prescription pills

Utah’s Prescription Pill Problem

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Utah’s department of health reported a “400% increase in deaths associated with misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.” Prescription drug overdose is one of the main causes of injury deaths in the Mormon state. It’s reported that an average of 21 residents in Utah die due to prescription pills every month.

Utah created a “Use Only as Directed prescription safety campaign” because it’s reported that 97% of adults in Utah have ingested prescription medication from a family member or friend without getting a prescription from a doctor.

Many conservative Mormons are not allowed to drink tea, coffee, alcohol, smoke tobacco, or take illegal drugs. However, prescription medications are legal, so many see them as being separate from illegal drugs.

In 2013, Utah ranked 8th highest in the U.S. among states for deaths from drug overdoses.

A report conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that prescription painkillers were being used by many kids in junior high and high school. Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force agent Randy Lythgoe said, “it’s becoming an accepted thing to do in high school, because they (students) don’t associate danger with it.”

During a 2014 visit to Salt Lake City, Deputy White House Drug Policy Director Michael Botticelli said, “from the perspective of the White House, I think we know clearly that we can’t continue to arrest our way out of the problem, that we have to deal with addiction from a public health standpoint.”

It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, not a failure of morality. People do not choose to become addicted, but sometimes there is a stigma attached to addicts. Some people do not understand why an addict cannot simply stop because he wants to.

Prescription pill addiction can ruin peoples lives, and the lives of the people they love. It can cause relationship losses, social consequences, legal consequences, and death.

An addict needs medical help, and checking into our Florida based drug and alcohol treatment center is the best place to start. We offer a specialized prescription drug addiction treatment program which involves private counseling, group therapy, as well as a holistic approach to healing.

Dangers of Painkiller Abuse

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According to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), taking prescription pills can be extremely dangerous, and the risk of taking them outweighs the benefits.

Strong painkillers can cause death, addiction, and overdose. Using painkillers to treat headaches, chronic low back pain, and fibromyalgia may be more dangerous than beneficial, says the AAN.

Gary Franklin, a research professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle said, “more than 100,000 people have died from prescription opioid use since policies changed in the late 1990s to allow much more liberal long-term use.”

Franklin continued, “There have been more deaths from prescription opioids in the most vulnerable young to middle-aged groups than from firearms and car accidents.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said rates of drug overdose deaths in the United States have tripled in the last 20 years.

The AAN recommends doctors work with a pain management specialist if a patient’s dosage is above 80 to 120 milligrams a day, and if his or her pain has not significantly improved.

Americans consume 80% of the worlds painkillers. Doctors in the United States prescribe more than 259 million prescriptions for painkillers every year.

Abusing painkillers can lead to addiction, depression, rapid decrease in blood pressure, and confusion or disorientation in familiar surroundings.

Some people believe that taking medically prescribed pills is much safer than illegal street drugs. This is not the case. Both painkillers as well as street drugs are dangerous. They both can cause addiction, legal and health consequences, and suffering.

Withdrawal from prescription drugs can include shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrest, and seizures.

It’s possible for people to abuse painkillers as well as alcohol. When people combine painkillers with alcohol, the risk of overdose is very high, and extremely dangerous.

If you are suffering from addiction to pain medication, our Florida based treatment center can help you. We have helped many clients live a life of long-term sobriety. All of our staff members are extremely qualified and caring. We are all here to help you get better.

Florida’s Heroin Epidemic

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South Florida has reported an epidemic of heroin abuse recently. People are turning to heroin because the state passed various laws in response to prescription pill mills and deaths. Although prescription pill deaths and abuse has reportedly gone down, heroin use has risen due to lack of illegal prescription pills.

South Florida’s number of heroin deaths and hospitalizations have risen at an alarming rate. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, (NIDA), deaths from heroin rose 89% since 2011.

James N. Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University who wrote the NIDA report with 20 other researchers said, “we’re talking here about the mother of addictions. The crossover from the prescription products to illicit heroin complicates that and will fuel the continued epidemic.”

A lot of the heroin is coming from Mexico. Drug cartels who used to make a less pure brown powder or black tar heroin, are now producing a stronger white powder form.

Many young people between the ages of 18 to 29 are dying from heroin overdose. They’re using heroin to replace prescription pain pills, which is not uncommon.

I knew a young lady whose story was similar. She hurt her back in a car accident, and her doctor prescribed pain medication in high doses. She realized she was addicted to the prescription pills when she would run out of them in the middle of the month, but still needed them.

She was in an enormous amount of pain, so she turned to heroin because it was fast and cheap. She told me she never thought she would ever inject herself with drugs in a million years, but the cravings were so bad, she had to do something. Thank goodness she entered a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that helped her with heroin addiction.

Drugs can take us down roads we never dreamed we would ever go. It can make us lie, cheat, steal, and become people we don’t even recognize in the mirror. Luckily, help is out there. Our Florida based treatment center has a specialized program for heroin, and many other types of substance abuse. If you are ready to end the pain of addiction, we are here for you.

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