Attempts to Crack Down on Prescription Opiate Abuse Backfire

The prescription drug epidemic that has gripped our nation in its iron fist for the past 15 years is finally beginning to stabilize. While many people credit government crackdown efforts with the slow decline in rates of prescription drug abuse, the fact is that many people who became addicted to prescription opiates are now turning to riskier hard drugs – heroin, to be exact. Here at our outpatient detox Delray Beach facility, we’ve seen a decided uptick in the numbers of opiate addicts seeking help for heroin addiction. Alarmingly, many of them claim they started out on prescription painkillers.

PDMPs Are Breeding Heroin Addicts, Harming Legitimate Pain Patients

Prescription drug monitoring programs or PDMPs have been lawmakers’ answer to pill mills and doctor shopping. It wasn’t so long ago that we here at our outpatient detox Delray felt helpless to interfere as prescription opiate addicts came from around the nation to obtain illegal painkillers from Florida’s pill mills. The natural solution appeared to be to keep a record of each person who receives a prescription for a controlled substance, and flag that person for suspicious behavior whenever he or she might obtain prescriptions from multiple pharmacies or doctors in a given month.

While these registries were established in many states with the best of intentions, they’ve had two unintended consequences. For one thing, they’ve made it harder for legitimate pain sufferers – the people who need these medications in order to treat chronic and acute pain and function normally – to get the medication that works for them. Many doctors will no longer prescribe opiate painkillers at all, even when their use would be legitimately recommended, out of fear of the harm that could come to them or their reputation if a pain patient found his or her way into our outpatient detox Delray Beach program for opiate addiction treatment.

Second, PDMPs have made it next to impossible for prescription painkiller addicts to get the pills to which they’re addicted. Rather than giving up drugs, they simply find another drug. In this case, more users are turning to heroin to fend off their opiate withdrawal symptoms. Clearly, prescription painkiller addicts needed to be given access to programs like our outpatient detox Delray Beach program in addition to having their drug supply cut off.

Outpatient Detox Delray Finds Drug Testing the Unemployed Creates More Addicts, Not Fewer

The state of Texas has implemented mandatory drug testing for people claiming unemployment benefits, and other states may soon do the same. Unemployed people who fail state drug tests would lose their benefits.

However, the fear of losing benefits isn’t going to be sufficient to keep an addict from using drugs – only treatment can do that. In fact, our outpatient detox Delray experts worry that drug testing the unemployed will only encourage them to turn away from drugs that stay in the system for days or weeks, and instead start using faster-acting, but more dangerous and addictive synthetic drugs that tests are unlikely to detect. Cutting benefits will only drive the addicted into more heavy substance abuse and put up more obstacles to treatment.

Tightened Controls on Painkillers Penalize Innocent People

Less than one percent of the people who are currently receiving painkillers for chronic pain abuse them. But an advisory panel to the FDA voted in January to tighten controls on these drugs, requiring new doctor visits for each refill of a drug containing hydrocodone, and strict limits on the amount of the drug doctors are able to prescribe at one time. Patients can now take home only a 30-day supply of pain meds – meaning patients suffering chronic pain must now visit the doctor each month to get their medication.

Patients who need these drugs will have to pay more out-of-pocket for insurance costs or may have to start taking less effective drugs. They may not be able to find a doctor willing to treat them. They’ll suffer more pain if they’re unable to get the medicine they need. And these controls are unlikely to have any effect on prescription drug abuse, according to our outpatient detox Delray experts.

Reformulating OxyContin Increased Abuse of Other Potent Painkillers

The manufacturers of OxyContin reformulated their drug in 2010, hoping to reduce its potential for abuse. While OxyContin did sustain a huge drop in popularity, that shift was accompanied by a surge in the popularity of hydromorphone, fentanyl and heroin. These drugs are far more potent, dangerous and addictive than prescription painkillers, and have been responsible for a dramatic increase in overdose deaths.

The real solution to the opiate epidemic is treatment. If you know someone who is struggling with opiate addiction – or if you’re struggling with it yourself – our outpatient detox Delray Beach facility can help.

Call us today at 888-699-5679.

What is the Difference Between Dependence and Addiction?

Here at our outpatient detox Delray Beach facility, we understand how important it is to know the difference between drug dependence and addiction. Understanding the difference between addiction and physical dependence can help you know whether you need help for addiction, or whether you’re using drugs as intended.

For many people who use prescription opiates for pain management, the distinction between dependence on a drug and addiction to a drug is crucial. Patients who rely on prescription opiates to manage chronic pain face stigma from friends, family, members of the general public and even, in some cases, their doctors.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a neurobiological disease that negatively affects all aspects of an addict’s life. The addicts we help in our outpatient detox in Delray Beach take drugs compulsively. They have no control over their drug use. Addicts keep taking drugs despite the physical and mental harm it does to them and their families, and the professional and legal consequences it causes. Addicts also struggle with intense physical and mental cravings for drugs.

