The Painkiller Epidemic

pills and needle

It’s in the news. It’s in the pharmacies. And it’s in a great many addicts. Over the past decade or so, an epidemic of painkiller addictions has ravaged the nation. These pills, also known as opiates or opioids, come in various forms and brand names. They include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana),
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • & many other painkillers

Addicts do not have to buy painkillers in back alleys or street corners. They can steal from pharmacies, forge prescriptions, or — most commonly — they can steal painkillers from friends and family members who have prescriptions. Because they are prescribed by doctors and sold by pharmacies, painkillers are also often viewed as safe and/or legal. It is important to stress that these pills are only to be used for severe chronic or acute pain. Outside a doctor’s orders, they are neither safe nor legal.

Painkillers are derived from the same opium plant as heroin, and can be just as addictive. They release dopamine, our brains’ “reward center,” giving users much incentive to continue using them. In addition to addiction and all the pain it brings, continued use can also be dangerous. They depress the user’s central nervous system, making them unable to function healthily and possibly lose consciousness. Abusers often “graduate” to shooting painkillers, which can expose them to blood-borne infections and diseases. If and when they can no longer access painkillers, addicts use heroin, which is an uncontrolled substance that is often “cut” with other dangerous drugs.

For years, many painkillers have originated in Florida, but now the Florida drug problem has spread all over the country. Interestingly, Florida is now leading the solution to the painkiller problem. Addicts who have bought painkillers from Florida are now stepping off their planes to go to a Fort Lauderdale drug rehab. For every sick addict in Florida, there seems to be five times as many recovering addicts.

If you or someone you know needs help for painkiller or any other addiction, find a Florida drug treatment center by calling 888-231-9174 today!

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