Prescription Painkiller Addiction Epidemic –
Linked to Two Key Changes in Pain Management
- Availability for general practitioner MD’s to prescribe a powerful opioid drug, OxyContin
- Aggressive marketing by Purdue, citing Purdue studies that OxyContin is non-addictive and totally safe for long term treatment of chronic pain
| Opium products obtained from poppy plants have been used and abused for thousands of years. However it is only in since Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner first isolated the compound that he would name morphine from the opium poppy in 1804 that we would begin using synthetic and semi synthetic opioid compounds in medicine. These compounds would later include codeine, oxycodone, heroin, and many others. Some of these are considerably stronger than morphine. That is the origin of the opioid abuse epidemic we are facing to today.
Abuse of Prescription Opiates Today
Today, there is widespread abuse of prescription opiates that are structurally similar to heroin.
In 1996, the first time-release painkiller Oxycontin hit the market.
Oxycontin is at the center of the rising numbers of Americans seeking treatment for prescription opiate addiction and dependence.
When Following Doctor’s Orders Can Cause Opioid Addiction
In 2016, everyone in the medical industry is aware that Oxycontin is very addictive. But when introduced in 1996, Oxycontin was approved for prescribing by general MD’s. Further, Oxycontin was approved to be prescribed with no restrictions by family doctors who had no experience or training in pain medicine. Doctors were assured that the drug was totally safe for long term treatment of chronic pain and was not addictive.
With the consent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Purdue Pharma promoted Oxycontin as providing pain relief for 12 hours. And claimed the drug was non-addictive when taken as directed.
Now, independent studies have now established that in many cases the drug did not work for a full 12 hours. Oxycontin had to be taken at more frequent intervals for patients to experience full pain relief.
OxyContin- A Marketing Success Story
OxyContin became America’s bestselling painkiller. During the past two decades, OxyContin earned its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, more than $31 billion. But while it was making the company and its owners (the Sackler family) very, very rich, the drug was also becoming one of the most abused prescription drugs in U.S. history.
OxyContin’s success in sales masked a fundamental problem: it does not last for 12 hours in most patients. The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when the dosage wears off, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.
This offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.
Oxycontin also lacked any sort of abuse safeguards
Patients and addicts discovered almost immediately that the pills could be chewed; and the time release coating could be dissolved. Then, the pills could be snorted or injected.
Purdue is the company that created Oxycontin and aggressively marketed it. Purdue maintained their claims that Oxycontin actually had a lower abuse potential than other medicines – because a patient would not need to take as many pills in a day. Article By Theodore Cicero And Matthew Ellis For The Conversation.
By 2012, OxyContin represented 30 per cent of the painkiller market. The change in pain treatment ushered in by the Joint Commission report led to an increase in the number of opioid prescriptions in the US. And the increase in prescriptions for this particular high dose opioid helped to introduce an unprecedented amount of prescription drugs into the marketplace, generating a whole new population of opioid users.
Opioid Painkiller Addiction Treatment:
Addiction Recovery and Chronic Pain Management
At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, we treat opioid addiction in men over 30 on two fronts: addiction and chronic pain.
A key member of the Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Staff is Dr. Rob Ashby, M.D., Medical Director, Pain Medicine and Addictionologist is our physician. Dr. Ashby is board certified in pain and addiction medicine.
In addition to allopathic medicine, Dr. Ashby has training in alternative medicine from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. He is available to Arrowhead Lodge Recovery clients for physical medicine, pain medicine and addiction medicine.
We treat the whole person: we help our clients discover the underlying psychological issues that affect how they feel and how they view themselves and the world around them. This includes trauma and grief work, family of origin matters, anger and stress management, mindfulness and meditation, diet and exercise and getting back in touch with nature.
Suboxone In-Patient Treatment Available for Opiate Withdrawal
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery has an Inpatient Suboxone Treatment Program. We provide suboxone treatment as a medically supervised and assisted inpatient treatment program for heroin or opiate detox. Suboxone treatment usually lasts 30 days or less.
We have found that Suboxone (buprenorphine) is an effective inpatient treatment protocol for opioid dependence. Suboxone treatment not only eases withdrawal symptoms. When combined with a comprehensive and holistic addiction recovery program – suboxone therapy can increase the chances staying sober without relapse.
At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, we treat addiction, as well as any underlying chronic pain. We also work with workers compensation companies for those whose injury was work related.
Inpatient Suboxone Treatment Program – Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual
Most people cannot just walk away from opioid addiction. They need expert assistance to change their thinking, behavior, and environment. Unfortunately, “quitting cold turkey” has a poor success rate: fewer than 25 percent of patients are able to remain abstinent for a full year.
This is where medication-assisted treatment options like Suboxone benefits patients in staying sober. It also greatly reduces the side effects of withdrawal and curbs cravings which can lead to relapse.
Our Prescription Opioid Painkillers Addiction Program gradually reduces and removes opioid painkiller dependency; and provides physical assessment, therapy and the exercise needed to rebuild a healthier body. The Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Opioid Addiction Program reduces pain, and provides the counseling and assistance to rekindle and regain personal power and purpose.
Client Centered Addiction Treatment and Recovery
At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, clients receive individual therapy, group therapy and psychoeducational sessions to help them achieve their treatment goals. Some of our psychoeducational groups include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Relapse prevention
- Mindfulness Training for stress reduction and relapse prevention
- Outdoor Exercise Experiential Therapy
- 12-Step Coaching
- Meditation Training
- Spiritual Awareness
- Family Systems – Family Recovery Program
- Nutrition and Wellness in sobriety
Our client centered treatment focus is designed to provide the best in treatment experience so that our clients may achieve their treatment and life goals in sobriety.
At our mountain retreat facility, men can also find and strengthen their unique and authentic personal spiritual connection. We strongly believe in equipping our clients with the depth and stability to handle all the curves and disappointments – as well as joys – in their regular lives once they leave Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.
We Help Men to Survive and Thrive in Daily Life, Once They Leave Our Facility
We give men the tools to survive and thrive in daily life once they leave Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.
As a result, our clients report happier and healthier lives after they leave our facility; with fewer relapses.
Questions? Having Difficulty Managing Chronic Pain with Prescription Painkillers or Opioids?
For a confidential conversation to discuss your situation and learn more about the Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Opioid Addiction program, please call 888-654-3500.
“I was on pain pills due to an accident, for years.
Now I am able to work again without opioids. You guys (Arrowhead Lodge) gave me my life back!”
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