With addictions and drug overdose deaths — from both prescription and illegal drugs — on a serious climb in Michigan, a state task force has offered more than two dozen recommendations to begin combating the deadly problem.
Prescription Drug Abuse:
How It Begins and Why Medical Intervention Can Be
A Matter of Life or Death
Prescription drugs. When used properly, they can help alleviate pain and cure illness faster than over-the-counter medication. When abused, however, they can lead to an addiction that kills its victims and leaves families torn apart. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 48 million people — a whopping 20 percent of the population — will take prescription drugs for non-medical use in their lifetime.
People who fall victim to prescription drug abuse come in all ages and backgrounds. Perhaps it’s a curious teen who discovers a bottle in his or her parent’s medicine cabinet or gets handed a pill to try at a party. Or maybe it’s a hard-working adult recovering from surgery or an injury, who becomes dependent on the medication prescribed for his or her recovery.
Once dependence kicks in, the situation can come become treacherous, quickly. Desperate for more pills, an abuser will do just about anything to score – including buying them from dealers or breaking the law by obtaining prescriptions from multiple physicians, also known as “doctor shopping.” And if they can’t attain prescription meds, most will turn to street drugs like heroin to feed their habit.
The escalation from prescription drug abuse to heroin addiction has become so urgent, in fact, that President Obama recently addressed it, declaring September 26 “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” and summing up the problem thus: “Four in five heroin users started out by misusing prescription drugs. And over the course of just one year — between 2013 and 2014 — we saw a 33% increase in the number of heroin users.”
He continued: “All of this takes a terrible toll on too many families, in too many communities, all across the country — big and small, urban and rural. It strains law enforcement and treatment programs. It costs all of us — in so many different ways.”
What many addicts or abusers don’t realize, however, is even if they want to stop, it’s extremely dangerous to try and do so on their own. Quitting cold turkey can be extremely dangerous, sending the body into shock that could potentially be deadly. It’s crucial to seek professional help.
At Reawakenings Wellness Center, we offer a safe, medical detox that offers every amenity to make the process as comfortable as possible, including the option of private rooms, chef-prepared meals and daily maid service. While your body is weaned off the drugs, we’ll start you on an immediate treatment plan made up of both individual and group therapy with other patients struggling with the same problem. And you’ll recover in a setting that’s both idyllic and serene, right near the warm beaches of Miramar, Florida.
If you or someone you love is abusing prescription drugs, there’s no need to feel ashamed. But it’s critical you seek professional help to stop using safely and get your life back on track. Call Reawakenings today.
Birmingham, AL (WIAT)-Keith McCants built his dream of playing professional football at the University of Alabama. The All-American linebacker was drafted fourth overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1990. He also played for the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions all while battling a severe leg injury that later led to his prescription pain pill addiction.
When we last spoke to Keith McCants––former Alabama All-American linebacker and No. 4 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1990 NFL Draft––this past March, he was doing interviews (including an April feature with the New York Times) in order to spread awareness of his pain killer addiction and post-football struggles, hoping current and future NFL stars can avoid going down a similar path as the linebacker.
Since our interview with him, the currently sober 47-year old McCants began working closely with Reawakenings Wellness Center (rehab facility) in Miramar, Florida, speaking with the residents and young athletes to help them not go down a similar path that he went down.