Recovering Addicts In VA Enlisted To Help Battle Opioid Epidemic

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Opioid Epidemic In VA Receives Help From Recovering Addicts

Peer counseling is rapidly gaining respect as part of an addict’s treatment plan. A recent article by the Associated Press details how the state of Virginia has trained over “1,000 peer recovery specialists” to work at recovery centers, hospitals, and treatment facilities to battle against the opioid epidemic. Recovering addicts can relate to and gain the trust of of struggling opioid abusers more easily because of their own experiences.

Opioid Epidemic

Headlines on television, newspapers, magazines, and online information sites are all publishing stories about the opioid epidemic. From Washington we hear the government is concerned and getting involved in reducing the number of overdose deaths occurring in every state. Doctors are being educated and instructed in the ways over-prescribing of opioid pain-killers has contributed to this opioid epidemic crisis. Addiction is a disease, and it’s very important not to drive people away from treatment by addressing it as a moral issue.

The criminals fanning this epidemic are those illegally selling drugs on the street, bringing it over the southern border, and those receiving fentanyl in the mail from China. The addict is the victim of the opioid epidemic. Many become “hooked” on the drug while receiving a legal prescription for pain killers following an accident, surgery, or cancer. Those who become addicted desperately need the help of family and friends to get into an inpatient treatment program before they end up in the emergency room or at the morgue.

Better Addiction Care is ready to help people locate top drug treatment facilities in their state where an intervention can be planned when needed.

Prescription Opioid Abuse

One of the reasons for prescription opioid abuse is the huge increase in the quantity of written and dispensed prescription pain pills. Marketing for all drugs in diverse media formats has increased social acceptability for using medicines for a variety of purposes. The availability of opioid analgesics for chronic long-lasting pain is responsible for many persons becoming dependent or or addicted to opioids. When the prescribed dose no longer provides the same effect it originally did, people will often take doses closer together, or double up on the amount they take. If they try to cut back, or their doctor will not renew their prescription they will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

This is when the person can get into serious trouble. Instead of seeking help from drug addiction specialist, the person will often try to find a new doctor to write them a prescription, which is a crime called doctor shopping and leads to prescription opioid abuse. Another option many choose is to try and buy drugs on the street. Purchasing from criminal drug dealers is dangerous and is how many addicts get hooked on heroin. Better Addiction Care can direct people to the drug addiction facility that can help prevent dependence from turning into full-fledged addiction. According to WebMD, prescription opioid drugs include the following:

  • codeine (only available in generic form)
  • fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora)
  • hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER)
  • hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
  • meperidine (Demerol)
  • methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  • morphine (Astramorph, Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, Ora-Morph SR)
  • oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxecta, Roxicodone)
  • oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet)
  • oxycodone and naloxone (Targiniq ER)

Opioid Epidemic Statistics

In the fifteen-years between 2000 and 2015 over 500,000 people died from drug overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91 Americans die daily from opioid overdose. The opioid epidemic statistics are staggering. Between 1991 and 2000, prescription opioid sales to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors practically quadrupled. The number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids has more than quadrupled in the same time period.

If you, a friend, or family member is abusing subscription opioid pain killers, do something today. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fentanyl-crisis-smugglers-are-catapulting-drugs-u-s-lawmaker-n736461

https://wtop.com/virginia/2017/12/state-enlists-recovering-addicts-to-help-fight-drug-crisis

https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA09-4454/SMA09-4454.pdf

https://whitesandstreatment.com/2016/03/08/peer-support-vs-professional-treatment-for-addiction/

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html