Rx Drug Abuse Rates Steadily Climb—Warning Signs of Addiction
Apr 16, 2013 - 2:18:49 PM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) Spring Hill, FL - April 16, 2013-Prescription painkiller addiction is a growing epidemic in the United States-one of the biggest meds being opioid painkillers, with more than 200 million such drugs prescribed annually and accounting for more than 16,000 deaths a year (1). Not only is painkiller addiction detrimental to the abuser, but research shows that prescription drug abuse costs the U.S. economy $42 billion in lost productivity and $8.2 billion in criminal justice costs annually (2). Suncoast Rehab Center (http://www.
Dependency on prescription drugs is not usually intentional. Many people begin using painkillers for legitimate reasons and are not aware that they have become addicted until it's too late. Prescription painkillers are the number one drug for which Suncoast clients seek rehab.
Suncoast suggests considering treatment if any of the following ring true (3):
1. You're using your painkillers for reasons other than pain relief. Taking painkillers to change your mood instead of relieving pain is getting you high-this signals the beginning of an addiction.
2. You want an increase in your painkillers, even though your doctor hasn't recommended it. There may be times when you feel legitimate pain and you need to get an increase in dosage. However, wanting to increase your dosage to alter your mood is a sign that you're crossing over into addiction.
3. You're taking your painkillers even though you don't have any pain. If your pain is gone, there's no need to continue taking painkillers. Taking them "just in case" the pain comes back is not a legitimate reason to continue their use.
4. Your thoughts are consumed with getting more painkillers. This displays obsessive, addictive behavior.
5. Other pain management therapies are no longer an option for you. Prescription painkillers do not cure pain; rather, they temporarily eliminate it. Not considering other options-such as physical therapy-can be a sign of addiction.
Painkiller withdrawal and rehabilitation are both difficult processes, even for those who have taken the drugs for only a short time. Many struggle to come to terms with their addiction, and don't seek help until it's a last resort.
Kimberly nearly died from narcotic painkillers prescribed after a car accident. At first, she only needed one or two pills a day, but she eventually became addicted to the high.
"My tolerance started increasing," said 28-year-old Kimberly, "and I started taking two at a time or three at a time. It grew to 15 at a time." Finally reaching her breaking point, Kimberly reached out to a residential treatment facility.
"I finally sought help and I have been drug-free for eight months." (4)
Treatment programs at Suncoast consist of long-term residential treatment, such as:
● Sauna detoxification that removes drug residues and toxins which cause cravings and relapse; and
● Life skills, counseling and cognitive therapy (http://www.
"At Suncoast, our drug rehab program consists of an exact sequence of steps that enable a person to live happily without drugs," says Tammy Strickling, Executive Director of SRC.
Strickling says that Suncoast's clients say it best: "They helped me find who I really am and what my life is really about. Words are not enough to let anyone really understand how much I needed this program. I am so grateful for all the time and energy each staff member has given me. Without their support and drive, I wouldn't have been able to do it." -L.W.
To learn more about the Suncoast Rehabilitation Center and its rehab programs, visit http://www.
About Suncoast Rehab Center:
Located in Spring Hill, Florida, with a 76% success rate, Suncoast Rehab Center (http://www.
1. Pho, Kevin. "ER Key to Curb Painkiller Abuse: Column." Usatoday.com. Gannett, 31 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. usatoday.com/story/opinion/
2. CADCA. "CADCA Chairman And CEO To Discuss Costs Of Prescription Drug Abuse At National Rx Drug Abuse Summit." Sacbee.com. The Sacramento Bee, 2 Apr. 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. sacbee.com/2013/04/02/
3. "What a Pain! Signs of Painkiller Addiction." Recoveryconnection.org. Recovery Connection, 5 Dec. 2012. Web. 04 Apr. 2013. recoveryconnection.org/what-
4. LaPook, Johnathan. "Clamping down on Prescription Painkiller Abuse." CBSNews.com. CBS Interactive, 08 Feb. 2013. Web. 04 Apr. 2013. cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-
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