The abuse of prescription drugs has become a serious public health issue in our country. According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 52 million Americans over the age of twelve have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. This equates to approximately 6.1 million people who have abused prescription drugs in the past month. This astounding number has increased over the past couple of years. It is a national epidemic and is responsible for more overdose deaths than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and amphetamines.
The Georgia Epidemic
When looking closely at the state of Georgia, we are seeing growing issues with prescription drug abuse. Early stages of drug abuse start off with dependence or tolerance of a prescription drug. Deaths from prescription overdoses have surpassed the mortality rate for conventional street drugs, as well as motor vehicle-related accidents. Within the past ten years, opioid abuse has been a widespread issue among several counties throughout Georgia. While heroin has been a serious concern in inner-city Atlanta, this is no longer the only drug-related issue Georgia is dealing with. Georgia is starting to see an increase in prescription drug abuse and overdoses, especially among its affluent suburban neighborhoods.
The deadly surges of prescription drug users are even becoming an issue among teens and early adults. A CDC study has shown that among the younger to teenage generation, individuals revealed they acquire prescription drugs through friends and family members. This alarming issue illustrates that the younger generation in Georgia is being exposed to this dangerous drug abuse, faster than conventional street drugs. It is easier to acquire prescription drugs, and many individuals assume that since they were prescribed by a doctor, that it’s perceived to be safer compared to drugs like cocaine or heroine. Painkiller drugs are in fact highly addictive, which makes them just as dangerous as non-prescribed drugs.
Managing Prescription Drug Use
Even if an individual is prescribed painkillers themselves, these drugs should be taken with extreme caution. Even though these prescription drugs may be necessary for short-term use, some individuals find themselves dependent. Once this happens, these prescription drugs become a dangerous and uncontrollable addition. This is when professional help needs to be sought out. Fighting an addiction on your own can seem impossible. That is why professional support and guidance is the best solution.
If taken responsibly, the effects of prescription drugs can have a life-saving effect. However, when abused, the effects of certain prescription drugs such as opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants can lead to life-threatening health effects, especially addiction. This trend is especially prevalent in young people with individuals as young as 12 relying on drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin just to get through the day. But prescription drug addiction affects people from all walks of life, not just young people. While the reasons for prescription drug abuse vary by age and gender, one prominent reason for the abuse of prescription drugs is their perception as less harmful than illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin.
Types of Prescription Drugs
There are several categories of prescription drugs that are commonly abused. The three most common are:
Inpatient rehab centers are crucial to fighting addiction of prescription drugs. Inpatient centers offer around-the-clock care and support that is vital during the beginning stages of rehabilitation. This recovery process is extremely focused and catered on facilitating a stronger physical, mental, and physiological state of an individual. Inpatient rehab facilities have a higher success rate of sobriety when it comes to other recovery options. This hands-on detox method provides the proper support and attention an individual needs to end their addiction.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Treatment options are available. While treatment options for prescription drug abuse may vary based on the type of drug and each person’s specific needs, recovery usually involves counseling, detox, medication, and support. Contact Georgia Drug Detox today if you or a loved one is suffering from prescription drug abuse and move one step closer to recovery.