A look at some OxyContin in the headlines from coast to coast United States:
1. Cape Cod in Massachusetts
An article on BehavioralHealthCentral shows how middle/upper class Cape Cod is affected by OxyContin. Using a young girl Lauren as a case study, the article chronicles the increasingly common tale of a young person becoming addicted to opiates.
On the outside, Lauren was a sweet, caring, and intelligent young women who often put her community first. She loved animals and portrayed herself as a composed person who loved life. Lauren hoped to be a clinical psychologist one day.
But just like many young people, Lauren was introduced to prescription drugs. She soon became an addict, which can easily happen to so many, and it soon lead to her downfall. In July of 2009, Lauren was arrested for percocet possession. Her family noticed the signs of her getting thinner and detached, but thought she was just going through her teenage changes.
In hopes of getting Lauren the help she needed, her family spent thousands of dollars getting her into one of the top treatment centers. In addition, Lauren’s family moved to Utah, uprooting their home and leaving a business behind, doing anything they could to get Lauren away from her drug-involved friends.
Unfortunately, Lauren just couldn’t quit. Seven months after her arrest, Lauren overdosed and was added to one of the statistics.
At Gosnold, the Cape’s only drug treatment center, the number of patients who suffer from opiate addiction has sky rocketed from 24 percent in 2002 to 45 percent last year. In the year of 2007, twenty-nine Barnstable County residents overdosed on opiates. Based on that information, according to the Department of Public Health, the Cape’s overdose death rate is the highest in any state, averaging 14 per 100,000 people, compared to the state average of 9.8 deaths.
While teenagers have been snorting, crushing, injecting and smoking prescription pills for more than a decade, it is only recently that adults and society have become more aware of it. The abuse has gotten out of control and is finally grabbing some attention.
2. Opioids Doing Their Damage in Maine
According to The Free Press in Maine, the normally quiet area of Midcoast Maine is also struggling with opioid addiction, as evidenced by the fallout from the closing of a Methadone clinic.
In Maine, prescription drug abuse has become a documented problem. According to the Maine Office of Substance Abuse (OSA), people seeking help from health care facilities for prescription drug abuse has tripled in the past nine years. It has even quadrupled in Knox County.
Prescription drugs are so easily accessible in this area, which is really contributing to the dependency of addiction. A 70 year old woman had a hip replacement and soon became addicted to pain medication. A fisherman hurt at sea, a child getting his wisdom teeth pulled; addiction is happening to everyone, not just the people you think.
The closure of the methadone clinic has had a huge impact. As the numbers in addiction are rising, so is the education and awareness. But a person’s want and willingness to get help is being cut short. Without treatment centers, it is almost impossible for a person to become sober. People treating themselves have a very hard time adjusting to a regular lifestyle where drugs are so easily accessible.
Despite the closure of the facility, people are trying to create options. Hospital-Based Methadone Clinics are becoming more popular, but can only hold so many patients. A mobile methadone unit has been created that moves from town to town over a scheduled period of time. Although these options to help, most people want to reopen the Methadone Clinic.
3.Portland: Heroin Overdose Capitol of the Northwest
A new book written by a prosecutor in Oregon covers the prevalence and destruction wrought by heroin addiction and overdose (as reported in OregonLive). It is well known that for many, the road to heroin addiction begins with experimentation and dependence on Oxycontin.
Oxycontin is frequently prescribed as a pain medication. People who abuse the drug often become addicted, which turns into a very expensive habit. Although it has an easy access, the dollar signs start to add up and people want to find the same high for a less expensive price.
The next thing that people turn to is heroin. For a cheaper buck, people can get relatively close to the same high that also has the same dangerous risk. A tenth of a gram heroin is enough to get a person high, but experts say when you use such small amounts, it is easier to overdose.
Heroin overdose and death is on the rise. Last year in Oregon heroin killed people than methamphetamine and cocaine combined. The drug even killed more people than drunk drivers.
This book was designed to raise awareness about the dangers of heroin and its supporting drugs. Ocycontin pills are just one of many drugs that lead to the road of addiction and the opportunity to continue to others.