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Rehab from Prescription Medicine

Most of us have come to know drug addiction through what we understand about heroin addiction, an opiate that has been popularized on the news, movies, or other media. There is an association of homelessness, high risk behaviors, and legal consequences associated with heroin use. There is also the conception of a person who is in and out of treatment for years, struggling to “kick their habit” or maintain sobriety.

It can be true that this is what you or loved one may go through in an addiction to opiates. It is also true that there are many other paths to opiates, and not all lead to heroin. Many in treatment tell a story of starting their substance use after receiving drug scripts for pain from a doctor. This could have been an injury from a school or college sport, back pain from a physically demanding job, or some other pain that becomes intolerable to the person experiencing it, not excluding emotional pain. What many do not realize is that often, these pain medications are opiates. They can be highly addictive like the more popular heroin, and are often “easier” to abuse, as there is less obvious substance use behavior when receiving a medication from a doctor or medical practitioner.

These medications can include: Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Morphine, Percocet, Vicodin, Ultram, Tramadol, Dilaudid and others. As stated, when used as painkillers, they can be seen in emergency rooms, post-surgery, and prescribed for chronic pain. More recent efforts to monitor these medications is through Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs by medical practitioners, helping to reduce the access or abuse of these. There is an effort to prescribe non-narcotic medications for pain first, and only moving towards opiates as evidence of pain continues. Even with these methods in place, opiates are still commonly used to treat pain.

When these medications become too expensive or too difficult to receive, and one is already physically dependent on them, people often turn to what they can find at cheaper costs. A physical dependency to an opiate can happen relatively quick with consistent use and often unbeknownst to the person taking it. This is what often can lead to more serious opiate use or eventually, heroin.

The heroin today has become much more frightening for families, loved ones, first responders, and treating medical and substance abuse facilities as the death rate has spiked the last few years with the use of Fentanyl, a synesthetic opiate that proves to be more intense, deathly, and unpredictable. Most of these overdoses or near deaths have stories of a person thinking they are using heroin and learning that Fentanyl has been laced into their product. There are high risk seekers who use Fentanyl knowingly, putting themselves at greater risk for an overdose. For those buying their product from the street, the fear of what could be put into the product is more real and potentially fatal.

According to the DEA Pennsylvania September 2018 findings, “Pennsylvania experienced 5,456 drug-related overdose deaths in 2017. This number represents a rate of 43 deaths per 100,000, far exceeding the national average of 22 per 100,000 in 2017.” They also found, “Increased fentanyl availability and misuse contributed to a 65 percent overall increase in drug-related overdose deaths in Pennsylvania between 2015 and 2017.” With the rise of synthetic opiates and higher death rates, opiates have become identified as an epidemic in our country. Just over the last year, the state of Pennsylvania Department of Health issued: “The prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic is the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania.” Pennsylvania and other states are taking initiative in preventative methods, whether that be monitoring symptoms, availability of Naloxone, a shot to help address the immediate effects of an overdose, or better internal systems to get clients the care they need.

At Life of Purpose, we want to stay ahead of the issue, offering evidenced based methods to address early onset and more chronic opiate addiction. With a medical team that stays on the cutting edge of research and policies to address the issues, we are medically and clinically equipped to assess and address opiate addiction. We utilize Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) methods such as Suboxone or Vivitrol when appropriate, looking at each individual client case closely to assess what serves the client best. For some clients, non-MAT abstinence-based model serves their goals and growth. For others, the MAT model coupled with clinical treatment offers a compassionate and evidence-based approach that is proving to be effective in helping the opiate population deal with cravings, withdrawal, and other barriers to maintaining sobriety.

Life of Purpose offers rehab from alcohol, drugs and opioid (prescription meds) at our various locations in Florida and Pennsylvania.

Accredited By

Accredited Addiction Center The Joint Commission National Quality Approval Association of Recovery in Higher Education National Asspciation of Addiction Treatment Providers
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