prescription drug abuse

NJ Drug Problems Reach Epidemic Status

As I have mentioned in previous posts this has now reached “Epidemic” status in New Jersey. The NJ Authorities now say “no community, however affluent or remote, is immune to the circumstances and impact of this trend. ” According to the 2010 report there were 843 drug related deaths , of which 402 were solely attributed to prescription drugs. The total number in 2011 jumped to 1008!  The results of a 2 year investigation are being released today, with a press conference this morning.

I have previously highlighted how we  need to enforce the prescription monitoring bill already passed here in the state. We have already committed resources to add substance (drug, alcohol) detox facilities in the state, with full facilities under construction Sunrise Detox Toms River and Sunrise Detox Cherry Hill.
How is this epidemic affecting the States Economy ?  According to the old report “Beyond the devastation of lost lives, law enforcement authorities at multiple levels told the Commission that the drug trade and the resulting imperative of addiction have produced spikes in burglaries and other crimes of theft all across New Jersey”
We will find out shortly what they've learned since 2010, but the inside chatter suggests it won't be good. All of the bad numbers are way up, in some cases to unbelievable levels, and while some of the “good numbers” are also up (such as the number of treatment beds planned by Sunrise Detox), most are not up nearly enough.In many areas of drug abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment, the old way of doing things is no longer adequate. “More” of the same will not achieve the desired results. The 2010 report ended with that idea for moving forward:
The record of this investigation demonstrates that the challenges posed by drug abuse have taken on disturbing new dimensions that call into question the conventional wisdom regarding gateway drugs and addiction, and the adequacy of current medical oversight and law enforcement strategies. We now live in a State where the abuse of legitimate prescription pills serves increasingly as a route to the unlawful world of heroin, which is cheap, widely available and so pure it can be used without the junkie stigma or mess of needles while producing a high matching or exceeding that of any legitimate pharmaceutical painkiller. This tangled intersection of legal and illicit narcotics constitutes a crisis whose multiple consequences are plain for all to see: the countless deaths and damaged lives, the spiking crime, the subverted recesses of the medical and pharmaceutical professions, the exploitation by gangs and other criminal elements.”

“Prescription Drug Abuse: Society’s Newest Epidemic” Ira Levy On the Air Friday June 21 12:00 Noon

Ira Levy will be helping to educate and inform as he participates in a discussion of the prescription drug abuse epidemic

Ira Levy of Sunrise Detox in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida will join Dr. Lisa Stewart of VoiceAmerica for a radio show about the prescription drug abuse epidemic in America.

Ira Levy will be a guest on a special episode of Voice America's Health and Wellness program this Friday, June 21, at noon. Ira will provide insights into what is being called the “new epidemic” of prescription drug abuse and addiction.

Over the past several years prescription drug abuse (especially misuse of opioid pain killer medicines) has surged beyond anyone's expectations. Addiction to these drugs is one of the leading causes of preventable death in America.

Sunrise Detox treats thousands of patients every year for substance abuse, and prescription drugs compete with alcohol for the top substance abuse issue month after month. While government administrators and drug enforcement agents often spout statistics about crime and bad people doing drugs, Ira will show how regular everyday good people are suffering the consequences of addiction. Addictive substances now follow everyday events like minor injuries, doctor's orders, and everyday life challenges.

Drug addiction is no longer a problem for only “drug addicts”. Powerful opioid pain killers show up in almost everyone's medicine cabinet these days.

  • “Prescription Drug Abuse – Society’s Newest Epidemic” featuring Ira Levy of Sunrise Detox
  • Hosted by Dr. Lisa Stewart
  • June 21, 2013 at 12 noon Eastern time or via Podcast published after the show

From the studio:

Most people have had pain medication prescribed to them by a physician at some point in their lives. The recovery from knee and back surgery, for example, can be long and painful. What are the dangers of taking these prescribed pain medications? How can we avoid the damage caused by addiction to these medications that are supposed to be helping us? What can both doctors and patients do to become more aware of the dangers? Join Dr. Lisa Stewart as she talks with Ira Levy, an addictions specialist, about this national epidemic. Learn important information about the addiction cycle as it pertains to pain medication, and preventative measures that can be taken on an individual level to avoid the nightmare of physical and psychological addiction. Treatment options and specific strategies for this population of addicts will also be discussed.

 

A Guide To The Safe Use Of Pain Medication – FDA

Addiction to pain medication is the fastest-growing segment of the addiction field.  There are a variety of reasons, ranging from doctors who do not understand the potential of addiction, to drug companies who underplay the dangers of their products, to unscrupulous doctors and importers who provide a smörgåsbord of drugs to their “patients” on demand.

The Food and Drug Administration has published an excellent rundown on the safe use of pain medication, from aspirin to opioid drugs.  We recommend it highly.

A Guide To The Safe Use Of Pain Medication