Sober Living News: The DEA Reclassifies Hydrocodone

Sober Living News: The DEA Reclassifies Hydrocodone | Transcend Recovery Community

Hydrocodone is an opiate and one of those painkillers that millions of Americans are addicted to. Read the news, especially reports having to do with New England, and you’ll hear addiction stories of those caught in the nation’s heroin epidemic.

Hydrocodone is not heroin necessarily. However, because it’s often prescribed to relieve pain and frequently a drug that is abused, many who are addicted to painkillers will eventually make their way to using heroin. Both pain medication and heroin are both opiates and can produce the same high. However, heroin is becoming less and less expensive, allowing for an easy switch to heroin from painkillers. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of heroin users almost doubled. In 2007, for example, 337 thousand people were addicted to heroin in America and in 2012 that number jumped up to 669 thousand.

In fact, there are thousands of people needing sober living treatment in America who simply aren’t getting it. Even though many lives could be saved by residing at inpatient treatment centers and later at halfway houses, those who are addicted to opiates often don’t see a problem until it’s too late. In America, nearly 24 million people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Yet only one in ten will get treatment.

To help curb the problem, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) ruled that it would reclassify all medical products containing the hydrocodone to Schedule II, which is a more restrictive class for more dangerous medication.  Their intention is to allow a smaller amount of hydrocodone into the market, restricting it so that less people can get their hands on it.

However, the truth is, that anyone addicted enough to need sober living treatment can search in the medicine cabinets of friends and family members and find some. Hydrocodone is frequently prescribed and often in high doses. It’s important to note, however, that when opioids are taken according to the way they have been prescribed, they’re considered to be safe. They will relieve pain and rarely cause an addiction. Yet, when these drugs are not taken according to direction, when they are abused, that’s when an individual can become vulnerable to addiction. And for this reason, the ruling is meant to keep hydrocodone medication away from those who aren’t meant to be using it.

Sadly, addictions to opioids are easy to develop, especially with regular use of tobacco, alcohol, and/or marijuana. It’s common for painkillers to become a door to the use of other drugs, which speaks to the general drug problem in America. With so many teens and adults needing treatment and sober living, there’s a clear problem in our country which invites a deep look at the cause of this widespread social problem.

Although the recent DEA’s ruling is meant to help solve this problem, there are 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain who might be affected by the more restricted classification of hydrocodone. For instance, the reclassification will make this drug harder to get for those who actually experience pain and who need a way to get relief. When the ruling goes into effect in October, pain medications with hydrocodone will only be prescribed for a 90 day period and patients will have to be seen by a doctor to get a new prescription. Furthermore, refills will not be able to be called into the pharmacy.

There’s no question that there is a drug concern in America, and the fact that the majority of those who need sober living treatment aren’t seeking it also points to a social issue. Perhaps the DEA ruling will help. Meanwhile, friends and family members will have to find their own solutions to keep their loved ones safe.

 

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Sober Living News: Ohio Finds a Local Solution to the Heroin Epidemic

Sober Living News: Ohio Finds a Local Solution to the Heroin Epidemic | Transcend Recovery Community

Butler County, Ohio has been faced with a severe heroin epidemic. Like many parts of the rest of the country, they have been struggling with finding the right treatment for hundreds of their residents addicted to heroin.

However, the Butler County commissioners had an insight recently revealing the idea of using their old Resolutions jail for a heroin addiction sober living facility. In June of this year, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Governor John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine convened in a state-wide summit to address the state’s problem with heroin abuse. The size of the problem was indicated by the fact that 83 out of 88 Ohio counties sent representatives, totaling 900 attendees to the conference.

Out of the summit was the decision to create a sober living home for addicts. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said about the sober living home, “it could be a regional solution to the horrific plague that has permeated the entire state.”

Other programs in the state include the opportunity for relatives to force their loved ones into sober living treatment. Prosecutor Mike Gmoser of Ohio has been talking with heroin addicts during their sober living treatment and found information that could help children and adolescents away from the drug. Essentially, the entire state, from officials to residents are attempting to find a solution to the problem.

It’s important to know that heroin is a dangerous drug. It’s so addictive that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you’re likely going to get hooked.  Anyone from any socioeconomic group can become addicted to heroin within a short period of time. Plus, the drug essentially rewires the brain suppressing all instincts and slowing down the nervous system. The drug can be hard to break, as many news reports, articles, and television programs  are revealing. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of heroin users almost doubled. In 2007, for example, 337 thousand people were addicted to heroin in America and in 2012 that number jumped up to 669 thousand.

In Ohio, throughout the east coast, and on the streets of Philadelphia, men and women are using heroin. Part of the problem is that there has been a flood of the drug at very low prices, making it very accessible to wide groups of people. In the 60’s and 70’s, for example, you could buy a “dime bag,” costing $10. Now, you can buy a “dime bag” for $6. The difference in price, although not much, is the difference that has partly caused the epidemic and required thousands of people needing sober living treatment.

