Pain Meds Creating New Addicts in New Jersey

Drug trafficking in New Jersey is known to be very dangerous. Due to its location between New York and Philadelphia, along with easy access via major roadways and seaports, it has become a major transportation route for illegal drugs.

We also face a serious problem with the sometimes legal, sometimes illegal practice of abusing painkillers. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration notes that prescription forgery and doctor shopping are very common here. In Morris County, one doctor was caught exchanging prescriptions for services.

Why are so many people in New Jersey focused on drugs?

Many of us in the drug and alcohol treatment community generally believe addiction is a disease, something people are genetically predisposed to. There is a lot of evidence to support that claim. There is also a lot of evidence that the medical treatment people receive can affect whether or not they become an addict. Over-relying on pain medications, we're creating new addicts every day.

One of my patients was recently put on methadone after having major knee surgery. That's a recipe for disaster. The guy is asked to convalesce and before he can even fully recover from his surgery, he has a major addiction problem to deal with. We constantly see patients like this in our New Jersey detox center. Doctors give their patients large doses of medications that are known to be addicting rather than opting for solutions like physical therapy, acupuncture or massage. Even non-narcotic pain medications are a much better option.

Narcotic pain medication has its place in the medical world, but it has become far too prominent. Attempting to solve chronic pain by risking addiction doesn't help patients.

Problems this large don't go away on their own. Here, in New Jersey, we must be vigilant if we are going to curb addiction.

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