Opiate Addiction – Beneath the Hype, A Real Epidemic

by baladmin | May 30, 2013

Opiates are a dangerous class of drugs, and the high level of use has become a problem.

Heroin, Vicodin, Percocet, Norco, OxyContin, Morphine, and Codeine are some opiates you may be familiar with, either because of your own use, the use by someone you care about, or through the media’s portrayal and hype from famous musicians, rappers, and performers.

Opiate addiction has become a real epidemic. The highly addictive nature of opiates leads to addition faster than almost any other substance.

Look at all of the famous people who have succumb to an opiate addiction: Michael Jackson, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Matthew Perry, River Phoenix, Steven Adler, David Bowie, Ray Charles, Amy Winehouse, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain, Miles Davis, Jerry Garcia, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Tommy Lee, Courtney Love, Dave Navarro, Elvis Presley, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Steven Tyler, and the list goes on and on.

Why is it then, with this many people suffering from opiate addiction, and almost just as many addicts who have found treatment effective have lost their lives to opiate overdose, that this class of drugs in particular is so hyped? Rappers like Lil Wayne are glamorizing the use of Codeine, and lyrics of songs so casually express the acceptance of prescription drugs so readily. It’s no wonder our country has such a problem with opiate addiction.

Underneath the hype, opiate addiction is a real epidemic.

When people truly need pain management, and are prescribed a drug like Vicodin or OxyContin, the potential for abuse of that prescription in high. Should opiate administration work like a methadone clinic, where clients have to physically make their way to the facility for their daily dose of a painkiller? If you had back surgery and cannot get out of bed, so you have your Vicodin near your bed, and you take it as directed for a while, but then start to gradually take more to avoid all pain, what will stop you from telling the doctor that the pain has worsened, even if it hasn’t, and that physician allows you to fill that prescription?

In this scenario, the doctor seemingly did the right thing by managing a client’s pain, but what set of checks are in place to prevent this patient from becoming addicted to the prescribed opiate?

It is scary how quickly anyone can become addicted to the effects of an opiate, and sadly, OxyContin, Vicodin, and the other opiate prescription drugs listed before are just as dangerous as heroin. You don’t have to be injecting anything to be an opiate addict.

If you, or someone you know, as slipped into an opiate addiction, look into various forms of help to avoid any negative consequences of these harmful drugs.