Opioid Use Disorder: The Risk of Prescription Opioids
December 2, 2017
At Christians Drug rehab, we’ve have treated many young men and women from Arizona. Being next-door-neighbors, it makes sense for people struggling with alcohol and substance use disorders to seek treatment a few hours away in idyllic Southern California. Many of the people we treat, not surprisingly, are seeking recovery from opioid use disorder — it being the most prevalent addiction problem of our times.
In the past, we have discussed how opioid use disorder often begins with prescription painkillers, drugs which people typically divert to a friend or family member. Opiate addiction regularly progresses from pills to heroin, a drug which is usually cheaper and stronger than its pharmaceutical cousin. Snorting and smoking the drug leads to intravenous (IV) use, dramatically increasing the risk of overdose—especially when fentanyl is added to the heroin without the user’s knowledge.
The landscape of opioid use disorder in America is constantly changing, and new factors regularly need consideration in addressing prevention and treatment efforts. Today, most of the conversation centers around heroin and fentanyl, but please make no mistake about it—prescription opioids are still a leading cause of addiction and premature death. Many young and older people alike still do not fully grasp the stakes of diverting prescription drugs to their peers. A significant percentage of young people don’t recognize the inherent risks of misusing this family of drugs. A new survey makes the lack of concern about the nonmedical use of prescription opioids abundantly clear.
Concerning Answers to Opioid Questions
Dignity Health in Arizona partnered with Barrow Neurological Institute to assess people’s views about prescription opioids, according to a press release. It’s hard to be naive about the dangers of opiates, given the constant media coverage; however, the findings of this survey show that 18 percent of Arizona teens say that it’s alright to take more of a drug than the prescribed dose. What’s more, 25 percent of teens in Arizona who have been prescribed opioids in the past admit to nonmedical (non-prescribed) use of painkillers.
It’s easy to pass off the teens responses as mere naivety, but they are not alone—the survey showed that many parents are OK with their children taking opioids for minor and acute forms of pain, the press release reports. Half of the participating parents said they would use the opioids prescribe for a child’s sports injury, while 44 percent of parents saying that prescription opioids were appropriate in treating their children’s acute pain. The researchers found that parents were more likely to have conversations about bullying and marijuana use than opioid use.
“We see teenagers in our emergency room all the time who are suffering from opioid addiction. It is tragic for them and their parents,” says Dr. Sandra Indermuhle, the director of Emergency Services at Dignity Health Chandler Regional Hospital. “I believe strongly that one of the keys to preventing these cases is communication. Parents need to let their kids know that this is a problem in the community and that it is very dangerous.”
Christian-based Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
If you are a young man or woman struggling with opioid addiction and are ready to take steps toward recovery, please contact Christians Drug Rehab. We can help you reconnect with God, and with His help break the cycle of addiction. The longer treatment is put off, the higher the risks to one’s health.