One television program told Paul’s story, a social worker who was once a college student trying to score heroin on the Philadelphia streets. Now, he’s searching for heroin users so that he can save their lives. He’s helping others just like him get sober help with treatment and then into a halfway house.

When asked the question, What could someone have done to get you into recovery?, Paul admits, ” At that point there was nothing anyone could do. I wanted to use. I was 19. I wanted to get high. That’s what I wanted to do.”

His answer highlights the dilemma with addiction. Most people just don’t want to stop. The high they’re experiencing feels great. They feel good – for once! – and they don’t have to face the uncomfortable feelings they may be carrying inside. They don’t have to face the challenging demands of life. Heroin is an escape.

Yet, ultimately, the best sober living treatment is facing life as it is, in all its challenges. Although it might be a long road for an individual to eventually get there, there’s no question that men and women – in Ohio and elsewhere – are doing what they can to facilitate healing the epidemic.

 

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Halfway House Help to Ease America’s Heroin Epidemic

America's Heroin Epidemic on the Rise | Transcend Recovery Community

There is a heroin epidemic underway in America. In the Northeast, in the Midwest, and on the Pacific Coast, heroin addicts are struggling with addiction and attempting to find a sober life.

In the New England area, for example, needles are becoming just as popular as the lighthouses across the Northeast coast. In a small town in Vermont, addicts meet in a local Walmart parking lot to buy a “ticket,” the slang term used for a baggie of heroin worth $20. Sadly, in Vermont, heroin overdoses have doubled in the year 2013. In the same way, newspapers of New York’s Staten Island are filling with obituaries of early deaths – those dying of heroin overdoses and who lost their lives to the drug because of its highly addictive quality.

According to the New York Times, in 2012 alone, 36 people died from heroin overdoses on Staten Island, which is higher than New York’s other four boroughs and the highest number in a decade. The statistics continue to be staggering: from January through April 13, 2014, approximately 1,700 glassine bags of heroin were seized which is 500 more than what was collected in these same four months in 2013. Overall, the amount of heroin seized has jumped to over 300% between 2011 and 2013.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that creates a fast spiral downward. Mental, emotional, psychological and even physical abilities are impaired. It is a narcotic that can leave a user with red or raw nostrils and needle marks or scars on their arms. Obviously, the drug can lead to overdosing and the loss of life.

Yet, for those who are lucky enough to enter treatment, the rest of their lives may be theirs to keep. Perhaps they will find their way to sober living long term. Perhaps they will turn their lives around. The only way to do this is to make the decision to acquire sober help and get clean. The only way to save their life is to commit to their sobriety.

This begins with medical and psychological treatment of the addiction, including working with a physical doctor to address the physiological effects of withdrawal, a psychologist to address the underlying emotional needs, and lastly with a drug counselor to learn the fundamentals of addiction and how to stay sober. An important part to rehabilitative treatment is addressing an addict’s ambivalence to change. An essential part of treatment is eliciting one’s intrinsic desire to change. Anyone using heroin is going to have strong ambivalence about ending an addiction, especially if they enjoyed their drug use. If using heroin brought relief from emotional pain, a dramatic increase in energy, and a euphoric feeling for life, reasons to continue to use might still be there, despite the growing severity in consequences.

Also, if underlying emotional issues, medical concerns, or any mental illnesses still exist, then the desire to use drugs will almost undoubtedly continue. An addict might say that he or she wants to change, but depression, anxiety, and other fundamental reasons might promote continued use. Thus, there often lies an enormous amount of ambivalence.

The examination and resolution of this ambivalence needs to be the focus of treatment. It’s important to know that ambivalence doesn’t end when treatment ends. In fact, it might increase. Once an individual leaves 24-hour care and they feel the freedom of their discharge, a part of them might yearn for using again. A part of them may want to return to old friends, old ways, and the euphoria of a heroin high.

For this reason, a halfway house is a pivotal place for recovery addicts to get the sober help they need and to continue to face their ambivalence head on. A half way house is a place to for a recovering addict to start reintegrating into society with sobriety in their hearts. In fact, a halfway house is where anyone wishing to find freedom from the heroin epidemic can safely return to his or her life. It’s where a recovering addict can ease their way back home by integrating society with sobriety.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

America’s Heroin Epidemic on the Rise

America's Heroin Epidemic on the Rise | Transcend Recovery Community

Living sober in America today can be hard to do. Sobriety isn’t just staying away from alcohol; it’s keeping your distance from any drugs that stimulate the addiction cycle in your brain. And you could argue that sober living includes cleansing yourself of the thought patterns that lead to drinking or drug use in the first place. One of the reasons why it’s hard to stay sober today is because of the news about drug use everywhere. Particularly in recent months, news articles and television programs are highlighting heroin, which is becoming one of the most abused drugs in America. Continue reading “America’s Heroin Epidemic on the Rise”