Is there a difference between detox and withdrawal management? Professional organizations and clinicians believe so and have recently replaced the term “detox” with the term “withdrawal management.” They recognize that these two processes are not the same thing and that the term detox can be misleading.
Clarifying the Differences Between Detox and Withdrawal Management
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that there are technical issues with continuing to use the terms detox and detoxification to describe the withdrawal process. As such, they decided to describe the process as withdrawal management. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has followed suit.
They sum it up like this:
“The liver performs detoxification and clinicians manage withdrawal symptoms.”
The ASAM has formally applied the term to all of their publications with references to recovering from substance use disorders.
Let’s take a look at the difference between detox and withdrawal management to understand better why there needs to be a distinction between the two.
Understanding the Detoxification Process
Detoxification, or detox, refers to the cleansing of toxins from the body. Of course, the liver performs this process naturally every day by eliminating waste products and foreign substances from the blood. This natural detoxification occurs in healthy individuals and even some people who are using a drug or medication.
Ultimately, withdrawal symptoms appear when a drug of abuse is not replenished. This syndrome happens because the body has adapted to the presence of the addictive substance. Therefore, if the drug is withheld, the system is thrown out of balance. As a result, the symptoms can manifest as physical or emotional consequences.
Why Withdrawal Management is Necessary
Withdrawal management refers to the psychological and medical processes that can become life-threatening depending on the drug involved and the severity of the addiction. Of course, some people have successfully overcome drug abuse on their own, but this is not recommended in most instances.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms that require medical intervention include:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that can lead to dehydration
- Anxiety, aggressiveness
- Confusion, disorientation
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Shakes, tremors, muscle cramping
- Seizures, coma
Of course, the duration and intensity of withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the person’s physical health and the drug involved.
Other factors that indicate the need for professional withdrawal management include co-occurring mental health issues such as:
- bipolar disorder
- major depressive disorder
- personality disorders
- severe alcoholism
Individuals with these dual-diagnosis issues are advised against going through withdrawal without medical intervention. In many cases, it has resulted in self-harm, injury, or death as a result of these conditions.
During withdrawal management, patients are monitored 24/7 by a team of addiction specialists and medical personnel. Accordingly, the goal is to ensure a safe, effective withdrawal process that prepares the individual for the next phase of treatment.
What Comes Next?
After undergoing withdrawal management, the individual should enter a professional rehabilitation program. Rehab addresses the underlying causes of the addiction with a variety of counseling and skills training classes. Furthermore, patients learn more effective methods for coping and overcoming daily stressors that played a role in their drug use.
Recovering addicts are specifically advised to take advantage of an aftercare program after completing rehab. Overall, these programs provide continuing advice, support, and guidance as the person attempts to reintegrate into society as a sober person. Sober living homes are also an excellent resource for recovering addicts.
Learn More About the Difference Between Detox and Withdrawal Management
When a person fears detox and withdrawal, they often avoid seeking help for their addiction, and many lives have been lost. For this reason, if you know someone who is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help them learn the facts and overcome their fear of treatment. Contact us today at our toll-free number to learn more about the difference between detox and withdrawal management. All in all, this knowledge could save a life.
asam.org – The ASAM Criteria
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
When we try to think of ways to contribute to reducing the opioid crisis, it’s hard to figure out where to begin. Where should we apply our efforts to achieve the best results? Can only one person do anything that will genuinely make a difference? Here’s the thing. If you can influence just one person to avoid drug use or to give up drugs, you’ve made a huge contribution. We can win the battle against drug abuse, one person at a time if necessary.
If you want to get involved in reducing the opioid crisis, we have a few suggestions that will help you get started.
Begin by Sharing the Knowledge About the Dangers of Drugs
More likely than not, you’ve heard someone say, “It’s safe; everyone’s using it.” Or, “One won’t hurt you.” Or, “It’s a prescription pill, so it’s not dangerous.” These misconceptions have led many people to become addicted to these dangerous substances and had their lives and health disrupted. There’s no such thing as innocent experimentation. Some drugs can be deadly, with only one dose.
You can help spread the word about the dangers of drugs in a variety of ways. Here are a few organizations that encourage public involvement in their campaigns:
Also, each month of the year, nationwide education and awareness organizations sponsor a variety of events such as:
These are only a small portion of the many organizations and events that need your support. Millions of people are involved daily in doing whatever they can to prevent drug abuse. Many lives have been saved, but there are still more that need saving.
How Bad is the Prevalence of Drug Abuse and Addiction?
More than 70,200 people died from drug overdoses last year. About 17,029 of those deaths involved prescription opioids.
It’s far too easy to obtain addictive substances today. Look in any bathroom medicine cabinet, and you’ll see a variety of pain pills, sleep aids, depression meds, and more. Even over-the-counter drugs are abused to get high, and every household has these drugs stashed somewhere.
