Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 Seven signs point to prescription drug abuse

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Seven signs point to prescription drug abuse   Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:08 am

Seven signs point to prescription drug abuse

The number of narcotic pain medication prescriptions written in the U.S. has skyrocketed over the last two decades. In an effort to treat pain more effectively and with the advent of many newer forms of opiod (narcotic) pain relievers — Oxycontin, Lortab, Methadone, Percodan, Percocet, Tramadol, Fentanyl — millions of American now take these medications on a regular basis for a wide range of diagnoses. While generally meant for short-term use, opiate pain medications have slowly been used for longer periods times and for many ailments previously untreated with narcotics. While some benefit has been noted an unfortunate, tragic consequence ensued.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, narcotic prescription use rose 1,000 percent in the U.S. between 1990 and 2009. As well, nationally we experienced a 500 percent increase in the number of prescription narcotic-related deaths.

We find ourselves in the midst of what the U.S. government and many state health agencies have called an accelerating “epidemic of prescription drug misuse, addiction and overdose.”

This new narcotic epidemic seems to be almost the exclusively province of middle-age and older people. The number of narcotic overdose cases peaks in the 34-54 age group, while the total number of people who overdose in their 60s, 70s and 80s has doubed in the past five years.

Before you or some one you love becomes a statistic, be aware of the seven sure signs of narcotic addiction and impending problems.

• Has a trusted loved one or family member expressed concern about your prescription opiate use?



• Do you have more than one doctor who prescribes the same medication? Or multiple prescriptions from multiple providers?



• Do you have medications secretly hidden in more than one location around your home?



• Have you taken these medications on a regular basis for more than two weeks? Or a month? If so you, are probably physically addicted.



• Do these medications help you to function? Have you returned to work? If not, why? What tasks do the medications help you to perform? If you cannot answer these questions and you continue taking opiates, this is a very dangerous sign.

• Take a step back and look at your life since you began taking opiate medications. Are things getting better or worse? Have bad things begun to happen? Lose your job? Wreck your car? Divorce? Arrest?



• Last, and most importantly, have you ever been admitted to a hospital, for any reason, due to prescription drug use?

Solutions to the national prescription opiate problem are elusive and multi-factorial. But two issues stand out. Doctors give these medications too liberally, for longer periods than are warranted and for pain issues that might better be treated by other modalities. But patients ask for these medications specifically and often insist upon them. More education on both parts seems to be in order.

If these medications are part of your life or the life of someone about whom you care, take a look at the issue of opiate use. Be honest. Talk with your family. Talk with your doctor. Ask if there aren’t other less dangerous medications that might also be effective. Ask if there are other treatment options — physical therapy, acupuncture, support groups — which might allow you to talk a lower dose of narcotic medications or perhaps wean off them entirely. And, equally importantly, discuss whether a formal drug detox and rehabilitation program might be needed.



Copyright 2011 The Lawrence Journal-World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. We strive to uphold our values for every story published.

— Dr. Stephen Seager is a practicing psychiatrist. He is author of “The God Gene: The Promise of Prometheus.” He can be reached at www.StephenSeager.com.

article was gotten from LJ World.com and the link is

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jan/24/seven-signs-point-prescription-drug-abuse/


RuthAnn
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