As one of the leaders providing Orange County Drug Treatment we know all too well that very few words bring up emotions like the word “junkie.” Just seeing it conjures up images of dirty bathrooms, pallid skin, and sunken eyes. As one of leaders in Orange County Detox Centers, we have seen this family of drugs both ruin and take many, many lives. One of 449Recovery’s observations through our years of drug and alcohol counseling is that opiate addiction is on the rise. It is far easier to take a pill prescribed by a doctor then scouring the streets looking for your next fix. The danger of opiate addiction lies in the factor that it removes the stigma of needle injection in conjunction with the availability. Prescription Opiates are manufactured by some of the largest and well known pharmaceutical companies as opposed to heroin for instance which is manufactured in Afghanistan and distributed through organized crime channels.
Opiates are the family of drugs that heroin, morphine, Oxycontin, Vicodin, and other drugs fall into. Whether the disease manifests itself through pain pill addiction or street drugs, it is the same beast going by different names. Prescription opiate addiction can be just as deadly as street drug addiction, and the numbers are starting to highlight this relatively new phenomena.
Combined with alcohol or stimulants, the dangers of opiate addiction and abuse soar to new heights. Speedballs, injecting cocaine and opiates, was the combination of drugs that took the lives of John Belushi , Chris Farley, and River Phoenix, not to mention the countless numbers without the fame and fortune. Together with alcohol, the two depressants increase the risks of heart attack to terrifying levels. Even by themselves, though, the risks of opiate overdose are extremely high–almost inevitable through prolonged opiate addiction.
Opiates are notoriously difficult to detox off of. That same wonderful, euphoric, glowingly numb and drowsy feeling that so many addicts chase…imagine the exact opposite of that, and that is what opiate detoxification is like. Looking at it from this perspective, it is no wonder so many people don’t want to face a real detox program, rather than some maintenance program like methadone or Suboxone. Maintenance programs aren’t bad, per se, but the whole point is to get off of opiates, not to constantly maintain a dependence upon a different drug.
Maybe this scenario sounds familiar, but let’s say you were at one point prescribed a pain killer after a surgery or for persistent pain. You take the drug as prescribed, but they didn’t last quite as long as you felt they should, so you started taking an extra pill or taking your doses a little bit closer together. Then, in the example of a surgery, you found yourself taking them whether you need to or not, just to keep that warm, pleasantly-drowsy feeling. Or maybe you figured, “Hey, I’ve got a quarter of a bottle of these things left. I might as well use them if the doctor prescribed them.” One day, though, the supply runs out, and you thinking of ways to get more…
This is one of many ways that an addiction to opiates can start. Indeed, many alcoholics and addicts with a lot of clean time and sobriety find themselves relapsing due to this slippery slope. It is such an easy trap to fall into, too. It is a sneaky progression that works in inches rather than miles. Orange County drug treatment centers have been combating prescription pill addiction for years, and if anything, the problem seems to be growing.
At 449 Recovery, we see the dangers of these drugs and the chaos they inflict on people’s lives. If you or someone you know is having problems with opiate addiction or prescription drug addiction, contact our staff today before it is too late. Being known as the most innovative drug treatment center in Orange County we have the tools, and the experiences in the battle against opiate addiction.