Although we’re one big, cohesive country under the same government, several different regions make up the United States: there’s the northeast, the south, the Midwest, and the west coast. And for each region, there is a different dialect, slang, traditions, style signature foods, and even drug of choice. In Florida, the main drug of abuse is the narcotic painkiller: oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), roxycodone (Roxy), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid) – to name a few. These are all part of the opiate family, the same drug family that includes heroin.
Florida’s Painkiller Epidemic
According to a national report, Florida has the 11th highest drug overdose death rate in the country. And the rate has more than doubled since 1999.
That year, the number of drug overdose deaths – most of which were from prescription drugs – was 6.4 deaths per 100,000 Florida residents. Today that number is 16.4 deaths per 100,000, according to the Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic report, by Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the nation’s health.
So, why Florida?
For years, Florida’s relaxed regulations on prescription drugs turned the state into a black market for synthetic opioids, which caused 16,625 deaths and 420,000 emergency department visits in 2010. The Sunshine State was home to 90 of the country’s 100 top pharmacies buying oxycodone in 2010, which often made their way into the hands of prescription drug dealers.
Calling prescription drug abuse a top public health concern, the report said that misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers alone costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs.
In the News: Florida’s Pill Mills
A few short years ago, everything seemingly came to a head with mass raids on pain management clinics that were dubbed “pill mills” for their factory-like process of churning out painkiller prescriptions at an astonishing rate.
It took more than two years, but federal agents shut down the $40 million businesses that operated in Broward and Palm Beach counties until the March 2010 raids. DEA agents used several tactics – phone taps, posing as patients – which led to enough evidence to amass more than 1.2 million pages of records and statements used in the prosecution of suspects.
The evidence persuaded 28 co-defendants – the owners, staff and most of the doctors who wrote prescriptions – to plead guilty and go to prison.
Two doctors, however, chose to take their cases to trial and are facing other charges related to what federal prosecutors say was a conspiracy to sell as many pain pills as possible to addicts and street drug dealers, who sold them at a profit in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
And major pharmacies were in on it, too.
In June, Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest pharmacy operator, paid the Drug Enforcement Agency an $80 million settlement to resolves charges that it failed to control its sales of narcotic painkillers. As a result of its efforts, the amount of oxycodone sold in the state of Florida decreased by 97% from 2009 to 2010. Deaths related to oxycodone decreased by more than 17%, and the number of “doctor shoppers” has decreased by 58% since authorities began cracking down on pill mills in 2011. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
image credit: thedp.com
At the height of his career, Matthew Perry was in the struggle for his life: battling a serious addiction to alcohol and painkillers. Perry was in his early 30’s around that time and was earning a multi-million dollar salary on the hit television show ‘Friends’ and had numerous other offers for feature films and endorsements. On the outside, it appeared that Matthew Perry was living the “ideal” life many of us find an “ideal” life.
Matthew Perry’s ideal life came at a high price, though; for him it resulted in an addiction to alcohol and the narcotic painkiller, Vicodin. In 2002, Matthew Perry told People magazine that at the height of his opiate and alcohol addiction, he was taking 20 to 30 Vicodin pills and drinking about a quart of vodka a day. Perry’s addiction took off when he was prescribed Vicodin for a wisdom tooth extraction. Eventually the drug abuse began to take its toll on his body. The rumors ran rampant at this point that Perry had an eating disorder due to the obvious weight fluctuations. In fact, this was being caused by pancreatitis, brought on by his heavy drinking. Perry then returned to rehab for an “undisclosed illness” in 2001, (after a previous trip in 1997). There was constant media coverage of his addiction throughout the entire ordeal.
In front of a packed audience at Irvine Auditorium two nights ago, actor and comedian Matthew Perry appeared completely in his element onstage despite the very personal subject of his appearance – his battle with drug and alcohol addiction.
“Hello, my name is Matthew, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Perry — who gave this talk as part of this semester’s Social Planning and Events Committee Connaissance speaker series — drew an enthusiastic, loyal crowd.
