription pain killer, the daily amounts used quickly go beyond what any doctor would approve by prescription. This drives the addict to find others who have similar prescriptions and beg, borrow or steal from them. This is called Drug Diversion, and it is a federal crime. Our addict is now committing felonies.
It isn't long before there are no more "friendly" sources and it's time to hit the streets and get the drugs on the black market. All this time, the addiction is increasing, the amounts needed are greater and the risks are mounting.
Many of the meds on the street are not the genuine products but counterfeit drugs manufactured in China, Mexico or some other clandestine laboratories. In the last couple of years, powerful synthetic substances have been showing up in counterfeit pain killers. Drugs such as fentanyl and U-47700 (Pink) which are cheaply made can be 40 to 100 times more powerful than the drugs the user thinks he's getting. The result, thousands of overdoses are occurring in the US and around the world.
In one small rural county in Ohio recently, because of fentanyl laced drugs, there were 28 overdoses reported in three hours. 9 of them fatal.
5 years ago, Pamela would have laughed out loud if someone had suggested she would ever become a heroin addict. But it was about five years ago that she first was prescribed an opiate pain killer for her sciatica.
When addiction is full-blown, addicts become more and more desperate and their standards plummet. Heroin dealers count on this phenomenon, their business depends on it.
The vital necessity of an addicted person finding effective treatment NOW cannot be overstated.
The sooner a person arrives at a truly effective drug-rehabilitation program, the greater the chances are that this nightmare can end. But reversely, the longer the addiction has to fester and develop, the more difficult full recovery becomes and the deeper will be the scars.