Talking Opioids and Prescription Drug Abuse
As an addiction center, we are dedicated to providing the most compassionate and professional drug rehab care for individuals struggling with prescription drug addiction. Medications for the right reasons are miracles. They help to treat us in dealing with health problems and maladies that we are faced with. They allow us to get on with our lives. However, for some of us, certain medications can be a risk and danger. Due to their makeup, prescription opioids have a much higher tendency to be abused and sadly have claimed many through overdose. Opioids are a synthetic ingredient found in many prescription strength pain relievers.
New Prescription Opioid
Recently, a new opioid medication has hit the market and has caused much controversy in its approval. Zohydro ER was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year and was made available at the end of March. Doctors may prescribe Zohydro ER for individuals who are dealing with chronic pain conditions as an alternative to other forms of pain relief that may not have worked. The medication's sole ingredient is the opioid hydrocodone, which has been documented in many cases of prescription drug addiction. The ER stands for extended release and the medication lasts for up to 12-hours. It's classified as a schedule 2 drug.
The controversy surrounding this medication is in its likelihood of being abused. The recent increase in prescription drug addiction cases and overdose deaths has raised red flags in communities. Now there is a new pill to contend with. The Governor of Massachusetts announced a ban on Zohydro ER in their commonwealth prior to its release. His concern was that: “Zohydro is a dangerously addictive pharmaceutical painkiller, approved by the FDA recently over the objection of their scientific advisory council and is not available in an abuse-deterrent form.” Bills have been introduced in both the Congress and Senate to seek for withdrawal of approval of the drug.
The concern over this new medication is a valid one. The United States has seen a steady growth of prescription drug abuse in the recent decade, which coincides with the drastic increase in prescribing opioid medications. The intent of these medications is to help people initially. In Zohydro's case, meant to help individuals with an alternative for their debilitating pain. However, they end up in the hands of those who can abuse them. Many feel that Zohydro ER can be quite helpful, but in a tamper resistant form that discourages abuse.
Prescription Drug Abuse and Preventative Measures
To avoid the increased risk of opiate addiction, there are preventative measures to take. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that the risks for addiction arise when medications are used in ways other than they are prescribed (e.g. at higher doses, by different routes of administration, or combined with alcohol or other drugs). NIDA also suggests involving your healthcare professional when it comes to the medications you are taking and always consult with them if you feel you need a change to your dosing regimen. They also warn against taking medications that are not prescribed specifically to you, even if you feel they might help.
Other measures you can take are:
- Educate yourself on medications you are prescribed.
- Always keep your medications in a secure location.
- Keep your healthcare professional informed about any and all medications you may be taking (including over-the-counter drugs).
- Properly dispose of medications that you are no longer using.
Helping Those with Addiction
What are being overlooked in the controversy surrounding the approval of Zohydro ER are those who are struggling with addiction. This is the problem at hand. Individuals who are abusing prescription opioids need help and drug rehab before the problem becomes one involving an overdose. There is a new pill on the market that can be abused, but what are we doing to deter those individuals that might abuse it? What is being done to change their way of life from pill seeking and using? More often than not it takes a loved one, a coworker or unfortunately the criminal justice system to help these folks. Let's get them the help they need.
When Cirque Lodge opened our doors the majority of those that we treated identified as alcoholic. Since that time we have treated an ever growing number of folks who have a dependency to prescription meds. Our message is that people can and do recover from this malady. They have shown a remarkable ability to. If you or someone you care about is suffering and struggling due to prescription drug abuse, now is the time to help them. We encourage you to look into treatment options and contact us if you feel it is the drug rehab for you or your loved one.