This Groups Is The Most Likely To Become Addicted To Opioids

People who are in the ER or recovering from surgery are the most likely to be prescribed opioids.

Opioids like oxycodone are highly addictive
Opioids like Oxycodone are over prescribed at an alarming rate which leads to unintentional drug addiction

This is where someone is the most likely to be prescribed pain killers, which are all too often highly addictive opioids. This means they will likely be coming back for more pain killers and a cycle and addiction is born.

The face of an opioid addict is not what you probably think

When most people think of a drug addict, someone who has become addicted to prescription drugs, they typically think about some sketchy guy buying drugs in an alley or from street drug dealers.  When in fact the most likely group of people to become addicted to prescription drugs are middle aged women.  According to a recent study sponsored by Pacira Pharaceuticals Inc.

Women ages 40-59 are prescribed more opioids than any other age group and receive twice as many opioid prescriptions as their male counterparts. This population is also particularly vulnerable when prescribed opioids after surgery, with about 13% of middle age women becoming newly persistent opioid users who continue to use opioids three to six months after surgery, which puts them at high risk for dependence and addiction. Among women, this age group has been shown to have the highest death rates from opioids.

This is a disturbing statistic.  The report also indicates that nearly 3 million patients undergoing surgeries in 2016 became persistent
opioid users. They showed that the most common surgeries that resulted in persistent opioid use were colectomies and knee replacement.  They estimate 16-17% of those undergoing these surgeries use prescription drug abusers.

There is a reason women are more likely to be prescribed opioids and may become addicted to them

Women are prescribed painkillers after surgery were 40 percent more likely than men to become persistent opioid users.  There is some science behind this.  Men and women experience pain differently.  Women are more sensitive to pain because they have more nerve receptors, which means their body registers more sensations.  This doesn’t justify the over prescribing of opioids, or the poor medical supervision, but it explains why women may become more easily addicted to them.

The solution is better medical treatment, monitoring and an informed consumer

No one wants to be in pain, regardless of their sex.  It’s all too easy for a doctor to simply write a prescription and feel done with it.  However, someone who is going into surgery or otherwise being treated for something that will result in some sort of pain management afterwards would be wise to talk at length with their doctor about anything they are being prescribed.  Learn what the signs of addiction are, the cycle, the symptoms.

You cannot ask your doctor too many questions about prescribed pain medications.  Be a wise consumer of medical care and do what you can to avoid any kind of drug abuse or dependency or addiction.  Remember, the most common drug addiction is not the person seeking to get high, its the person who is prescribed highly addictive medication.

Want to learn more?  Read our special report: Addiction Hotline Facts About Opioids and Opiates

Teen Drug Use Is Down But Opioid Overdoses Are Up

While Teen Drug Use is Down Deadly Opioid Overdoses Are On The Rise

teen drug use
Teen drug use is down, but overdose deaths are up

According to a new report put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose deaths among older American teenagers increased in 2015.  This was after a steady decline and in spite of the fact that overall drug use among this group has declined.  The research showed that between 1999 and 2015, drug overdose death rates for 15- to 19-year-olds more than doubled.  In total, there were 772 drug overdose deaths among older teens in 2015, with two-thirds more deaths among males than females. Between 2014 and 2015, the overdose death rate for males in this age group rose 15 percent. For women the rate increased 35 percent between 2013 and 2015.

Noteworthy is that over 80 percent of overdose deaths were unintentional, the rest were due to suicides or homicides involving drug overdose.

Opioids Are The Leading Cause of Teen Overdose

A 2015 study in the journal Pediatrics also found that teens who are prescribed opioids in high school are 33 percent more likely to abuse any opioid or opiate between ages 19 and 23.  Such prescriptions are often the result of a sports injury.

Heroin Use Among Teenagers Is Also More Prevalent

Opioids and prescription pain killers appear to be gateway drugs for heroin.  Heroin is typically less expensive and widely available.  Several states have passed laws limiting how many opioid pills doctors can prescribe at a time.  While many teens begin with prescription opioids, others reach heroin after years of experimenting with other drugs.

Helping Teenagers

There are some bright spots in this reports.  According to this survey in 2016 drug use, other than marijuana, among teens is at its lowest point in decades.   Over the last five years abuse of prescription opioids among 12th graders. Heroin use among 10th- and 12th-grade students remains very low.

For teenagers who develop drub abuse problems and drug addiction, some sort of intervention is critical.  Whether an out patient counseling program, or in patient treatment center, it’s important to help a teenager end their drug use and get their life pointed back in a positive direction.  These are there formative years and some bad habits can be lethal.
If you or your teenagers is struggling with drug abuse, call a professional in your community and get answers and guidance.  And our National Addiction Hotline is here for you 24/7. 1-888-352-6072

Learn the Facts About Opioids and Opiates and read Heroin and Opioid Addiction: In Their Own Words

Addiction Is a Disease

Disease model of addiction

Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical professionals and organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Like Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. Genetic risks factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction.  Watch this educational video on addiction to learn more.

The Facts about Methamphetamine

crystal meth
Crystal Meth

This video by Drug Policy.org outlines some of the history of methamphetamine use and addiction.  Methamphetamine is a cousin to the drug amphetamine.  The affect of methamphetamine on the body is far more daunting.  Both are highly addictive.

Amphetamine was first synthesized in the late 1800s.  Methamphetamine was discovered around 1919.  By 1971 congress classified both as Schedule II drugs, which is the most restricted category for prescription drugs.  Then the black market took over filling the gap.

Today tens of thousands of addicts struggle for survival.  Just paying for their drug habit and keeping a job can prove to be too much.  While this highly addictive drug can ruin a life in a short amount of time, there is always hope for the addict who wants to turn their life around and free themselves from their addiction.

We hope this video sheds some light on both of these drugs and addiction to them.

And if you are a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction call our hotline and get help today – 1-888-352-6072

 

Read more about Help For Crystal Meth Addicts.

 

After Overdosing on Heroin Four Times, Mother Commits to Recovery

Heather Wetzel recovering heroin addict
Heather Wetzel

In this video Heather Wetzel explains how she became addicted to heroin, her overdoses, and the guilt she carried being an addicted mother to her four year old daughter.  She explains how she turned to a life of  crime to fund her drug habit, and the time when she overdosed and the  police arrived while her daughter was home.

I told her, Mommy’s got to go away…

She was in prison for eleven month and completed a drug program while there.

I don’t know how I lost sight of being a mother…

After she was released from prison she and her daughter lived in a treatment center for recovering mothers and their children. Heather hopes her recovery will last and that she’ll remain drug free for her daughter.  She says she feels confident about remaining drug free but she has a fear of the cravings.

Thousands of lives are lost each year to prescription drug overdose.  Opioid prescriptions are at an all time high, so are emergency room visits and deaths from overdose.  It has become a national crisis.  Sadly stories like Heather’s are common: a young mother gets caught up into drug addiction and the downward spiral is fast and ugly.  Heather is fortunate in that she’s still alive, and is drug free now.  Heroin overdoses are lethal far too often.

Too often someone addicted to opiates tries and fails to kick their addiction and mistakenly concludes they’re hopeless and they have no chance for recovery.  We see people end the cycle of addiction each day.  It’s not easy and the first thing the addict must do is recognize they have a problem and then seek help.

We hope Heather’s story inspires heroin addicts that they too can turn their lives around, no one is hopeless.