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It starts innocently enough, a prescription to pain meds because of an accident or dental surgery, whatever. Or a doctor prescribes a powerful pain killer, maybe more powerful than needed, but without any warning about the addictive qualities.
The rest, as they say'..
The abuse of prescription pain killers has been sweeping across our nation for decades. But never has it been as prevalent as it is today. In the US alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs. Every four minutes another American abuses prescription drugs for the first time.
Painkillers are misused and abused by people of nearly all ages, from elementary school through geriatric rest homes. Narcotic pain relievers now either cause or at least contribute to 15,500 deaths in the US annually. Except for ages 12-17, more men than women admit to abuse of prescription, psychotherapeutic drugs of every type. Then, at the other end of the life cycle, three times more women than men are admitted to treatment for pain killer addiction from age 65 on.
The lessons here are clear, opiate and other prescription drug addiction is no respecter of age or gender and anyone is at risk of dependence and/or addiction when abusing these drugs.
The intensity of addiction to opiate medications is something that almost has to be experienced to fully understand. Many of the best drug counselors in the business owe their deep understanding of the problem to the fact that they themselves were once addicts and have overcome their own addictions, giving them added insight into the challenges their patients face.
A large portion of practicing drug abuse counselors will state that there is no real solution. The belief that drug addiction of this type is incurable is quite common these days. Some practitioners feel that to simply switch drugs on the addict, from pain medications (opiates) to addiction medications (opiates) and thereby be able to control which drugs are taken is the best answer to the problem.
However well rationalized this is, the result is the same. The addiction is untouched, or is made worse by the use of often more addicting legal drugs.
Rather than perpetuate the addiction with more and more powerful substitute medications, the answer is to overcome the addiction and become drug free. Find a program that not only has the technology to accomplish this, but one that also has the experienced and well trained counselors you or your loved one will require during your recovery.
Start today and begin your return to a drug-free life tomorrow.