He now travels to colleges across the country to share his testimony on his recovery from addiction and sponsoring others who struggle with alcoholism. In recognition for his work, The White House awarded Perry with the Champion of Recovery Award. Perry handled this with his typical grace and comedy: “I’m an award-winning alcoholic.”
Perry spoke into the goal of his work and the motivating force behind his appearances to make such a speech. “[Addiction’s] not shameful,” he said. “That’s a point I really want to drive home.”
During the Q and A session, college junior and SPEC Connaissance co-director Jason Fernandes said “We think addiction on college campuses is a very serious issue that’s not talked about much. A lot of addictions students have are dismissed as a part of college life.”
Perry spoke about finding his sponsor, Earl, who taught him the importance of selflessness. Perry says that, despite his career accomplishments, what he acknowledges as being the most important is his ability to give back.
Speaking into the importance of what the fellowship programs emphasize in the 12th Step, he said “The best thing I can say about me is that people who can’t stop drinking come up to me and say, Can you help me? And I can say, Yes.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
You find yourself saying, “it’s time to “cut back” or stop altogether” and even come up with all kinds of schemes to stop but, nothing seems to work. You may be able to stop for a little while but find you keep going back to that drink or drug. By now, you’ve probably realized that you want to stop but simply can’t.
So what is there left to do? It’s time to choose from the detox centers in Bal Harbor. Drug detox centers in Bal Harbor provide affordable treatment to those who are suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.
What Happens at Detox Centers in Bal Harbor?
Detox centers in Bal Harbor works like this: you will be assessed for your drug use history through both an interview with a medically trained staff person and a drug screen, also called a ‘tox screen.” This is a hospital type setting and, just like any other medical setting, confidentiality is guaranteed. You will not get in trouble with police or other authorities for being intoxicated. In fact, most people show up to the detox center under the influence.
The assessment is done to see how the medical staff at the detox centers in Bal Harbor can best help you. They will need to know what substances you have been using, how much you have been using, and for how long. You will then be admitted to the program and given a private room, sometimes with a roommate. You will see a medical doctor who will prescribe the necessary medications to help ease the withdrawal symptoms of your detoxification from alcohol and/or other drugs.
Why Detox Centers in Bal Harbor are Necessary
If you are dependent on prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, or other opiates like heroin, then detox centers in Bal Harbor can help you. Unlike alcohol withdrawal, opiate withdrawal is not known to be fatal however, the withdrawal symptoms can be so severely painful that it becomes nearly impossible to resist going back out and using in order to “get well.” However, there have been some cases of people experiencing seizures when “kicking” an opiate dependence, and this is all the more reason that a program at one of the detox centers in Bal Harbor should be considered.
If you are dependent on alcohol, it is medically necessary for you to get the kind of help that detox centers in Bal Harbor can offer. This is because of a medical condition called alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which is a set of withdrawal symptoms that range from at the least uncomfortable, to frightening, and even fatal. The same goes for benzodiazepines (benzos such as Xanax and Valium) and barbiturates. Detox centers in Bal Harbor will treat you with a course of medication that will ease these symptoms and get you off of these other substances in a safe manner.
Why Consider Detox Centers in Bal Harbor
Bal Harbor is a city in south Florida that extends from the bay to the Atlantic Ocean. The word “Bal” was created to encompass this area’s unique location: the “b” was taken from the word “bay” and the “a” and “l” were taken from the name Atlantic. Situated in sunny south Florida, this is an ideal destination to begin life anew; the warm, tropical climate and serene beaches are the perfect setting in which to relax and rejuvenate.
If you or a loved one is looking for help from detox centers in Bal Harbor please call toll free 1-800-951-6135
Detox centers in Golf IL are the solution to your problem. If you find yourself in over your head with alcohol and/or other drugs such as prescription painkillers or benzos, not only is it difficult to stop on your own or by going cold turkey, it is also potentially life-threatening to just up and quit. That’s why you should consider getting help from detox centers in Golf.
