Over recent years, the addiction recovery staff at Chapters Capistrano has noticed a steep rise in painkiller dependency treatment. From OxyContin to Vicodin to Percocet, many Americans have become addicted to opioid medications. However, unlike addictions that stem from recreational substance abuse, many opioid users become dependent when using the drugs for legitimate purposes, such as to treat chronic pain or recover from a surgery. A recent article from Consumer Reports reviews how many Americans may be becoming addicted to these medications due to popular misconceptions about painkiller use.
Although legal when prescribed, Chapters Capistrano underlines the observation that painkillers can carry significant health consequences and can be as addictive as heroin. While many suggest that the increase in painkiller use is due to pharmaceutical advancements and expanded medical care, Consumer Reports reveals that this rise in use correlates with an incline in opioid overdoses.
The article reports, “Prescriptions have climbed 300 percent in the past decade, and Vicodin and other drugs containing the narcotic hydrocodone are now the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. With that increased use have come increased deaths: 46 people per day, or almost 17,000 people per year, die from overdoses of the drugs. That’s up more than 400 percent from 1999. And for every death, more than 30 people are admitted to the emergency room because of opioid complications.”
Mike Shea, founder of Chapters Capistrano, responds, “The fact that painkiller overdoses have increased with the number of prescriptions used by patients reveals that there is not enough education out there about addiction risks and proper use. While these drugs may hold a medical purpose, it is essential for the public and the medical community to raise greater awareness about how these drugs can turn into a life-debilitating, or fatal, addiction.”
Consumer Reports suggests a few misconceptions that could be contributing to increases in painkiller addiction and deaths. For example, the article notes that many Americans believe painkillers cannot lead to addiction when used for their intended purpose—to treat pain. Others have opted for extended-release medications, believing them to be safer than short-term options. However, the article concludes that these beliefs are not true.
Chapters Capistrano highlights another point in the article that suggests how quickly many Americans are to turn for painkillers to treat painkillers. Consumer Reports adds, “An estimated 90 percent of people suffering long-term pain wind up being prescribed an opioid despite little evidence that the drugs help much or are safe when used long-term.”
Shea adds, “These drugs are not meant for long-term use and are not supposed to be used in a way other than what a doctor prescribes. It is important for patients to explore potential alternatives for chronic pain so that they can reduce addiction risk and seek better treatment for their medical condition. In addition, exploring these alternatives—and often better options—can help recovering addicts avoid relapse.”
In order to prevent long-term health damage, Chapters Capistrano urges all those experiencing painkiller dependency to seek thorough detox and addiction recovery. This Southern California facility offers flexible treatment options for many substance abuse problems, including opioid addiction.
To learn more about how the Chapters Capistrano team can help achieve sobriety from a painkiller addiction, call (888) 375-2564.
Chapters Capistrano is a comprehensive addiction recovery treatment center located along the beautiful, refreshing coast of Southern California. Specializing in all types of substance abuse, Chapters offers flexible treatment programs that are designed to offer greater confidence in addiction recovery. With a thorough approach to detox, counseling and mental health, this center has delivered many success stories. In addition to offering alternative approaches to conventional recovery, Chapters is also recognized for providing guest comfort with exceptional accommodations, private rooms and cell and laptop allowance. Those searching to begin a new “Chapter” in addiction recovery are encouraged to contact Chapters Capistrano today at (888) 375-2564.