In 2018, over 214 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed by retail pharmacies. Nine out of ten of these individuals reported not finishing all of their medications. That means there are millions of these unused pills sitting around waiting to get into the wrong hands. Many of these drugs end up at “skittles parties” or being handed out to friends at school.
If you find some of these unused prescriptions, check out this infographic to learn the best ways to dispose of them.
Other Ways to Contribute to Reducing the Opioid Crisis
One of the best ways to help reduce the opioid epidemic is to serve as an example to your friends. Let them know you won’t tolerate drugs in your presence. Encourage your friends to find ways to have fun without getting high.
Talk to your parents and relatives about the dangers of leaving unused medications in the home. Show them the above infographic on how to dispose of those drugs.
If you would like more information about reducing the opioid crisis, please contact us today. We’ll also be happy to talk to you about our treatment program if you know someone who needs help overcoming addiction.
Methadone maintenance treatment is not something new to the methods of treating opioid addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment has been used since the 1950s for opioid-dependent patients. This drug is an opiate, and it is addictive. However, addiction to methadone is not the same as addiction to illegal opioids like heroin.
What is Methadone and Methadone Maintenance Treatment?
Methadone is classified as a Schedule II drug. What a Schedule II classification means is that the drug has a legitimate legal use in the medical field. However, it also is a highly addictive drug. Methadone is a synthetic opioid which physicians use to treat moderate to severe pain. It is also used to treat opioid addictions, such as addictions to heroin.
For those with addictions to heroin, methadone can curtail the withdrawal symptoms when they stop using heroin. In addition, it can decrease the cravings for heroin. However, anyone using methadone maintenance treatment is at a high risk of abuse and dependency on this drug because they are already addicted to opiates.
How is Methadone Administered?
By law, methadone can only be dispensed through an opioid treatment program (OTP) certified by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Patients taking methadone for opioid addictions must have physician supervision in a clinic or medical facility.
Methadone comes in liquid, pill, or wafer forms. Methadone maintenance treatment is not just a matter of showing up at the clinic and taking your daily dose of methadone. It also involves a treatment program of counseling and group support meetings. In other words, you have to be trying to help yourself as you slowly withdraw with methadone from heroin or other opioids.
Methadone as a Painkiller
In recent years, physicians have started prescribing methadone as a painkiller, just like OxyContin or Vicodin. Methadone is less expensive than these name-brand opioid painkillers. Therefore, insurance companies are more willing to pay for this drug over others.
Methadone is a long-acting drug. Because of this, it can build up in the body where even one extra dose of the medication can cause an overdose. When physicians prescribe methadone as a painkiller, they must supervise their patients carefully to avoid dangerous results. Methadone’s half-life makes it less effective as a painkiller.
What are the Side Effects of Methadone?
Whether a person is using methadone for pain relief or as methadone maintenance treatment, there are side effects to deal with.
Some of the common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased sex drive
Some of the more severe side effects of methadone include:
- Chest pain
- Shallow breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
Furthermore, methadone may interact with other medications. In fact, these medications can be prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, even vitamin supplements. Anyone starting methadone maintenance treatment or starting methadone as a medication for chronic pain should tell their doctor any of these drugs that they are currently taking.
Methadone Abuse and Addiction
As Methadone becomes more available to drug abusers either by stealing it from friends or buying it illegally on the streets, there are more individuals forming addictions to this drug today. Furthermore, individuals are abusing methadone and using it recreationally more than ever before. It can be easy for a user to overdose on methadone, especially if mixing it with alcohol or other legal or illegal drugs. If a patient is taking methadone for chronic pain, they can develop a tolerance to the drug, just like any other opioid painkiller. Once this happens, abuse turns into an addiction.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment Can Transform into Addiction
When physicians put individuals on methadone as maintenance treatment for heroin or other opioid addiction, they can end up with an addiction to this drug. If this happens, don’t be ashamed to ask for help at a professional addiction treatment center. In fact, an inpatient addiction treatment program can be tailor-made for your needs as well as your preferences.
You can regain your health and become a productive member of society and your community with the help of inpatient addiction treatment. Contact one of our informed representatives today to discuss a treatment program that will fulfill all of your needs. They can answer any questions you may have about our facility (Awakenings Rehabilitation) and the treatment programs that we offer. Contact us today!
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Methadone Maintenance Treatment
samhsa.gov – Medication-Assisted Treatment
samhsa.gov – Medication and Counseling Treatment
In the United States today, more than 23 million people are struggling with substance use disorders. The sad thing is that only about 10 percent of these individuals receive the treatment they so desperately need. Is there a reason why so many people don’t enter addiction treatment programs? It’s possible that some of the commonly misunderstood facts about drug rehab are part of the problem. Let’s take a look at some of these misconceptions and provide the facts to debunk them.
