Addiction is a treatable chronic disease.
It Affects Millions. I Am Not Alone.
It is important to remind yourself: I am not alone. Millions of others have this chronic disease of addiction, too. Find a substance abuse support group in your area or read an inspiring story of courage.
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you're not going to stay where you are.
Substance abuse and substance use disorder is a big problem with the current opioid crisis in the country today but like any other chronic disease it is treatable and can be managed.
How big is the problem of substance use disorder? 190 people die each day from drug abuse overdoses that include prescription painkillers and other drugs like cocaine and meth. That amounts to over 70,000 drug overdose deaths a year. Over 47,000 of these were due to opioid analgesics, both prescription painkillers and illicitly obtained fentanyl and heroin. Fentanyl and synthetic opioids are the main drugs contributing to 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths which now average 130 each day.
What about deaths from other substance abuse namely alcohol and tobacco consumption? 88,000 people are estimated to die from alcohol-related causes each year and cigarette smoking is the cause of more than 480,000 deaths per year.
While close to 2 million are affected by opioid use disorder, over 14 million are diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.
How can be bring down these death counts? The good news amidst the challenge of the current opioid epidemic is that there are solutions and recovery and prevention are possible.
What are the solutions to figuring out opioid and other substance use disorders?
Learn about pain management. Chronic pain patients are currently getting hit by state laws limiting the prescribing of opioid analgesics. What are alternative pain management options? How can you get the pain relief that you need.
We provide quick references on the common opioid medications currently prescribed such as tramadol, hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine. Learn about side effects and other information such as withdrawal symptoms that patients could experience if they abruptly stopped taking an opioid medication.
Learn about how Naloxone saves lives from opioid overdose. Learn about this overdose reversal antidote, about Narcan the intranasal spray version and the other product forms, where to find them over-the-counter at retail pharmacies and how to use them in an emergency.
Learn about prevention. About talking to teens and young adults, the most vulnerable groups to substance abuse about how using drugs, alcohol and tobacco early on can change the way the brain develops and makes a person vulnerable to addiction. Even for something as innocent as taking prescription opioids for wisdom teeth extraction or after surgery due to a sports injury. Learn the startling numbers of teens who start to drink, smoke and take drugs every day despite the opioid crisis going on. Learn the risk factors to developing the chronic disease of substance addiction and the different between dependence and addiction.
Learn about evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder. The FDA has currently approved methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone for opioid addiction treatment. Search for a SAMHSA-certified treatment program or office-based buprenorphine prescriber near you who can provide proven medication-assisted treatment that includes behavioral therapy with various counseling options and social support.
Substance use disorders commonly occur with mental health disorders and hence it is important to get help not just for the physical dependence but also to ensure mental health is monitored and taken care of as well.
Learn about certified programs and providers. Stay clear of quack rehab centers. Learn about outpatient treatment and the importance of counseling and support. Individual therapy and group therapy is offered at certified opioid treatment programs. Make sure you don’t get caught to a third-party referral scheme to find a drug rehab center.
Let's all join with peers and share our challenges, successes, and what worked, and what didn't. Do you have a great local or online support group to recommend? Please share it here to help others:
While you may be the only person who, in the end, can defeat your substance addiction, it’s important to remember that you are not battling it on your own. You have help, and you have the strength and experiences of others who have succeeded to rely on.
Create one-page summary sheets with basic information that can be easily provided upon request in an emergency or just be a handy reference. Basic information includes name, SSN, insurance info, primary care doctor and other doctors seen, medications, and known allergies. Click on these links to print and use these templates.
IANA Health Latest Updates
#1 Bing adopts LegitScript’s addiction treatment ad standards used by Google and Facebook This week Bing announced that the search engine would adopt the LegitScript certification program of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers for allowing paid advertisements. Google adopted this system in April of last year followed by Facebook …Read More
#1 Opioid deaths projected to reach 700,000 by 2025 in JAMA study A study titled “Prevention of Prescription Opioid Misuse and Projected Overdose Deaths in the United States” published on February 1, 2019 in JAMA Network presents a continued stark picture on the opioid crisis. The study set out to …Read More
We learned that in 2017, 192 people died each day on average from drug overdoses in the US including 130 from opioid overdoses. This was from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released the finalized data for 2017 drug overdose deaths on November 28, 2018. It struck us recently …Read More
#1 Serious birth defect associated with Rx opioid use A CDC report on January 18, 2019 notes the increased number of babies being born with gastroschisis in recent years, a serious birth defect of the abdominal wall that results in some of the abdominal contents like the intestines extending outside …Read More
On January 4, 2019, the CDC published its report titled “Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017.” Here are the key takeaways. #1 Prescription opioid deaths stabilized from 2016 to 2017. Drug overdose deaths have steadily risen across the past five years from 44,000 to over 70,000 in …Read More
2018 saw the opioid epidemic in the US making weekly if not daily headlines. There was increased awareness and discussion of the issue. With acceptance that addiction is a disease as opposed to a personal failure, the stigma surrounding this issue continued to be removed. Treatment and prevention initiatives …Read More