Tag Archives: OxyContin

Opiate Dependence Versus Opiate Maintenance

Opiate dependence versus opiate maintenance, is there a difference? A lot of people wonder if it is possible to be addicted to a drug such as Oxycontin or Oxycodone form simply taking a drug as directed. The answer to this question is “yes”, however, the answer is much more complicated in reality.

Addiction is usually physical, mental and behavioral in nature. One symptom is being physically dependent on the drug and using more and more of it to get high — also known as building a tolerance. Regular use will cause this tolerance even if you don’t abuse it, so this isn’t the only factor. Opiate dependence means that a person is addicted – which means they’re using it to get high, and they are using it to function normally. For the sake of this article, opiate dependence and opiate addiction will be used interchangeably.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re worried about opiate addiction:

  • Are you using opiates to get “high”, rather than for pain? If you’re using opiates to get high, that’s abuse and you’re a candidate for addiction.
  • Do you need more and more of the drug to get the same “high”?
  • Have you tried doctor shopping or illicit means to get more of your pills so you don’t run out? Do you run out of your prescriptions early?
  • Have you avoided certain people, places or activities because you would rather be somewhere that you can be high without scrutiny?
  • Has your family or your doctor expressed worry about your pill use?

Addiction is a disease that is progressive in nature. A person with a substance abuse disorder will start to display drug seeking behaviors when they are running out of their drug and choice. As withdrawal — which is quite physically uncomfortable and sometimes painful — sets in, an addicted person may become desperate. They may feel the need to doctor shop, purchase drugs on the street or steal leftover pills from family members to get their “fix”.

Do You Have a Problem with Opiates?

Addiction can affect anyone from any walk of life, even when there is no history in a family. There are many signs and symptoms of addiction that can and should raise red flags for addicted persons and their loved ones.

If you or somebody you love is suffering from the disease of addiction and needs rehab, there IS a way out. Recovery is not only possible, it’s amazing!

We can help you reclaim your life and put the pain of addiction behind you. All calls are 100% confidential, please call us today at 800-737-0933

The Start of the Painkiller Epidemic?

OxyContinA recent investigation published by STAT news found what appears to be evidence of the beginning of the prescription opioid epidemic, and how efforts to stop it were thwarted by the maker of OxyContin 15 years ago.

Officials from the West Virginia state employees health plan saw a rise in the number of deaths related to oxycodone, and requested to have OxyContin placed on a list of drugs that required pre-authorization. Instead, the drug’s maker, Purdue Pharma, apparently paid off the pharmacy benefits management company via “rebates” to keep it on the regular list of easily accessible drugs. This action, combined with the fact that the drug maker was hiding information about OxyContin being more addictive than other similar drugs, started one of the worst healthcare crises in the last century.

Since that time, the number of deaths tied to opiates, including painkillers and heroin, has skyrocketed to 28,000 lives lost in a single year.

Tom Susman, who headed West Virginia’s employee insurance agency back then, stated, “We were screaming at the wall. We saw it coming. Now to see the aftermath is the most frustrating thing I have ever seen.” Unfortunately, their efforts fell on deaf ears and were chewed up by a corrupt pharmaceutical business. Now West Virginia has the highest incidence rate for opioid fatalities.

Given this and so many other stories that have risen in recent years about the drug company’s involvement in the opioid epidemic, it seems like more should be done to help save lives today. The White House recently asked for over $1 billion in new spending to treat the opiate abuse crisis. Rather than passing that off onto Congress (who gets the money from all of us taxpayers), a much better resource for that funding should come from pharmaceutical giants who make billions off of these drugs, including the ravages left in their wake.

Policy Changes Show Reduction in Painkiller Abuse

jamapillmillsWhile Florida is known in the addiction treatment field as having a thriving recovery community, it also has had the unfortunate past of being the one-time pill mill capital of the United States. However, a new law was enacted back in 2010 that changed how the pill mills operated in an attempt to crack down on the prescription painkiller epidemic.

Pill mills try to disguise themselves as more legitimate pain clinics, but had become a one-stop shop for addicts looking for easy prescriptions for opiates such OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. Due to these operations, Florida turned into a destination for people from out of state to obtain their painkillers and then bring them back home to use and sell. These pill mills were supplying many thousands of addicts with drugs as a result.

Thankfully, the policy change in 2010 and the implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program in 2011 made all that much more difficult, and now some results have been measured, thanks to a new study that appeared in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

“The declines that we saw were equal to something in the range of 500,000 5 mg tabs of Vicodin per month. So that’s a lot of pills. And from a policy perspective, understanding that in the first year, we are seeing a declining trend that can be attributed to these laws certainly points the way toward future research to see what happened then in years two, three and four,” explained Lainie Rutkow one of the lead authors of the study.

While the researchers saw a modest improvement with a 1.4 percent reduction in the number of narcotic prescriptions, South Florida specifically saw a huge benefit. Before the law, Florida doctors sold almost 46 million oxycodone tablets. That number dropped by 97 percent the following year, according to the Miami Herald.

If you or someone you know needs help for a problem with prescription painkillers, or any other substance, contact Genesis House today.