Prescription Drug Addiction Admissions Skyrocket Says Narconon Rehab

Prescription Drug Addiction Admissions Skyrocket

Prescriptions are the nation’s second-most popularly abused drug category.

According to data published in 2010, our nation has seen a 400% increase in rehab admissions over the last decade amongst those abusing prescription drugs. The vast number of those struggling with addictions to pharmaceutical opioid painkillers now makes prescription substances our nation’s second-most popular drug category for abuse in the United States.

Why do opioid pain relievers produce such severe dependency in some users? A recent and comprehensive study conducted at a federal level provides valuable insights into this national epidemic.

Data Reveals Prescription Painkiller Addiction Treatment on the Rise

In a recent study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), experts reported a shocking 400% increase in treatment admissions amongst those experiencing dependency to prescription opioid painkillers. While these numbers may indicate that more Americans are seeking help for their substance abuse issues as a result of increased awareness about prescription drug addiction, experts continue to worry that this aspect of addiction will continue to grow more serious.

Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., Administrator for SAMHSA, feels strongly that more resources are needed to properly prevent, detect and resolve prescription drug abuse in the US. In a recent quote, Hyde said, “The non-medical use of prescription pain relievers is now the second-most prevalent form of illicit drug use in the Nation, and its tragic consequences are seen in substance abuse treatment centers and hospital emergency departments throughout our Nation. This public health threat demands that we follow the President’s National Drug Control Strategy’s call for an all-out effort to raise awareness of this risk and the critical importance of properly using, storing, and disposing of these powerful drugs.”

The addictive qualities of prescription pain relieving drugs are a key factor in analyzing the rise in treatment admissions, but accessibility is yet another important aspect of the issue. In the 10-year period of SAMHSA’s study, the number of annual prescriptions increased from 22 million per year to 354 million per year just a decade later. This excessive level of prescribed drugs pumps millions of habit-forming opioids into American hands, contributing to increased levels of abuse and addiction.

Gil Kerlikowske, Director for the National Drug Policy, has called prescription abuse America’s fastest-growing drug problem, and he further stated, “The spikes in prescription drug abuse rates captured by this study are dramatic, pervasive, and deeply disturbing.”

The National Drug Control Strategy: What Can You Do?

Hyde strongly recommends a national adherence to the President’s proposed plan to reform drug policy in the United States which calls for a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the risk of prescriptions and the importance of handling, storing and disposing of medical prescriptions correctly. Updated for 2013, the President’s National Drug Control Strategy outlines the four key aspects required to effectively battle the public health issue of substance abuse:

  • PREVENTION of drug abuse in youth through sufficient and factual drug education
  • EXPANSION of treatment resources, facilities and programs for Americans who struggle with substance abuse currently
  • REFORM of the US criminal justice system to include measures which focus on breaking the cycle of addiction, rather than solely incarcerating addicts without ample rehabilitation
  • SUPPORT those who are in recovery by raising awareness and eliminating the stigmas associated with drug and alcohol abuse

Look for local support groups in your area, or lend a hand at events which raise awareness about the devastating effects of substance abuse. The involvement of every citizen can and will make a difference.

Narconon Seeing Rise in Prescription Drug Abuse Throughout Oklahoma

Rising Prescription Drug Abuse in OklahomaAccording to a recent reports and statistics collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Oklahoma painkiller epidemic is an issue of serious concern. Per capita, it appears that Oklahomans are consuming more hydrocodone (an opioid painkiller) than Californians.

In a recent phone interview with Oklahoma City Police Captain Chris Woodruff, Narconon gained valuable insight on law enforcement’s perspective on this devastating state-wide issue and further learned what Oklahoma residents can do to help their communities bounce back.

Law Enforcement Weighs in on Oklahoma’s Prescription Problem

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) recently reported a staggering 78% increase in the death of Oklahoma state residents as a result of drug overdose. Primary drugs of concern are prescription painkillers like OxyContin and hydrocodone.

On a national level, the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently declared that the United States was experiencing a serious prescription drug abuse epidemic. How do such issues translate to state and community leaders? Does this sort of epidemic affect Oklahoma’s youth, high schools and families? Oklahoma City law enforcement faces this problem head-on, witnessing the devastating effects first-hand.

“I have seen a significant increase in prescription drug abuse in the last year around the Oklahoma City area,” said Captain Chris Woodruff of the Special Investigations Division at the Oklahoma City Police Department. “This has become a major problem amongst young teens in the junior and senior high school age.”

The distribution of prescription substances is seemingly making a transition from the medicine cabinet, and more users are turning to street dealers for their prescription drug of choice.

