Painkiller Sales Rocket But Does This Mean People are Really Being Helped?

Across the US, sales figures for painkillers climbed to higher and higher levels between 2000 and 2010, but this may not have been because more people were finding relief from pain. Because painkillers are chemically very similar to heroin, they became popular drugs of abuse. The painkiller OxyContin became well known as a drug of abuse, addiction and even overdose. 

Other opiate painkillers morphine, Vicodin and Lortab (hydrocodone), Opana (hydromorphone), Percocet and Percodan (oxycodone) were also drugs being abused. Any of these drugs could cause a person to become addicted. All are strong painkillers. 

One analysis of the number of painkillers sold revealed that in 2010, there were enough painkillers to distribute 40 five-milligram Percocets and 24 five-milligram Vicodins to every person in the US, whether they had any pain or not. This is the equivalent of 69 tons of pure oxycodone and 42 tons of pure hydrocodone. 

In the years before painkiller use became so widespread, pain management associations promoted better pain control for patients, in published papers and journals. This set the stage for increased prescribing of opioid pain medications. 

But to refute the idea that these drugs are only used for relieving people’s pain, the distributions of these drugs are uneven. Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky had very high rates of distribution, as did smaller areas like Staten Island, New York. Oklahoma has in the last couple of years been catching up with with these other states as the prescription drug problem grows in the Midwest. 

To try to deal with the problem, many states have instituted prescription drug monitoring programs to flag those people who go to too many doctors to get drugs. But because these programs are limited to one state, there is no way to detect a person who crosses the state line to get more drugs. 

It might be possible continue to pass laws that try to block every avenue of drug abuse. But the more effective method of preventing painkiller abuse is to help a person leave the desire for drugs behind. 

Narconon Arrowhead Drug Rehab Works Where Many Others Have Failed 

When a person addicted to pain medication seeks treatment, he (or she) may find a program that prescribes methadone or buprenorphine as treatment. These are both synthetic opiates that prevent the sickness and pain of withdrawal from drugs like OxyContin or Vicodin. They are formulated so that they do not, as much as possible, provide the euphoria that is a sought-after effect of abusing opiates. But the person being treated with these drugs is still under the influence of drugs. And the person is still psychologically addicted to the use of these drugs. He will still crave the high he used to get and may still seek it. 

There are many stories of people being treated with methadone or buprenorphine and still abusing street drugs or other opiates. They just pile the illicit drug on top of their methadone dosage. Or they may save their buprenorphine or sell it, and continue abusing other drugs. If they are ever unable to acquire the drug they prefer to abuse, then they have the buprenorphine as a backup, to prevent withdrawal symptoms. 

The drug rehab program at Narconon Arrowhead has just one purpose – to bring about complete sobriety. No drugs are ever used as part of treatment. Only nutritional supplements are used to help alleviate the sickness of withdrawal, along with plenty of one-on-one work with the staff to keep a person focused and positive. 

This program is long-term and has no time limits, so a person can use all the time they need to develop a new, sober life. Each person is different and limiting them to a month or two might mean that they go home before they are ready to be sober. The cost of the program does not change if a person takes a longer time to finish. 

When someone you care about is losing everything to addiction, there is no time to waste. The next time your loved one abuses one of these drugs, he could experience an overdose or injury related to his (or her) drug use. 

Call now and ask for an Intake Counselor about your situation. The Counselor will be able to help you understand your options and make arrangements for a fast arrival. If you need help finding an interventionist, your Counselor can assist you with that as well. The night your loved one arrives at Narconon Arrowhead to finally find lasting sobriety may be the best night’s sleep you have had in years. For complete information, call 1-800-468-6933 today. 

Narconon Arrowhead is certified by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.