Looking at Substance Abuse

We have a problem when it comes to drugs, and when it comes to truly discussing the ways drugs can decrease our quality of living. Many of us heard a lot about illegal drugs like heroin and LSD when we were growing up and police officers came by our school to warn us about the effects of such substances on our lives. But it’s still hard to really state the effects of addiction unless we’ve dealt with it personally or seen someone we love deal with it. Addiction can make it hard to keep a job and hard to maintain personal relationships. Some people, although not all, struggling with addiction will steal from family members and friends in an effort to keep feeding that addiction. Getting on the path to addiction is relatively easy, all things considered, but finding a way out of it can be tremendously difficult.

The opioid epidemic

One of the biggest stories in the news right now is related to what’s known as the opioid epidemic or opioid crisis. To make a long story relatively short, couple of decades ago, pharmaceutical companies really made a big push for doctors to prescribe medications like Vicodin and Oxycontin. Such medications are quite useful for treating pain that occurs after something like major surgery, and so many patients were all too happy to take the pills as prescribed. The problem is, the medications are also quite addictive, and that means many patients keep taking them after the pain has been resolved. In fact, pharmaceutical companies are now being sued over allegations that they undersold just how highly addictive opioids could be. The damage has already been done, though, and it continues to be done, since the accidental overdose death rate has been climbing in the last few years. It’s devastated some states, like West Virginia, more than others, although pretty much every part of the country has been impacted somehow. Doctors who once prescribed the drugs freely are now being a lot more careful, which is good, although it may mean some patients who really need pain relief after surgery have to look for other, less obvious options. But opioids provide a high that’s hard to maintain without upping the amount of the drug a person takes, and that’s one reason that accidental overdose deaths seem to keep climbing, in some cases even doubling from year to year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Getting helpOne of the hardest things about addiction to overcome is the denial that almost inevitably seeps in. It’s easy for people to tell themselves things like “I don’t really need help, or at least not a lot of help” or “I can stop as soon as I decide I’m ready.” If only it were that easy. People addicted to substances like fentanyl do not have time to wait; they need to focus all of their efforts on drug rehab at Beachway Therapy or a similar facility. The recovery process is long and often difficult, but it’s the best way forward for those dealing with addiction. To not seek any treatment at all means the likelihood of heading down a much darker path increases every day.

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