“Many individuals involved with distribution of more traditional controlled substances are beginning to obtain prescription drugs to sell also,” added Woodruff. According to Mark Woodward of the OBN, many Oklahomans “doctor shop” by visiting 10-15 different doctors to obtain enough prescription drugs to support their habit.

How Can You Help?

As prescription drugs become more prominent around the state, Oklahoma residents are left wondering what they can do to better their communities and slow the progression of this deadly prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Captain Woodruff explains that there are actions that Oklahoma residents can undertake, such as:

  • Continued public support with local law enforcement
  • Drug education for children and teens
  • Learning the signs of drug abuse and helping those who need it

Wooruff also urged Oklahomans to take advantage of prescription drug take-back programs to clean out old, unneeded prescriptions.

Derry Hallmark, Senior Director For Expansion at Narconon Arrowhead, agrees with Woodruff.  “Through community involvement with drug education and rehabilitation for those addicted, we can put a stop to the devistating prescription opiate addiction,” Hallmark stated.

Narconon Arrowhead, located in Canadian, OK, a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment facility, offers a mobile drug education unit that travels the state and country, offering drug education to schools, companies, and any other interested groups.

“We are working to fight this prescription drug abuse epidemic at both ends,” said Hallmark. “We send our trained drug educators around the state to offer drug education on one front for preventative measures, while at the same time we offer help to those who struggle with addiction through our long-term rehab program.”

For more information on prescription drug abuse, or to get help for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with addiction, contact Narconon by calling 1-800-468-6933 or by logging onto www.stopaddiction.com.

Narconon Evaluates the Dangers of Workplace Opiate Abuse

Many of us are aware that American drug use in the workplace is a serious and growing issue—but, how serious? What substances are commonly abused at work, and what risks are produced for coworkers and business owners?

In October, 2010, the federal government began tightening drug testing requirements for employees involved with public safety (such as pilots, airplane mechanics, and train operators.) As stricter drug testing policies are put into place, we continue to learn about the substance abuse in the American workforce and what actually is taking place.

Is the US Job Force Plagued by Substance Abuse?

Narconon Evaluates the Dangers of Workplace Opiate Abuse

Between January and June 2010, around 320,000 employees in the public safety workforce underwent the oral fluid testing. The heroin test marker was found at a rate of 0.04%, increasing from 0.008% found through urine testing.

“We’re also seeing dramatic increases in on-the-job use of prescription opiates like oxycodone and oxymorphine, [Vicodin and OxyContin],” said Dr. Barry Sample with Quest Diagnostics. Further, test results from over 5 million tests indicated an 18% jump in opiate “positives” between 2009 and 2009—an increase of over 40% since 2005.

Shockingly, reports show in the last year that the number of employees believed to be using heroin has nearly doubled, and those using prescription opiates are increasing at an exponential rate.

Opiates in the Workplace: Risks and Side Effects

While under the influence of powerful opiates such as heroin or OxyContin, an individual may experience any of the following potentially hazardous side effects or adverse reactions:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Delirium
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizzy spells
  • Muscle rigidity

Any of these potential risks could lead to increased chances of an accident, impaired judgment or lost productivity. About 1 in 20 post-accident employee drug tests showed that opiates were found in the employee’s blood stream. Although these statistics are not surprising, “You don’t want to see anyone in a public safety role test positive,” said Dr. Sample.

People turn to drugs or alcohol for a number of reasons. According to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Stress in the workplace, which can play in increased substance use, has amplified in recent years due to job insecurity and a trend toward working longer hours.”

Also according to SAMHSA, of the 20.3 million adults in the U.S. classified as experiencing substance abuse issues, 15.8 million were employed either full or part-time.

While it would be wholly an estimate to place a number on the cost of opiate abuse in the work place, many experts feel that stronger programs which detect and screen such substance abuse could benefit the economy greatly by improving job safety, decreasing worker’s compensation claims and restoring previously lost productivity.

Detecting and Treating Opiate Addiction

“Although sobriety is more important than any job, we ensure the confidentiality and privacy of all of our clients,” says Derry Hallmark, Senior Director For Expansion at Narconon Arrowhead in Canadian, Oklahoma. “Our program outlines key tools to achieving sobriety and resolving stress which may arise in a work environment.”

Vital life and situational skills as well as stress management are key to achieving and maintaining sobriety after an opiate addiction is treated.

If you are suspicious of opiate abuse in your office or place of business, look for some of the indicators of addiction and withdrawal as warning signs. If you uncover a potentially dangerous substance abuse situation in a fellow employee, speak to someone right away.

Narconon Graduate Speaks Out About His OxyContin Addiction

Narconon OxyContin Addiction Treatment

Over 70% of those who misuse prescription drugs obtain them from a friend or family member.