The line between physical dependence and addiction can become blurred in a phenomenon that specialists refer to as “pseudo-addiction.” This phenomenon refers to a set of behaviors that pain patients exhibit when they are not receiving adequate treatment for their pain. They include doing things that would normally be associated with addiction, like watching the clock until it’s time for their next dose of medication, taking medication that has not been prescribed to them, taking street drugs or lying to get more medication. However, these pseudo-addictive behaviors disappear when the patient receives adequate pain management; therefore, they are not indicative of true addiction.

Women reaching into medicine cabinet full of pill bottles.

Physical Dependence Withdrawal at Outpatient Detox Delray

Physical dependence on a potentially addictive drug can be compared to a diabetic’s physical dependence on insulin. Not only does a diabetic person experience a physical reaction when insulin is taken away, he or she actually needs insulin in order to remain healthy. For many patients who use opiate painkillers to relieve chronic or acute severe pain, they serve a similar purpose.

Of course, here at our outpatient detox Delray Beach program, we understand that opiate painkillers are very addictive. A number of the people we’ve helped at our outpatient detox Delray Beach facility have been patients who originally took prescription opiate painkillers to treat chronic or acute severe pain. It does not typically take very long for a pain patient’s body to become accustomed to a regular dose of prescription opiate painkillers. Over time, a person using prescription opiates for pain treatment may even develop a tolerance to the drug, and will experience physical withdrawals if he or she stops taking it.

The Distinction Between Physical Dependence and Addiction

The people who come to outpatient detox Delray Beach program looking for opiate addiction treatment generally report that they feel “high” or euphoric when they use opiate drugs. Before long, they develop a tolerance to the drug and need more and more in order to keep feeling that same euphoria. As a result, they may turn to stealing drugs or prescriptions, lying to get new prescriptions, doctor shopping and using multiple pharmacies. They take medication at higher-than-prescribed doses, and may take them by crushing and snorting them or injecting them. Many of the people we help in our outpatient detox in Delray Beach, especially lately, have turned to heroin now that prescription painkillers have become difficult to find on the black market and law enforcement authorities have cracked down on pill mills.

The crucial distinction between patients who are physically dependent on opiate painkillers and people who are struggling with addiction to these drugs is that, for addicts, using drugs makes their lives worse. For pain patients, on the other hand, taking prescription painkillers enables them to function normally, attend to their responsibilities, spend time with their families, get active in their communities, go to work, and generally move forward and upward with their lives. People are using drugs for legitimate medical reasons, even potentially addictive drugs, can be objectively seen to benefit from the use of those drugs.

The addicts we help in our outpatient detox Delray Beach program, on the other hand, spiral further and further downward, until their relationships with friends and family are irreparably damaged, they can no longer remain active in their communities, and they can no longer even hold jobs.

If you think you or someone you love may be addicted to prescription painkillers, don’t wait for the problem to get out of hand.

Call The Delray Center for Healing now at 888-699-5679.

Five Tips to Stay Drug Free After Our Outpatient Detox Delray Program

Our outpatient detox Delray Beach program is the first step towards a drug free life. Entering our outpatient detox program is an achievement. If you’re like most people who finish our outpatient detox program, you’ll be feeling hopeful and optimistic about the future – ready for a brand new start.

Drug addiction is a chronic disease with a high relapse rate – just like diabetes or any other chronic disease, it’s not something that you can simply cure with treatment in our outpatient detox Delray Beach program. Beating addiction takes tremendous will power and courage, but our detox program will allow you to start your journey strongly. You’ll have to manage your condition for the rest of your life. You will be able to stay drug free once you finish our outpatient detox Delray Beach program, and the longer you stay drug free, the easier it gets.

Of course, there will be temptations once you leave our program or other treatment. Follow these tips to resist the urges to return to drug use once you finish our outpatient detox or any other addiction treatment:

Have a Relapse Prevention Plan Before You Leave 

As part of our outpatient detox Delray Beach program, you and your counselors will develop a relapse prevention plan. For at least the first 12 months after you leave our detox program, you need to follow your relapse prevention plan to a T. If you follow your plan carefully, you’ll be able to recognize the warning signs of impending relapse and head them off before they lead you back to drug use.

Practice Good Self-Care During and After 

You should make taking care of yourself a priority both while you’re in our outpatient detox Delray Beach program and after you leave it. That means you should eat regular, nutritious meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest. You also need to look after your emotional and spiritual needs. Hunger, fatigue, anger, stress and loneliness are triggers that are capable of driving you back to drug use. If you feel like giving up and using again at any point during or after your time in our outpatient detox Delray Beach program, ask yourself if you’re feeling hungry, angry, lonely or tired instead – and if so, take care of that feeling. You’ll find that your urge to use drugs quickly recedes.