Misinformation About Drug Rehab Can Generate Fear
It’s surprising in today’s world to find that so many individuals don’t know the truth about drug rehab. With an abundance of information at their fingertips, there is no reason for people to base their opinions about rehab on hearsay and false information. Their lack of knowledge about rehab has caused a significant number of people to fear rehab and avoid treatment for their addictions.
The best way for a person to overcome their fear of rehab is to learn the facts. Of course, rehab isn’t easy for anyone. However, going into it with the right expectations and attitude can make all the difference in a person’s successful recovery.
10 of the Most Commonly Misunderstood Facts About Drug Rehab
To help a person overcome their fear of rehab, we have chosen ten of the most commonly misunderstood facts about drug rehab to debunk. Hopefully, the right information will lead someone to take action and begin treatment right away.
1. Only hardcore addicts need rehab.
This misbelief has caused many people to avoid treatment until overdose or death occurs. It is never too early to enter a rehab program, regardless of the substance involved. In fact, the sooner a person begins treatment, the easier the process will be. Also, long-lasting damages to the person’s health are diminished if they enter rehab early in the addiction.
2. Only mentally ill addicts need rehab.
Most people don’t realize that many addicts suffer from mental and emotional issues along with their addiction. It is impossible to recover from addiction without also treating these mental problems. In a drug rehab facility, detox addresses the physical aspects of addiction. A combination of counseling, education, and skills training helps addicts understand what caused their addiction and how to avoid the triggers that can cause a relapse.
3. Rehabs force religion on you.
A person seeking addiction treatment today has many options when it comes to the type of program they need. While many of the programs are faith-based, there are non-religious programs available.
4. Rehab doesn’t work.
When a person goes through rehab and then relapse shortly after, it’s easy to assume that the program didn’t work. But, relapse is often the result of leaving the program too soon, choosing the wrong treatment plan, failure to take advantage of an aftercare program after rehab.
5. Being in rehab is like being in prison.
Although a rehab program has strict rules, the environment is far from oppressive. Patients can leave anytime they want, however, they jeopardize their ability to stay sober. Most rehabs offer daily activities that help patients relax and have a little fun while working on recovery.
6. Detox is all I need.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about drug rehab. Detox is only the first step in recovery, not the cure-all. When a person goes through the detox process, they are addressing the physical part of their dependence on a substance. The next step after detox is to learn how to effectively cope with life’s challenges without resorting to drugs or alcohol. A rehab program offers a comprehensive assortment of options to help recovering addicts learn how to avoid the behaviors and environment that contributed to their addiction.
7. I’ll lose my job if I go to rehab.
The fact is, you can go to rehab and still keep your job. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects persons who work in government jobs or private companies that have 15 or more employees. Also, if a company gets federal funding, the Rehabilitation Act protects individuals who need to enter rehab.
8. All rehabs are the same.
Not true. There are hundreds of programs that offer a variety of amenities and approaches to treatment. Today’s treatment providers realize that each addict has their own unique needs. Their programs provide a personalized approach to treatment.
9. Rehab gets you hooked on other drugs.
Depending on the drug involved, your addiction can be treated without using other addictive substances. You have the option of choosing a different approach to treatment that doesn’t involve drugs. Keep in mind that with some substances such as heroin, the withdrawals can be intense or dangerous, and medicated detox is often the best option.
10. Relapse means rehab failed and I failed.
As discussed above, relapse is not an indication that anyone failed. It simply means you need to reenter treatment or make some changes in the environment you must occupy. It’s also important that you join an aftercare program following rehab to benefit from the continued support and guidance they offer.
Learn the Truth About Drug Rehab at Awakenings
If you would like more information about the most misunderstood facts about drug rehab, contact us today. We will be happy to tell you about our program and we can help you succeed in beating drug addiction for good.
drugabuse.gov – Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
ada.gov – Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
The HIV/AIDS epidemic and substance abuse go hand-in-hand in many cases. Earlier, it was mainly related to intravenous drug use. However, today it is a factor in widespread substance abuse. The connection between substance abuse and HIV is the fact that the abuse of many substances, including alcohol, increases the chance of high-risk sexual activity.
High-risk sexual activity includes having sex with multiple partners. You might be having sex with various partners, some of which have the HIV/AIDS virus. Some individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol knowingly have sex with other people in exchange for drugs or money to obtain drugs.
How do Individuals Contract HIV/AIDS?
Many myths persist to this day about how you contract HIV. There are only a few ways to transmit HIV. It can be transferred from one person to another who are sharing needles for injections, commonly injecting illegal substances. HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.
