Pain pill addiction is the fastest-growing category of drug abuse in the country. Why? Maybe it’s because these medications are relatively easy to acquire; or maybe it’s because there isn’t the same level of “taint” associated with prescription drugs as there would be with street drug addiction. After all, there’s quite a difference between your local pharmacy and an alley in a bad neighborhood where other drugs are purchased.
Society also takes a different view of people using (and abusing) prescription pain medications. Individuals affected with pain pill addiction aren’t considered the stereotypical “drug addicts” most people associate with drug abuse. They come from all walks of life, and from every level of social and economic status. They are professional athletes, corporate executives, stockbrokers and entertainers. They are also students, blue-collar workers and homemakers. “There is no typical abuser,” says Joseph Autry, MD, of the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, commenting on studies showing how widespread pill addiction has become.
What’s even more concerning about pain pill addiction to health professionals is the widespread use and abuse of prescription pain medications by young people. A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that 48,000,000 people have used prescription pills for non-medical reasons at some point in their lives. This survey included children as young as 12 years old!
The most commonly abused pain pills are opiates (Oxycontin, Vicodin, methadone, Darvocet, Percocet and other variants), followed by stimulants (including drugs used to treat ADHD, like Dexadrine and Ritalin). Next to antidepressants, these two classes of drugs represent the most frequently prescribed medications.
Some pain pill addicts maintain their supply by “doctor shopping”: getting prescriptions for the same medications from several physicians. Others forge prescriptions, purchase medications over the Internet, or buy them on the black market. Some individuals affected with pain pill addiction began using these medications for legitimate reasons, and then became addicted over time.
We’re not interested in judging which of our clients are “good” addicts or “bad” addicts. Anyone struggling with addiction is risking his or her life, as well as family, friends, work and reputation. Our drug rehab is interested in helping anyone in that situation break the grip of pill addiction, and return to living a fulfilling life. Please visit our programs page for more information about Ocean Hills Recovery and the addiction treatment we use to address pain pill addiction.share