OxyContin, a prescription opiod medication used for severe pain, has quickly become one of the most widely abused drugs in America. Abuse of OxyContin can rapidly evolve into an overwhelming addiction state, contributing to the fact that prescription drugs are now the second-most abused substance in the country, second only to marijuana.

Further, statistics from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a mere 5% of those using prescription pain relievers non-medically, reported getting them from a drug dealer, compared to the vast majority who obtained them from the following sources:

  • A friend or relative (70%), whether the pills were given or taken by theft unknowingly
  • A doctor or healthcare provider (18%)
  • The Internet (less than 1%)

rescription painkillers are considered a major contributor to the total number of drug deaths. In 2007, for example, nearly 28,000 Americans died from unintentional drug poisoning, and of these, nearly 12,000 involved prescription pain relievers.

Nearly 30,000 Americans die from unintentional drug poisoning or overdose on an annual basis. Trey, a graduate of the Narconon Arrowhead drug rehab program, avoided this tragic fate by finally getting help and regaining control of his life.

After being sober for one year, Trey reflects on his devastating addiction to OxyContin and his life-changing decision to receive treatment through Narconon Arrowhead.

Trey’s OxyContin Addiction

“I was never really one to experiment with hard drugs,” says Trey. “I always told myself, ‘I will never do heroin,’ and, ‘I will never try cocaine.’ But when I first tried OxyContin, I didn’t realize how addictive it would be. I just thought that because it was prescribed by a medical professional that it really couldn’t be that bad.”

Lawsuits against the makers of OxyContin and thousands of addiction cases just like Trey’s serve to further illustrate the addictive nature of the opioid medication. Some users become hooked on the drug after being prescribed it for an injury or illness. Others, like Trey, become addicted to the drug after experimenting with it just a few times.

“I developed an uncontrollable urge to use OxyContin,” explains Trey. “The pill gave me a euphoric feeling and a sense that all my problems had disappeared. Unfortunately, the problems were still there after the pill wore off, but they were worse.”

OxyContin Adverse Effects

After developing a severe dependency to OxyContin, Trey soon experienced first-hand the adverse effects of the drug once the addictive high wore off. “I would feel sick because of the withdrawals from OxyContin. And the pills were so expensive, all my money went to feeding my addiction.”

“After losing my friends, family, school, job, essentially everything important to me, to this insatiable OxyContin addiction, I realized that if I didn’t find sobriety I would never amount to anything,” says Trey. “I didn’t want to die in my addiction.”

Opioid Prescription Addiction Treatment

Like so many addicts, Trey’s story demonstrates how difficult it can be to break away from an opioid habit. “I tried getting sober so many times, but I couldn’t do it on my own. I kept relapsing,” he says. “After sitting on rock bottom for a couple years, I finally was directed to Narconon Arrowhead.”

Narconon Arrowhead specializes in drug and alcohol treatment using an individualized approach, achieving a 70% success rate for permanent recovery from addiction. Since the 1960s, the program has helped thousands of addicts regain drug and alcohol-free lives. Narconon’s drug prevention program also works to raise awareness amongst youth and adults about the dangers of OxyContin addiction and other substance abuse issues.

“I didn’t think I could gain so much from a drug rehab,” Trey says of his experience at Narconon. “The program gave me a definite way out of my OxyContin addiction. They didn’t  give me other medications to get off drugs like other places I had been to. Instead, Narconon got me off drugs and gave me the necessary tools to stay off the drugs—forever.”

For more information on how Narconon can help you or someone you know who is struggling with an OxyContin addiction, contact Narconon Arrowhead today by calling 1-800-468-6933.

Effective Heroin Rehab For The New Year

For many heroin addicts, this past year was a year filled with sorrow and hardship. Addiction to heroin causes a person to develop an uncontrollable desire to feed their drug habit. Although many of them wish to live a normal life, they are unable to simply quit the use of heroin.

Drug rehabilitation is necessary to help a heroin addict find sobriety, but with so many options for treatment, finding the most effective heroin rehab can be a challenge. In this new year, learn the facts about opiate abuse and help those in your life

who are struggling to find hope with successful recovery and sobriety.

Understanding the Severity of Heroin Addiction

Understanding Heroin Addiction

Physical tolerance to heroin can lead to increased dosages and addiction.

“Heroin controlled my life for almost ten years,” says Danielle, a former heroin addict. “I tried several other programs, including 12 Step, but each time I reverted back to drug use.” Like so many heroin addicts, Danielle experienced the gripping effects of opiate dependency coupled with the physical phenomenon known as tolerance.

When an individual begins taking heroin on a continuous basis, the body adapts and becomes somewhat tolerant to this initial dosage level of the drug. In order to continue to achieve a high, the user must increase the amount of the drug. Eventually, physical dependency manifests by producing withdrawal symptoms if too little heroin is consumed.