People can also transmit this disease through sexual behaviors. Having unprotected sex is very risky for individuals. Many people who abuse drugs or alcohol are more prone to have unprotected sex when under the influence of these substances. The effects of drugs as well as alcohol can have intoxicating effects, lowering inhibitions as well as judgment.
Other ways HIV/AIDS are contracted include:
- From mother to child before or during birth or while breastfeeding
- Infections from blood transfusions or accidents in healthcare
- Sexual contact through semen, vaginal fluids, or blood
- Through other materials used in making or injecting drugs
Transmitting HIV is not possible through these bodily fluids:
You cannot get HIV/AIDS from any blood-sucking insect. Also, many individuals wonder if you can contract HIV from shaking hands, hugging someone who is HIV positive, or sharing toilets. You cannot contract HIV in any of these manners.
The Connection Between Substance Abuse and HIV
As with most diseases, HIV patients have a strict regimen of taking different medications. If a patient is using alcohol, they will not take their prescribed drugs in the way necessary to prevent full-blown AIDS. HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus. Alcohol abuse weakens the body’s immune system. A person whose immune system is already compromised can quickly develop AIDS if not taking their medication as required for their disease.
Another connection between substance abuse and HIV is the impact both of these diseases have on the liver. HIV medications affect liver function. Alcohol adversely affects the liver. HIV or AIDS patients may also suffer from hepatitis C which also affects the liver.
Seek Help for Addiction to any Substance
As you can see, the connection between substance abuse and HIV is real. Misuse of any substance can have a dangerous and fatal outcome. If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t continue on your path of destruction.
Seek help from a licensed and reputable inpatient addiction treatment facility such as Awakenings Rehabilitation. There are many benefits to attending inpatient treatment. Contact one of our informed representatives today to learn more about the treatment programs we offer. We can help you design a program that will be successful for your individual needs and preferences. Our representatives can also answer any questions you may have about our facility.
Don’t take a chance with your health by taking part in high-risk behavior because of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Get the treatment that you so deserve to get back to a healthy way of living without using drugs or alcohol. Don’t gamble with your life. Contact us today!
drugabuse.gov – How Does Drug Abuse Affect the HIV Epidemic?
hiv.gov – How is HIV Transmitted?
Have you ever wondered, “Do I have an addictive personality?” Do you have the personality traits that predispose you to addiction? While this subject is constantly debated in the medical field, some professionals believe that certain personality traits can make you lean more towards addiction.
More Than an Addictive Personality, Certain Factors Exist
While we can’t say that certain individual personalities cause addiction, there are certain factors that do contribute to an individual becoming addicted to a substance.
Some of these factors can include:
- Inability to cope with stress
- History of compulsive behavior
- Lack of social support
- History of abuse or neglect
- Drug use among peers
- Socioeconomic status
While no one personality trait or risk factor can cause a person to become addicted to a substance or behavior, some of them can make an individual more prone to becoming addicted if using drugs or alcohol.
Some Addicts Share Common Addictive Personalities
While each person is a unique individual, there are some traits that are shared by different addicts. Different substances satisfy different needs for individuals. Some of the addictive personality traits do exist in people with different types of addictions.
These traits can include:
- Compulsive behavior
- Substituting vices
- Low distress tolerance
- Antisocial personality
- Difficulty delaying gratification
Individuals with compulsive behavior issues are either “all in” or not at all interested. They either do something perfectly or are disinterested or a complete failure. They have a problem doing anything in moderation. A person with an addictive personality such as compulsive behavior is prone to develop an addiction.
People who struggle with depression or any other form of anxiety may be more prone to develop addictions. They tend to use substances such as drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their problems. These individuals use substances as escape mechanisms. In the same way, a person who has a history of childhood abuse or trauma is more likely to develop an addiction as a way to keep from facing reality.
Another Addictive Personality Trait – Substituting Vices
Are you the type of person who substitutes vices? You may stop drinking alcohol, only to pick up another unhealthy addiction. If you have an addictive personality, chances are that if you stop one addiction, you will start another. For example, you may stop doing drugs but start overspending money on a daily basis as another vice to satisfy your addictive personality. You may stop drugs and start gambling every day as a result. This is a problem you need to find a healthy way to deal with.
Another personality trait that is common with addiction is insecurity. Individuals who feel insecure in relationships such as trusting someone else or who can’t make a commitment may abuse alcohol or drugs as a way to gain self-confidence.
Healthy Ways to Handle an Addictive Personality
There are healthy ways to control your compulsive behaviors and unhealthy vices. Start to focus on eating healthy foods and exercising. Once you do these two things, you will feel better and have the energy to do other fun activities.
When you feel depressed or isolated from the world, find an activity to do to take your mind off of your issues. Instead of drinking alcohol or using drugs, go for a walk, read a book, find a crossword puzzle to work – anything other than unhealthy ways to deal with it. After you do these activities for a while, they will come as normal ways to deal with other issues in your life.