Withdrawal syndrome is a medical condition and it refers to the set of symptoms that people experience when they stop drinking or drugging. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome and Benzo withdrawal symptom (from stopping benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium) are serious medical conditions that include sweating, erratic heartbeat, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, coma, and possible death. Detox centers in Golf are equipped to manage these symptoms in a safe manner while also making you more comfortable while you undergo the detox process.
If you have become physically dependent upon or addicted to painkillers such as oxycodone or Vicodin, or other opiates like heroin, getting help from detox centers in Golf is a great idea. Although withdrawal from opiates is not typically life-threatening, there have been some severe cases in which people have suffered seizures. Opiate withdrawal, also known as being dope sick, is a miserable thing to experience without the help of a detox program. The withdrawal symptoms are described as flu-like in nature but also include anxiety and depression. This can last for longer than the actual flu – as long as several weeks, depending on how much you were using.
What Is Detox?
A detox program is a medical program at a facility that evaluates your situation in order to see how to best treat you. The staff at detox centers in Golf will assess you by asking you some questions about what it is you’re using, how much, and for how long. You will also being given a drug screen to see how much of the substance or substances are in your system at the time of your admission into the program. This is not done to get you in trouble. It is necessary to evaluate your situation so that you can be treated safely and kept the most comfortable as possible during your detox. You will be prescribed medications that will wean you off of what your body has become dependent on.
Medical detox, as it is also called, is professional and adheres to stringent state and federal regulations but it is also a comfortable setting in which you can finally stop the madness and begin to heal: body, mind, and spirit.
Detox Centers in Golf IL
At detox centers in Golf, your stay will last anywhere from four to ten days depending on your progress. Your day will consist of having your vitals checked morning lunchtime and before bed in order to monitor your condition and make sure you are progressing along in your treatment in the safest way. Your meals will be provided and are prepared to meet high standards of nutrition in order to promote your health and help your body recover. Substance abuse takes its toll on your health; when you become dependent on drugs and alcohol these substances are damaging to health. Also, when in the grip of substance abuse, people often neglect their health by skipping meals and not eating properly when they finally do manage to eat.
The staff at detox centers in Golf is both professional and caring. They will help you get through this difficult process in order to take your first step towards recovery from drugs and alcohol.
If you or someone you love is looking for information on detox centers in Golf IL please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
The war on prescription drugs continues, this time in New York in the form of the “I-Stop” bill. On June 11, the New York State Legislature passed the I-Stop bill which will require physicians to immediately enter any filled out prescriptions for scheduled II, III, IV and V drugs into a new electronic prescription database. Currently, there is an electronic database for prescriptions, but doctors and pharmacists have a 45-day window for entering prescriptions, and doctors complain that the system functions slowly. Any doctor or pharmacist who does not immediately report prescriptions will be fined $500 for first time offense, and up to thousands in repeated offenses. The bill’s central aim is to keep powerful opioid and anti-anxiety prescription drugs, particularly oxycodon — the active ingredient in the opioid painkiller OxyContin — out of the hands of addicts and drug dealers.
The bill has good intentions – to stop drug dealers and addicts from doctor shopping, eradicate fraud prescriptions made from stolen prescription pads and ultimately crack down on prescription drug abuse. Those on the opposition fear that the bill is premature and will cause delays in patients in chronic pain from receiving their medication. Another fear is the increase of heroin use which we’re already seeing in the heroin epidemic in Ohio.
It seems like many patients who truly need these meds and are not abusing them will be the ones to suffer more. Many New York clinics have already halted the sale of OxyContin because of fear of robberies leaving thousands of patients in pain and agony. Prescription drug abuse is a serious crisis America is currently facing. We hope this bill ends up doing more good than harm.
If you or a loved one needs help with prescription drug abuse or OxyContin drug abuse give our 24/7 crisis counselors a call at 1-877-711-4673.