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United States

Opiate Information and Statistics

Prescription drug addiction, abuse and diversion are major problems in the United States. This societal scourge has flourished in the last several years as more prescriptions are being written and as pharmaceutical companies have become bolder in their marketing efforts. These companies reportedly spend billions each year on marketing and much of that is allocated for direct to consumer advertising. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved this type of marketing in the 1990s, opening the floodgates for companies to reach a wider audience and increase profits. The two categories of drugs most often cited in cases of misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose include opiates, most often used for pain management, and benzodiazepines, which are used for anxiety, depression and other disorders. Opiate abuse presents a significant problem in the U.S. Most doctors rely on these narcotic analgesics to help patients with moderate to severe pain. This class of drugs has a reputation of being habit forming with prolonged use. Communities across the country are struggling to deal with the problem, which in many areas has surpassed street drugs as preferred substances of abuse.

OxyContin in particular has become a significant issue in the U.S. The drug was introduced by Purdue Pharma in the 1990s, intended to treat serious pain caused by cancer. Since then, this medication has become known as “hillbilly heroin” because of the heroin-like effects it has. Drug treatment centers across the country have reported a substantial increase in the number of people seeking opiate detox for drugs such as OxyContin, morphine, Percocet and Vicodin. Time Magazine reported in 2010 that deaths from accidental drug overdoses increased five-fold since 1980. In addition, the magazine said that accidental overdoses have replaced car accidents as the leading cause of death in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Drug addicts used to be described as the shady figures hanging around street corners looking to get a fix. The profile of the typical drug user has shifted in recent years as professionals, young people and the elderly become increasingly more dependent upon prescription painkillers. One problem is that these drugs lack the stigma often attached to street drugs. Also, it’s so easy to get them because they are legally prescribed. Popular diversion methods in the U.S. include doctor shopping, pharmacy theft, illegal sale and distribution by healthcare workers and the Internet.

Certain areas of the U.S. have bigger issues with prescription painkillers. Rural, poor areas of Appalachia have been seriously impacted by abuse, addiction and the related crime this brings. Mining towns and areas of the country with heavy industrial bases are also experiencing an increase in prescription drug abuse. This is often because there are more work-related injuries.

Waismann Method

Waismann Method in southern California has treated opiate addiction for thousands of people from across the world over the last decade. We offer safe, effective and quick opiate detox in a discreet and compassionate setting. Our medically based treatment doesn’t use opiate replacement drugs such as methadone or Suboxone.

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