If You are Struggling With an Addiction
If you are struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs, find a reputable licensed inpatient addiction treatment facility and get the help you need. Our treatment center has a compassionate staff that will make you feel at home as you go through your treatment programs and addiction counseling.
Don’t let an addictive personality control your future. You are not doomed to a life of addiction just because you have a few personality traits that could point you in that direction. If you have started abusing a substance, you can overcome the addiction and return to a healthy and happy life. You will learn coping skills in a rehab facility to help you handle any situation without the use of drugs or alcohol.
Contact one of our representatives at Awakenings to learn more about the many treatment programs we offer. They can answer any questions you may have about our facility. Don’t wait another day; call now!
drugabuse.gov – Drug Misuse and Addiction
One thing that doesn’t change when it comes to drug addiction is the fact that it doesn’t discriminate. Anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status, or gender can succumb to the effects of an addictive substance. However, since the turn of the century, the number of overdose deaths among women has skyrocketed.
Although overdose deaths continue to rise among both genders, the overall drug overdose death rates associated with synthetic opioid abuse among women climbed 830 percent from 1999 to 2017.
Let’s look at a few more statistics provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to get a better idea of the scope of the problem among women in these age groups:
- 30 to 64 – A 260% increase from 6.7 deaths in 1999 to 24.3 in 2017.
- 55 to 64 – Since 1999, a 500% increase in drug mortality.
- 30 to 34/50 to 54 – An increase of 350% in drug-related deaths.
- 43 to 48 – The average age at death caused by overdose between 1999 and 2017.
- 55 to 64 – Deaths from prescription opioids rose more than 1,000% between 1999 and 2017.
The CDC report also shows that overall, some drugs that are used together that contributed to the death rates. For instance, the intentional or unintentional use of fentanyl in combination with heroin, cocaine, or opiates is not uncommon.
What is Being Done to Reduce Opioid Misuse and Overdose Deaths Among Women?
In recent years, public health efforts to reduce opioid abuse or misuse among women have increased. The CDC calls for a multifaceted approach to curb overdose deaths among women.
Research shows that each woman experiences changes throughout life that affect the effectiveness of a substance used or abused for treating pain. For that reason, physicians who treat women for depression, anxiety, or pain must consider gender-responsive treatment.
Women are also cautioned about the dangers of opioid use during pregnancy which can result in neonatal abstinence syndrome. According to SAMHSA, about 5.4 percent of pregnant women aged 18 to 44 used alcohol during their first trimester of pregnancy. Also, about 4.8 percent used alcohol in their second trimester, and 2.4 percent in the last trimester.
Are Women More Likely to Become Addicts Than Men?
Research shows that men are more likely than women to use illicit drugs and have higher rates of abuse or dependence on illicit substances than women. However, women may be more likely than men to experience cravings and relapse.
Studies also show that women who use drugs may have contributing factors that put them at higher risk for drug abuse or addiction.
- Issues related to the menstrual cycle, hormones, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause are unique reasons why a woman uses or abuses drugs.
- The hormonal fluctuations can cause women to be more sensitive to the effects of some drugs.
- Women who use drugs experience different brain changes than men who use the same drug.
- Women are more likely to need treatment for an overdose on certain substances.
- Females are more likely to experience anxiety, panic attacks, or depression with certain substances.
- Women’s substance use progresses more quickly from first use to addiction.
- Withdrawal symptoms may be more intense for women.
Because of the above issues, the NIH and other agencies are pushing for clinical researchers to include women in the studies. In the past, the studies were based on male subjects only. This can cause significant health risks for women. For instance, the dosage amount for Ambien has been cut in half for women due to the number of females who developed addictions or overdoses while taking this drug.
Should Rehabs Offer Treatment Programs Specifically Designed for Women?
Many women find it difficult to seek help for addiction during pregnancy, while others find it hard to find childcare so they can attend treatment. Also, what works for men in an addiction treatment program may not be effective for women. Experts agree that treatment should include considerations for the specific needs of women in treating substance abuse or gender-specific treatment.
Overdose deaths among women have skyrocketed, but that trend can be stopped, and lives can be saved with the right treatment approach. Learn more about addiction treatment for women by calling our toll-free number today.
cdc.gov – Opioid Overdose
samhsa.gov – 18 Percent of Pregnant Women Drink Alcohol During Early Pregnancy
drugabuse.gov – Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use
According to the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Report, an average of 50,000 people die from drug overdoses each year. Many of those deaths are attributed to Fentanyl that has been mixed with opioids or cocaine. Fentanyl is now considered the deadliest drug of all time, causing more overdose deaths than any other drug on the streets today. But, Fentanyl and its derivatives are not the only culprits in this path of misery and death raging across our country. Let’s take a look at the most deadly drugs in the US this year.
