In 2016, there were 214 million opioid prescriptions in the US—66.5 prescriptions per 100 people.1 The majority of these people will use the drug as directed by their doctor, but a growing number will use these painkillers to get high. Their lives will be devastated.
Prescription painkillers (such as those with Oxycodone) are unique in that there are a number of different ways that individuals start using and become addicted to them. As a result, oxycodone addiction does not discriminate. It impacts the lives of people from all walks of life.
When Oxycodone Addiction StartsWithDoctor’s Prescription
Surprisingly, a large percentage of those who become addicted to Oxycodone begin using the drug with all the right intentions. Many of these individuals are prescribed Oxycodone as a means of dealing with the high levels of pain they are experiencing as a result of injury, illness or recovery from surgery.
These individuals begin using the drug as directed but soon find themselves addicted to its euphoric, opiate effects. Then, when the prescription expires, many will tell their doctor they are still in considerable pain in order to receive additional refills. When this fails to work, they may engage in “doctor shopping” — the practice of going to multiple physicians and feign injury or illness in order to receive prescription painkillers. When this happens, addiction is present. And it is imperative to seek help from a drug rehab center in their area.
Just how strong are the opiate effects of Oxycodone-based drugs? So powerful that many individuals who use heroin report turning to these drugs when they are unable to find their own opiates on the street. In fact, many people who use heroin will supplement their addiction by taking these painkillers in addition to, or in lieu of, heroin itself. It is also common for people to who can no longer find prescriptions for opioids to turn to heroin as a substitute.2 This dangerous path goes both ways.
Oxycodone Addiction and Teenagers
Prescription drug addiction is on the rise across most demographics in the United States, but perhaps nowhere is this increase more evident than among teens. More and more teenagers are stealing Oxycodone from the medicine chests of family and friends — or simply receiving the drug from their peers. In addition, the growth of illicit internet pharmacies has made it easy for web savvy teens to gain access to these powerful drugs with little criminal risk.
The growth in teen Oxycodone addiction has been fueled by the incorrect assumption that prescription painkillers — because they are often prescribed by a medical doctor — are somehow safer than illicit street drugs such as heroin or cocaine. This is absolutely false! In fact, the fastest growing, drug-related emergency room cases are attributed to OxyContin, Vicodin and other power opiate-based painkillers.
Michael’s House helps break the cycle of Oxycodone addiction through a combination of cutting-edge treatment models and traditional holistic care practices. We treat the whole person — mind, body and spirit — to give you or your loved on the tools you need to maintain sobriety for life.
If you or someone you love is fighting an addiction to opioids, please call our 24-hour, toll-free helpline today. We want to help you begin a healthy life apart from addiction. Please call now.
1 “U.S. Prescribing Rate Maps.” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 31 July 2017.
2 ““Prescription Opioids and Heroin.” National Institute on Drug Addiction. January2018.