Why So Many Suffer from the Opioid Epidemic? What You Can DO?

Prescription drug misuse within the United States there is a devastating crisis of prescription opioid related addiction and overdose. This crisis has surpassed other crisis mortality rates due to motor vehicle accidents and HIV related mortality. Which is why we need to focus our attention on this current crisis.

In 2017 more than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American patients.

Opioid Epidemic Stems from Prescription Drug Misuse

More than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. In 2016, more than 11.5  Illini Americans reported misusing prescription opioids in the past years. These numbers are only increasing and the problems only getting worse. Individuals and families are being destroyed and people are dying.

Among opioids, rates of drug overdose deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 in 2015 were highest for heroin. Currently we are facing not only heroin but prescription pain medications such as fentanyl. The numbers of overdoses and mortality rates are only climbing.

Even when taken as directed prescription opioids can have a number of side effects,

  • Tolerance- you might need increased amounts of the medication to reach the same desired pain relief
  • Physical dependence- you have symptoms of withdrawal when medication is stopped.
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Sleepiness
  • Itching and sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Low levels of testosterone that can result in lower sex Drive, energy, and strength

What are Opiates and What Do They Do?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and more. Opiates are prescribed to treat pain. Individuals with prolonged use, effects from the opioids may lessen and pain can become worse. The body may begin developing a dependence. Opioid dependence causes withdrawal symptoms, which make it difficult and painful to stop taking them. This can lead to addiction when the dependence begins to interfere with daily life.

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine. Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Individuals who use heroin inject, sniff, snort, or smoke it. Sometimes individuals will mix heroin with crack cocaine, which is called speed balling. It enters the brain rapidly and binds to opioid receptors on cells. The cells are located in many areas especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. Prescription opioid pain medicines such as OxyContin and Vicodin have effects similar to heroin.

Why our Inpatient Drug Rehabs in San Diego, Encinitas, Carlsbad, La Jolla and Escondido, California Treats Prescription Drug Misuse?

inpatient-drug-rehabs-San-Diego-Escondido-Carlsbad-La-Jolla-and-Encinitas-help with opioid epidemic

The need to treat prescription drug misuse has come to top of the media. The public is starting to realize that prescription drug misuse and addiction treatment are not the individuals fault. The main cause is from irresponsible doctors. Individuals think that just because a Doctor prescribed the medication that it is safe. This is not true with opiates. The good news is there are now at least some regulations in place like a 3 day supply can only be prescribed. Then after that a second documentation is required.

Prescription opioid misuse is a factor leading to heroin use. Individuals who inject heroin are at high risk of contracting the HIV and hepatitis C virus. These diseases are transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids, which can occur when sharing needles. Heroin also contains additives, such as sugar, starch, or powdered milk, that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent brain damage if not death.

Heroin Addiction is Severe and Life Threatening

Heroin is highly addictive. Individuals who use heroin typically develop a tolerance, needing higher or more frequent doses for the desired effects. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is a prescribed drug that is also made and used illegally. It is used to treat individuals with sever pain, especially after surgery. It is also used to treat individuals with chronic pain who have tolerance to other opioids. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are the most common drugs involved in overdoses in the United States.

Prescription opioids are made from plants directly and in the lab using the same chemical compound. Opioids are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that allow the body to relax and relieve pain. Prescription opioids are mostly used to treat moderate to sever pain. Common prescription opioids are

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza)
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl

Prescription opioids used for pain relief are most often safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor. Theses medications can be misused by taking the medicine in a way other than prescribed, taking someone else’s medication, taking the medication to get high.

How Opiates are Consumed and Their Effects

An info graphic on the ways prescriptions drug use leads to herioin addiction.

Prescription drug misuse is not just oral. An individual can swallow the medication, crush the pills or open the capsules dissolving the powder in water and injecting into the vein, and snorting the crushed powder. Prescription opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors located in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. In short term, opioids can relieve pain. However, opioids can have harmful effects, including:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Euphoria
  • Slowed breathing

Opioid misuse can cause slowed breathing, which can cause hypoxia. Hypoxia is a condition that results when too little oxygen reaches the brain. Hypoxia can have short-term and long-term psychological and neurological effects, including coma, permanent brain damage, or dearth.

Drug Rehab Specialists in San Diego, Encinitas, Carlsbad, La Jolla and Escondido, California Treating Prescription Drug Misuse

Our drug rehabs in San Diego, Encinitas, Carlsbad, La Jolla and Escondido, California successfully treat individuals who have become addicted to opioids. Individuals who have suffered an injury and who innocently enough went to their physician to seek help have become addicted to prescription medications. Take our drug rehabs San Diego drug addiction assessment and see if you need help today from prescription drug misuse. Harmony Grove Recovery treat the individual starting by meeting with our addiction specialist doctor and reviewing past history along with current medications. We provide tapper medications and individualized treatments to get off these addictive medications and treat the chronic pain in a healthy way.

Our San Diego, California luxury Detox and Inpatient drug and alcohol addiction treatment center facility provides every client with full blood work. This includes lab testing to identify any diseases related to substance and alcohol use. This is an important factor when treating the whole client. Blood work and other labs will help identify any underlining medical issues the individual may be suffering from including elevated enzymes, low blood cell count and more. These results will allow the Doctors to identify any medical issues and help get the individual achieve a healthy state of living.

Harmony Grove Recovery provides individualized treatments to promote successful long term sobriety. We provide each individual with private bedrooms and bathrooms. Besides the medical aspect of treatment we provide clinical as well. Our facility provides more individual therapy than any other. Each individual is provided up to six private therapy session per week. It’s important to work through any past traumas, understand how this happened, and most importantly how to move forward.   We accept many different insuranses like;

The heroin epidemic stemming from prescription drug misuse we are currently facing is affecting all demographics. Individuals demonstrating concurrent chronic pain and opioid misuse are at high risk for overdose and mortality. Please call today and get the quality help you deserve. We are here to help you live your best life! Harmony Grove Recovery provides detox and inpatient services in a luxury setting. We provide private bedrooms, medical supervision, detox medications, group and individual therapy, and recreational activities. You need a comfortable and safe environment to successfully treat addiction and underlying issues caused by alcohol and substance abuse. Call our California drug rehabs in San Diego, Encinitas, Carlsbad, La Jolla and Escondido, California now at (760) 697-0497.