Death Certificates Reveal a Shocking Truth About the Most Deadly Drugs
In recent years, cocaine and heroin mixed with Fentanyl have become more common. This may account for the combinations of drugs shown on death certificates.
Some of the other most deadly drugs most often listed on death certificates of persons who overdosed were as follows:
Through the years, different drugs took the number one spot for overdose deaths. For instance, in 2012, oxycodone ranked first out of the most deadly drugs. Between 2012 and 2015, heroin took the spot. In 2016, Fentanyl became the number one killer. However, during the entire span of years, cocaine consistently ranked second or third place as the most deadly drug in the US.
It’s also interesting to note that between 2011 and 2016, the overdose death rate involving heroin and methamphetamine more than tripled. Furthermore, between 2013 and 2016, the overdose rate attributed to Fentanyl doubled each year. In New York City alone, during the first quarter of 2018, about 360 people died from drug overdoses. That’s about one death every six hours. Fentanyl was involved in over 80% of those deaths. Sadly, more New Yorkers die of drug overdoses than suicides, homicides, and vehicle accidents combined.
Most Deadly Drugs Used in Suicides
Overdose deaths are mostly associated with illegal drugs. However, a surprising number of overdoses and suicides are attributed to legal prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines.
Suicides are often committed using a combination of drugs like OxyContin and Valium, or OxyContin and Xanax. The drugs most frequently listed on death certificates of individuals who committed suicide are Benadryl, OxyContin, Xanax, and Vicodin.
Impact of Drug Overdoses on Society
As drug overdose deaths continue to rise, the impact on society is staggering. The problem has escalated to the point of having a negative effect on life expectancy rates in the United States. This is something that has not happened since World War II. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for individuals younger than 55 years of age. Life expectancy has decreased by nearly four months due to the drug crisis.
It’s difficult to accept that such a prosperous developed country as the United States should suffer a declining life expectancy. But, the numbers don’t lie. Hundreds of people are dying from a drug overdose at this very moment across the nation.
Costs to Society by the Numbers
Society as a whole also suffers from the impact of drug overdoses in lost productivity in the workplace, youth who will not grow up to be contributing members of society, and financial repercussions associated with addressing drug-related crime, treatment, prevention research, and deaths.
Overall, the cost of drug abuse in the US is about $820 billion a year. Here’s how it breaks down:
Impacts of drug abuse on the healthcare system include about $161 million for ED visits and $5.5 million for hospitalizations due to overdoses.
Drug abuse accounts for $49 billion in reduced work days, $48 billion for incarceration, and about $4 billion for premature deaths.
The costs to society are not only measured in dollars. Other factors that create problems stemming from drug-related issues include:
- Crime, unemployment, homelessness, divorce, domestic abuse.
- Spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
- Adverse health effects on unborn children.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Deaths from an overdose.
Many addicts mistakenly believe they are hurting no one but themselves. But, the above numbers tell a different story altogether.
Treating the Most Dangerous Drugs in the US
At Awakenings Rehabilitation, we help bring down the number of deaths due to drug-related causes. If you or a loved one needs treatment for addiction, please contact us today. We have helped hundreds of people eliminate drugs from their lives and become contributing members of society once again. Our experts know how to treat addictions to the most deadly drugs in the US, and we want to help you.
- cdc.gov – National Vital Statistics Report
- nytimes.com – The Numbers Are So Staggering. Overdose Deaths Set a Record Last Year
- nyc.gov – Unintentional Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Deaths Quarter 1, 2018, New York City
- msn.com/en-us – 25 Most Dangerous Drugs
- drugabuse.gov – Trends & Statistics
A drug overdose is just one of the many serious side effects of substance abuse. And, whether it is alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication, addiction will always be a concern. Getting treatment that will help overcome the mental or behavioral issues that led to drug abuse is critical in avoiding the shockingly high probability of an eventual drug overdose. Read more to learn the drug overdose facts that might surprise you.
Drug Overdose Facts and Statistics
A drug overdose can be either accidental or intentional. Unintentional drug overdoses tend to happen when people take more of a prescription medication than initially intended to achieve a specific result or when an addict uses too much of an illegal substance to get a better high. Intentional overdoses are usually the result of someone trying to commit suicide. Regardless of the intent, any drug overdose can have severe and lasting consequences.
Drug overdose facts provided by different organizations:
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were over 64,000 deaths in the United States due to a drug overdose in 2016 – nearly double what it was just ten years prior. Almost 18,000 overdose deaths involved prescription opioid pain relievers in 2015 according to the same report.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sale of prescription opioids in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, but the amount of pain Americans report has not seen an overall change.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that 3 million American teens between the ages of 12-17, 9 million between 18-25, 26 million between 26-50 and 13 million age 50 and older had used prescription medication of non-intended/non-medical use.