Some of the commonly known and highly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms linked to heroin abstinence include muscle and bone pain, nausea/vomiting, severe headaches, diarrhea, intense drug cravings, sleeplessness, excessive sweating, etc.

Such withdrawal symptoms can manifest just hours after a user’s last heroin dose, driving many to relapse, continue using or even engage in criminal activity (theft, drug dealing, etc.) to further or support one’s habit. It is this combined action of physical dependency, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms that make opiate addiction one of the toughest substance abuse conditions to beat.

Some heroin users may also experience the following long-term effects, depending on their medical history and specific drug abuse case:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart and breathing complications
  • Lung problems, including pneumonia
  • Permanent organ damage
  • Infections

How is Narconon Different?

Narconon Arrowhead offers an alternative to the traditional 12 Step heroin rehabs by offering a long-term, inpatient treatment strategy which targets the key aspects of heroin addiction on an individual and highly personalized basis. The facility provides real solutions for this devastating addiction and has been helping individuals to fully recover from addiction for over forty years.

Narconon Arrowhead Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program specializes in opiate dependency and features a unique, individualized sauna detoxification program which rids the body of residual drug and alcohol toxins which remain hidden or lodged in the various muscle and fatty tissues. “Narconon was the one program that really worked for my heroin addiction,” adds Danielle. “After completing the sauna detoxification portion of the program, I no longer had cravings for heroin.”

Over 70% of addicted individuals are able to permanently leave substance abuse problems behind for good and stay permanently recovered from addiction after completing the Narconon Program.

“Thanks to this program, I have been sober from heroin and all other drugs for two years,” says Danielle. “I graduated from Narconon and haven’t looked back. This is the only heroin rehab I know of that gives you the tools to have a successful, drug-free life.”

For more information on Narconon or to find a center near you, call us today at 1-800-468-6933.

Families of Heroin Addicts Look for Help During Holidays

Families of Heroin Addicts Seeking Help During the HolidaysThe holiday season is known to most as a time of joy spent with family and friends. For a heroin addict, the holiday season can be a depressing and lonely time, and those closest to the addict can only pray that help can be found before it is too late.

For the many families of heroin addicts looking for help during the holidays, we hope to offer some relief through education and raising awareness about the opiate epidemic in the US. 

The Growing US Heroin Problem

Heroin addiction causes a person to become obsessed with finding and consuming the opiate, even if only to avoid the dreaded withdrawal symptoms which can manifest after abstaining from the drug for too long. According to US Department of Justice’s National Drug Intelligence Center, the amount of pure heroin produced in Mexico remained steadily on the rise, causing heroin availability to skyrocket in the western hemisphere.

“Kids aren’t as afraid of heroin as they once were,” says Robyn Dewhirst, Director of Assessment and Early Intervention at the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (CADA) for Greater New Orleans. “The impression is that smoking it is no big deal, and the fear of becoming a proverbial junkie is just not there.”

Further, reports indicating that prescription painkillers like OxyContin are acting as gateway substances to heroin has driven the heroin abuse population to new heights amongst previously untouched demographics including wealthy or middle-class Americans.

Helping Someone Addicted to Heroin

An increase of heroin abuse and heroin related overdose among American youth in and outside of major metropolitan areas has parents and anti-drug activitists wondering what they can do to prevent a worsening of the problem.

As is the motto of many drug treatment experts, prevention is the best form of treatment. We can effectively slow the trend of mass heroin abuse and addiction by preventing today’s youth from trying the drug. Substance abuse education and awareness in schools can help prevent heroin use, but drug education also must be practiced in the home. Parents are urged to show their children the results of using heroin and the potential for addiction after just one use.

“Heroin can be addictive from its very first use because it gives the absolute peace that people are seeking,” says CADA’s Robyn Dewhirst. “And after that, people are always seeking that first high. It’s referred to as ‘chasing the dragon,’ or being ‘in the womb’ by addicts. It’s incomparable, when you’re talking to a heroin addict, that first heroin high.”

When heroin addiction takes hold of an individual, their lifestyle soon begins to deteriorate. Narconon Arrowhead is a residential rehabilitation program that helps heroin addicts overcome their addiction using a drug-free and non-traditional approach to handling all aspects of drug abuse. Our long-term, inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center achieves a success rate of over 70% for permanent recovery from drugs.

Looking for answers to heroin addiction during the holiday season can be especially difficult, emotionally and otherwise.“Heroin addiction is infamously one of the toughest addictions to beat,” says Derry Hallmark, Senior Director For Expansion at Narconon Arrowhead. “But with the right level rehabilitation, it can be fully overcome.”

For more information on Narconon Arrowhead or to get help for someone you love that is struggling with heroin abuse, contact us today by calling 1-800-468-6933.