TREATING ADDICTION SAVES LIVES
Pain is an essential signal telling you something is wrong. Medical use of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana use. Fourteen million Americans smoke marijuana, and over 6 million Americans take prescription drugs for non-medical uses. Over 9 million Americans take Darvon, Darvocet, or Tylenol with codeine. ( 2002 national survey on drug use and health/ SAMHSA). As prescriptions have increased, emergency room visits have increased even faster.
Teenage drug use has skyrocketed. One in 10 12th-graders abused Vicodin in the past year.( Monitoring the future study, 2004). Eghteen percent of teens have abused Vicodin, 20% have tried Ritalin or Adderall, and 9% of teens take over the counter cough syrup to get high. An equal number had used ecstasy, LSD, ketamine, heroine, GHB, ice, and cocaine. They find easy access of these drugs through friends and their parent’s medical cabinets. They find drugs are fun and help them when they are having a hard time. ( Partnership for a drug-free America, April 21, 2005).
Since production and drug availability have increased, so has the increasing abuse of prescription drugs. There is more marketing and media attention to obtain pain relief, doctors more frequently prescribed pain relief medication. and the internet has provided more availability.
People want drugs for pain relief that work right away, are strong, don’t last too long, are smokable, and prefer brand names. The elderly are particularly vulnerable since they have a higher incidence of chronic pain, they don’t understand their prescription directions, they share their medicines with their golf partners, their family encourages them to take more medications, and they fail to understand the drug affects.
Patients expect prescriptions, and doctors are pressured to oblige. Many doctors lack education and understanding of pain treatment. Addiction sneaks up on you with extraordinary speed. A nondependent user of drugs controls his use. A dependent person is controlled by his addiction.
How can you tell if your friend is addicted?
If they have three or more of the following seven symptoms, they have a problem. If they use drugs to avoid or reverse withdrawal symptoms, have withdrawal symptoms, tolerate a great deal of medication, are compelled to use the drug when they’re trying to stop, have early relapses when they stop their medications, have a narrowing behavioral pattern, and find their drug-related behavior is more important than their activities in the world.
You find your friend fails to fulfill his obligations at work, at home, or at school. He is frequently found in hazardous situations, has legal problems related to drugs, and continues to use drugs despite having drug-related social or interpersonal problems.
it is time that all of us encouraged our addicted friends to seek treatment. It will prevent an emergency admission from an overdose, and save society a great deal of money. The more access to treatment, the more our society saves. Otherwise our friends get involved in extensive criminal activity, undergo multiple detoxification’s every year, and are treated for medical co-morbidities, crime activities, and other social problems.
Along with other modalities. medical acupuncture is an excellent way to provide detoxification from drug abuse.
Finding satisfactory resources:
Substance abuse and mental health services administration (SAMHSA) www.samhsa.gov www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov
Center for substance abuse treatment www.csat.samhsa.gov
National helpline 800.662-HELP (4357)
www.niaaa.nih.gov (National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
MUTUAL HELP GROUPS
www.na.org (Narcotics anonymous)
www.ca.org (Cocaine anonymous)
www.familiesanonymous.org (Families anonymous)
www.slaafws.org (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous)
www.sexaa.org (Sex addicts anonymous)
Save a friend’s life by leading him to treatment for his addiction.
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