- Drug overdose facts from a local Delaware publication state 11 people died due to a drug overdose during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend bringing the overdose-related death total to 215 for the year.
Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is one of the most poorly recognized types of chemical dependency. Prescription drugs work by either suppressing or promoting chemical reactions in the brain.
The three different classes of prescriptions that are most susceptible to abuse are:
- Stimulants: most commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Opiates: most often prescribed to treat severe or chronic pain
- Tranquilizers/sedatives: frequently prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or sleep disorders
Drug-seeking behaviors are the primary warning signs of prescription drug abuse. These behaviors include:
- Frequent requests for refills from physicians
- Losing prescriptions and requesting replacements regularly
- Crushing or breaking pills
- Stealing or borrowing prescription medications from family members, friends, or co-workers
- Consuming prescriptions much faster than indicated
- Visiting multiple doctors for similar conditions
- Inconsistent answers to questions about prescription usage
- Stealing or forging prescriptions
- Consumption of over-the-counter drugs for the same conditions that a doctor has prescribed other medication
- Ordering prescription medications over the internet
- Several other behavior patterns often accompany prescription drug addiction such as:
- Noticeable mood swings corresponding to availability or absence of prescription drugs
- Changing sleep patterns
- Increasing irritability, especially when prescriptions are unavailable
- More frequent alcohol consumption
Causes of Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs are more controlled than over-the-counter medications. Only a licensed medical doctor, dentist, optometrist, or veterinarian may write the prescription. Registered nurses, medical assistants, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives, emergency medical technicians, psychologists, and social workers as examples, do not have the authority to prescribe drugs.
An alarming number of people are predisposed to becoming addicted when they start to abuse prescription drugs even after a legitimate prescription was written for them by their doctor. According to the drug overdose facts provided by NIDA, prescription drug abuse is increasing. The availability of drugs is likely one reason. Doctors are prescribing more drugs for more health problems, and the growing number of online pharmacies can make it easier to get prescription drugs without a prescription.
Most individuals don’t begin taking prescription drugs with the intention of abusing them. Over time, tolerance for the medication increases and they have to use more to receive the same effect. Many prescription drugs have the potential to become physically or psychologically addictive. To abruptly discontinue prescription medications could result in serious medical complications, like seizures or convulsions.
Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse
When prescription drugs are taken for emotional problems without having been prescribed by a medical professional, or when they are used more than the prescription, addiction and chemical dependency and easily form. Although the abuser may not experience their depression for a period or they may be temporarily able to stop obsessing about a specific problem, in most cases, the problem is just made worse as they are not learning how to efficiently cope with the particular feelings and issues that lead to drug use. This is one of the most perplexing drug overdose facts so far.
The abuse of prescription drugs often results in adverse effects on personal relationships, employment difficulties and job loss, financial difficulties, legal issues, and psychological problems. Prescription drug abuse and addiction are severe medical conditions that require professional treatment. Reducing the use of specific prescriptions can cause serious medical complications.
A True Account of Prescription Drug Abuse
Wendy started taking Vicodin after having a painful cyst removed from her knee at age 17. She was never told she could become addicted. The first pill made her slightly nauseous, but it also dulled the pain. She took the next medication six hours later – as prescribed. It made her feel warm and tingly.
The physical pain disappeared. It made her feel light as if she were floating. In culinary school, Wendy heard about an appetite suppressant called Fen-Phen and got a prescription from her doctor. It made her less hungry and gave her energy. She continued taking Fen-Phen well after getting a job as an assistant manager at a restaurant after college. Soon, the pills weren’t enough. A doctor prescribed a muscle relaxant to take the pain away. Combined with Fen-Phen, she felt energized yet numb. The pills usually kept her in a good mood, but every now and again they had the opposite effect.
When Wendy was 29, she had surgery to fix two ruptured disks in her spine and was prescribed Vicodin. Just as when she was 17, the lighter-than-air feeling returned. Before long, she was taking one pill every two hours instead of every four to six. The Vicodin became less and less useful over the next few months. Wendy began to “doctor-shop” looking for anyone who would give her more pills. She was even visiting 24-hour urgent care clinics on the weekends saying she had run out or was going on a trip and didn’t want to run out.
A Steady Descent Into Drug Abuse Danger
After moving and getting a new job as an office manager for an upscale restaurant, Wendy learned about Adderall – a stimulant often prescribed for ADHD. It was popular with some restaurant workers because of the energy boost it provided. One pill made her feel more focused than ever before. This is one of the drug overdose facts that people often overlook. When a person gradually increases their dosages, the put themselves in danger of overdose or death.
