The Opioid Epidemic
Adult | Family | Health/Science | Prevention | Recovery | Women | Resources
The Drug Addict Next Door
What image crosses your mind when you hear the term "drug addict?" In the not-too-distant past, most people associated the phrase with sketched-out, homeless, toothless, unemployed criminals who lived on the street, desperate to do whatever it took to get their next hit. While that sad image remains true for some, with nearly eight million people meeting the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse disorder in the United States, the more likely description is your son or daughter, boss, employee, parent, brother, sister, next door neighbor or friend. Often highly-educated, working in white collar careers and driving luxury cars, these addicts represent the new face of addiction circa 2018, Opioids.
Opioid addiction often begins after someone is injured or has surgery. Their doctor writes a legitimate prescription to dull the pain. Then, when the pills run out, addictive behavior kicks in. No longer able to deaden the physical and/or emotional discomfort without medication, users turn to street drugs to achieve a similar result. The problem is that, over time, to achieve the same effect, the user is forced to increase his dose. So, addicts move from pain relievers like Vicodin and OxyContin to narcots such as fetanyl, heroin and methamphetamines. Together, these add up to an epidemic that is killing people at a faster rate than the HIV outbreak at its peak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):
- Although not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted, addiction remains very prevalent in the United States.
- 64,000 people in the U.S. died of a drug overdose in 2016.
- Heroin accounted for over 15,000 deaths in 2016.
- Natural and semi-synthetic opioids accounted for 14,000 deaths
- Stimulants with abuse potential accounted for over 7,000 deaths
- Cocaine accounted for more than 10,000 deaths
- 36 million used cocaine/crack, 36 million used marijuana and 18.9 million people misused prescriptions in the past year. This class of drugs includes prescription pain relievers (such as oxycodone), tranquilizers (such as Xanax) and sedatives (such as valium).
The Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) reports:
- Nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported misusing prescription opioids prior to heroin.
- 130 people die from opioid drug overdoses each day.
- There are more than 14,000 substance abuse fatalities in the United States.
In response to the crisis, authorities are working with state lawmakers to educate providers, pharmacists, parents, and youth about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Further, they are focusing on the need to properly prescribe, dispense, use, and dispose; to implement effective prescription drug monitoring programs; to facilitate proper medication disposal through prescription take-back initiatives; and to support aggressive enforcement to address doctor-shopping and pill mills, while supporting development of abuse-resistance formulations for opioid pain relievers.
To address the issue, HHS has created a five-point comprehensive strategy:
- Better addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services
- Better data
- Better pain treatment
- Better targeting of overdose-reversing drugs
- Better research
Help for the Hurting
While legislators work, people continue to struggle. We offer help. Our treatment centers in Southern California offer services to men, women and teens who struggle with alcohol and drug use, opioid-related or not. We provide structured and supportive addiction treatment in semi-private, comfortable apartment-style settings. Monitored by professional addiction specialists 24 hours a day, our modern apartments are a safe haven in which men can heal during the rehab process. Living and recovering in our Mt Rubidoux men's residential treatment and learn new, healthy strategies to sustain recovery.
About MFI Recovery
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix-Method for each individual client, creating a personalized treatment program. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.