Opiate Addiction and Prescription Drug Addiction; The Perfect Storm

We have been staunch advocates that we will soon be seeing record rates of opiate addiction, pain pill addiction, and prescription pill addiction. We can’t say it enough that this will happen and will happen soon.

When one pauses to look and contrast the possibilities of widespread opiate and prescription pill addiction to other “street” drugs it is easy to see why 449Recovery and others in the business of drug and alcohol addiction can see the coming from a mile away. The difference here is we can choose to feel helpless or we can choose to take action. For those with any experience in the field of substance abuse treatment this decision is easy.

Why the fear you ask? What makes the problem with prescription pills and opiate addiction any different then marijuana, crystal meth, cocaine, or LSD/Ecstasy? This is simply a matter of perception. While those not directly familiar with the drug scene or only nominal experience it would be easy to understand how one may lump prescription pill addiction with the others. But the facts are very, very different then the perception.

The facts are the difference between opiate addiction and other elicit street drugs is the difference between sleazy alleyways in the bad part of town versus your local corner drug store. Be it the pharmacy at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, or Costco-these locations to many with opiate addiction are no different to an then the guy on the street corner in a trench coat. This perception actually plays a vital role in society becoming far more accepting of the disease and thus far more susceptible.

Gone are the images of the gritty shooting gallery and/or getting a fix from a nefarious source with dubious quality in exchange for a clean, shiny, little pill bottle complete with dosage instructions and rubber stamped by a licensed MD. Once again you’ve got the shifty drug dealer versus the licensed medical doctor and pharmacist. The negative images of drug and alcohol that scared kids in elementary school has been completely replaced by a much more sanitized alternative which is alarming.

Making matters worse are kids who start experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and while misguided, are doing so completely voluntary. Many of those with prescription pill addiction or those who are soon to have an opiate addiction problem will do so completely unknowingly. Going through a back surgery? Having some type of spinal issues or other medical issue that causes pain? Chances are your Doctor will prescribe you some type of pain pill that has been shown to be equally as addictive in heroin with prescription pills often carrying the same chemical composition.

When we look at the process of injecting heroin versus simply popping a pill it is a much cleaner process thus far more inviting? The easier it is to achieve a certain high or mental state the more people will be willing to try it. Being scared of needles alone will scare a lot of people away from trying heroin; but having a public that has been conditioned to take a pill to treat any and all potential physical maladies is an open door to a national nightmare with prescription pill abuse and opiate addiction front and center. As Orange Countys leading Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center we can recognize the warning signs-its a matter of who is willing to see them.

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