Shortly after, a pain specialist discovered three more collapsed vertebrae in her neck and recommended surgery. The doctor prescribed OxyContin. The first pill made her feel as if everything in her life was easy and delightful. Finally, when her doctor cut her off two months later, she was taking OxyContin, Vicodin, and Adderall.
Paying the Ultimate Price
Wendy’s doctor read off the other offices she had visited and other prescriptions she had been given over the past few weeks. She started stealing prescription drugs from friends and neighbors. Of course, no one suspected her. She was a manager for her company. People trusted and respected her.
Three years, four cities and a divorce later, Wendy knew she was in trouble. On her 40th birthday, Wendy visited a friend. They hugged hello, and the friend noticed Wendy was burning up with what seemed like a high fever. Later, Wendy awoke drenched in sweat and thought she had overdosed. She woke her friend and told them she had a pill problem. By that time, Wendy was taking three Adderall, four OxyContin, and twelve Vicodin every day.
Fortunately, Wendy went to rehab in Southern California. After detox, inpatient treatment, a transitional house, and a sober-living house, she took a job as an intake counselor at a recovery treatment center.
Getting Help for Prescription Drug Abuse
Wendy’s story is becoming increasingly commonplace. Millions of Americans have reported using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. It can be difficult to detect if you or a loved one have a problem. Since prescription drugs can vary widely in their uses and side effects, there are no clear-cut signs that prove addiction. Someone who is continuously sleepy or who appears intoxicated could be under the influence of a depressant, such as Valium or Xanax, while hyperactivity could be a sign of dependency on a stimulant such as Ritalin or Adderall.
If you or someone you know is addicted to prescription drugs, the best thing you can do is reach out to a professional treatment center and seek help. Heed the drug overdose facts listed above, and get into rehab immediately.
In this contemporary era, alcohol addiction is a profound problem that adversely affects the lives of millions of people. If you are an alcohol addict who wants to turn your life around and embrace a healthier, happier future, it’s essential that you gain as much information as possible regarding addiction and treatment options. To get started, review the alcohol addiction facts found below.
It’s no secret that many American citizens struggle with alcohol addiction. According to statistics, more than 16.6 million people aged 18 and up have an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
Adverse Effects of Excessive Alcohol
As many alcohol addiction experts know, abuse of the substance can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s life.
Some of the adverse effects that come from abusing alcohol include:
- Alienation from friends and family members
- Poor work performance
- Poor grades in school
- Perpetual money problems
- Legal troubles
- Compromised immune function
- Mood disorders
In addition to the above, excessive alcohol consumption can produce a long list of health complications. Some of those problems include high blood pressure, kidney and liver damage, heart disease, memory loss, certain cancers, and more. Other alcohol addiction facts you should know include signs of alcoholism and treatment options available.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
A wide range of symptoms can indicate that an individual has an alcohol addiction. Some of them include:
- Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking.
- Using alcohol in dangerous situations, such as while driving or operating machinery.
- Experiencing ongoing legal troubles because of your drinking.
- Continuing your abuse of alcohol even though it strains your personal and professional relationships.
- Drinking to alleviate stress.
Another sign of alcoholism is experiencing withdrawal symptoms after temporarily ceasing use of the substance. Some withdrawal symptoms include:
- Trembling or shakiness
- Jumpiness or anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
When a person feels that he or she must consume alcohol to feel “normal,” it is time to seek treatment. Many of these individuals believe that because they continue going to work each day and keeping the bills paid, they aren’t an alcoholic. The truth is, these individuals are known as “functional alcoholics,” and they need professional treatment before they begin losing everything they love in life due to their drinking.
Is There a Solution to Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction can have a variety of adverse effects on your life, but finding the right solutions can help you live in a more productive, positive way. As many addiction experts know, the single most effective solution for alcohol addiction is enrollment in an inpatient alcohol treatment facility. These facilities provide addicts with a variety of services that help them overcome the pain and power of addiction.
Some of the services offered in an alcohol treatment facility include:
- One-on-one counseling
- Group counseling
- Nutritional classes
- Life skills training
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Restorative exercise
- Transition planning
Many facilities offer a choice in faith-based, traditional, 12-step, or others. The best programs are those that allow patients to choose a plan that addresses their specific needs and preferences.
Learn More About Alcohol Addiction Facts
If you or a loved one are currently addicted to alcohol, it’s important to know that attaining professional treatment services can be the key to turning your life around. Enrolling in a professional facility enables you to benefit from the personalized, detail-oriented services necessary to facilitate long-term recovery. By carefully reviewing the alcohol addiction facts provided for you above, you can make an informed decision regarding whether enrollment in an alcohol treatment facility would be appropriate and ideal for you.
Choosing the right program for alcohol addiction treatment can be a challenge. The number of choices and facilities can be overwhelming. If you are in the process of choosing a rehab, contact us at Awakenings Rehabilitation to learn how we can help.