According to recent government statistics, pain medication addiction is now the fastest-growing form of chemical dependency. The new primary cause of accidental death for most of the US is now prescription drugs (not motor vehicle accidents).
The widespread proliferation of painkiller addiction has caught the eye of the news media, the academic world and the United States government, who, historically, have been primarily focused on combating more traditional illegal drugs.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
Today, a decade later, recent governmental statistics reveal that pain medication addiction is growing into a national epidemic. In 2009, government statistics indicated that over 5 million Americans were commonly abusing pain relievers. Data from the DEA now estimates over 7 million people in the US are abusing prescription drugs. The death rate from painkillers is now over 15,000 people every year--a four-fold increase in less than a decade. Painkiller related deaths are now higher than cocaine and heroin combined. The most alarming aspect of these government reports was that the projected potential scope of the problem is the future. The reports indicated that for the first time (with the exception of nicotine and alcohol) that a substance was being widely used and abused by all groups in our society ranging in age from teenagers to senior citizens. When you stop and consider that more than 50 million Americans are believed to suffer from some s-ort of chronic pain, you realize how big our nation's pain medication epidemic could grow in the future.
Pain medication addiction technically falls under the much larger addiction category of prescription drug addiction. This is because pain medication starts out as a prescription that a doctor needs to write for their patient to legally obtain it. Pain medication addiction is unlike any other category of drug addiction because you don't need a drug dealer/pusher to obtain your drug of choice. In fact, many people who eventually develop a pain medication addiction originally obtained the drug completely legally from their doctor. In years past, many doctors were often too happy to prescribe, and many times over-prescribe, painkillers. Fortunately today, most medical professionals are very diligent and careful in prescribing and monitoring the use of pain medication by their patients.
Pain medication addiction can also occur through the illegal use of someone else's prescription for pain medication without their knowledge. Your family medicine cabinet is often cited by many teenagers as their first introduction to pain medication abuse. Then, after they begin to develop an addiction and need larger quantities of the drug, they often seek out the pain medication drug and obtain it through a local drug dealer or friend at school.
Almost all Americans have heard of Oxycontin. It has become the most popular and widely used and/or abused pain medication drug in our country. Recent government statistics report that over 1 million US residents have used Oxycontin non-medically. Oxycontin drug abuse has achieved the rare and infamous distinction of crossing over to all age groups and classes of society in the US.
The National Information Center for Pain Medication Addiction was created as a free service to help anyone who is seeking answers and information or treatment recommendations about pain medication addiction.
We will not recommend any rapid opiate treatment center or any other potentially dangerous type of treatment to anyone. Remember that you didn't become addicted overnight and conversely you can't safely get better rapidly either.
If you believe that you or your loved one may have already developed a pain medication addiction, we can refer you or your loved one to a reputable licensed pain medication treatment facility anywhere in the United States. Depending on how long the addiction has lasted and how deep the addiction to painkillers has become, the individual may require treatment at one of the leading pain medication treatment centers in Florida or California. For severe pain medication addiction, attending one of the best treatment centers may be you or your loved one’s best chance for successful treatment and a lasting recovery in the future. These treatment centers will almost always be behavioral health based in their treatment philosophy, because behavioral based treatments teach patients how to function without drugs and how do handle any cravings or temptations when they arise in the future.
Unintentional Prescription Opioid Analgesic Deaths Nationwide, 2001-2005