Stay Busy

When you enter our outpatient detox Delray Beach program, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to stop hanging around with your old drugging friends. Hanging out with them will only make you feel tempted and perhaps pressured to start using drugs again, and in any case, you’ll probably find you don’t have much in common with them now that you’re making an effort to change your life in our outpatient detox Delray Beach program. You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands, now that you’re not busy using drugs all the time.

Start building friendships with the other people you’ve met in our outpatient detox Delray Beach program. They’ll support your recovery goals and you’ll come to depend on one another during the rough times. Find new hobbies – having things you are passionate about can give you a reason to say drug free and help you cope with stress and cravings.

Build a Support Network

You should start building your social support network before you leave our outpatient detox Delray Beach program. Everyone needs a social support network, but as a recovering addict, yours is particularly important. Your support network can consist of your new recovery friends, other new friends you may meet, old friends who don’t use drugs and who support your recovery goals, and your family. Recovery support groups are a great way to get social support during and after our outpatient detox Delray Beach program.

Stay in Therapy After You Leave

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that just because your outpatient detox Delray Beach program is over, you don’t need any more addiction counseling. You should continue to seek addiction counseling from a qualified therapist for at least a year after you leave our outpatient detox Delray Beach program – but preferably longer. Many former graduates of our outpatient detox Delray Beach program remain in counseling for years or even the rest of their lives.

If you want to live a drug-free life, our outpatient detox Delray Beach program can help. Call 888-699-5679 today to learn more.

Outpatient Drug Addiction Treatment in Delray Beach – The Safe, Affordable Choice

If you’re addicted to prescription painkillers, benzodiazepines or other sedatives, or prescription stimulants like Adderall, our outpatient addiction treatment Delray program can help. When you enter our outpatient addiction treatment Delray program, you can receive treatment for prescription drug addiction safely, at a fraction of the cost of an inpatient program.

Many people think that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs. When used properly, prescription drugs can be of great benefit to those who take them. But when abused, these drugs can be cripplingly addictive.

Why You Need Our Outpatient Addiction Treatment Delray Beach Program

If you’re struggling with prescription drug addiction, you might think that you can just quit taking the drugs cold turkey and treat yourself at home, without medical supervision. That’s really not a good idea. In the best case scenario, foregoing our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program in order to quit cold turkey and treat yourself at home will just lead you to buckle to your intense drug cravings and withdrawal pains and return to using – perhaps even more than before. In the worst case scenario, foregoing our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program in favor of a do-it-yourself home treatment could be fatal.

When you enter our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program, you’re entering a low-risk, low-cost program that’s ideally suited for today’s busy, working adult. Our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program allows us to extend the addiction treatment period to two or three weeks, instead of the standard five to ten days used in most inpatient addiction treatment facilities. With the more relaxed pace of our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program, your drug addiction treatment can be adjusted to meet your unique needs, no matter what your level of discomfort or what important events you might have to attend or duties you might have to take care of during the addiction treatment period.

Treatment for Opiate Addiction with Our Outpatient Addiction Treatment Delray Beach Program

Prescription painkillers like OxyContin, Hydrocodone and codeine are opiate drugs. They’re just as addictive as heroin. Our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program has helped countless patients who are struggling with addiction to prescription painkillers.

When you enter our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program for prescription painkiller addiction, you’ll receive treatment with Suboxone, an opiate maintenance drug that can be prescribed like any other drug. That means you’ll be able to take a supply of your medication home with you, so you won’t have to make time to return to our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach clinic to get a daily dose of your medication.

Benzodiazepine Addiction Treatment at Our Outpatient Addiction Treatment Delray Beach Program

Benzodiazepines, or prescription sedatives like Xanax, Valium or Klonopin, are also very addictive. If you’re struggling with addiction to benzodiazepines, it’s important that you seek professional treatment from our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program. Stopping benzodiazepines too quickly when you’ve formed a physical dependency can lead to serious complications and can prolong your withdrawal period. You need to taper off of benzodiazepines over a period of time, and you may need to switch to another type of benzo throughout your tapering down period. Our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program can help you safely taper your dose.

Recovering from Stimulant Drug Addiction at Our Outpatient Addiction Treatment Delray Program

Stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD. When you stop taking these drugs cold turkey, you could experience deep fatigue, depression and suicidal thoughts, feelings and actions. Intense withdrawal symptoms will most likely cause you to go back on the drugs.

Don’t take the risk of hurting yourself while in the grips of drug withdrawals. Our outpatient addiction treatment Delray program will help you safely taper off these drugs so that you can quit with minimal withdrawal symptoms.

If you’re struggling with prescription drug addiction, our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach program can help. Dr. Raul Rodriguez, founder of our outpatient addiction treatment Delray facilities, has more than ten years of experience working to help people just like you addiction treatment from drugs and break free from addiction. Our outpatient addiction treatment Delray Beach programs are among the most affordable and most effective in the country, and they’re located right here in sunny Delray Beach, the Recovery Capital of the World.

Call the Delray Center for Healing today at 888-699-5679 to get started.