For years people seen their Dr and pain management Dr and it consisted of Prescriptions of opioids. Some took just as prescribed to assist with the severe pain from physical ailments. Some get their prescriptions and sold them. Lastly, there are the people who got their prescriptions, took them all and searched elsewhere to get and take more.
The new laws have made extreme cuts in patients quantity and leaves them to search for more. Some are going to Medication assisted Physicians getting Suboxone and Methadone while others find people that are selling them and acquiring them that way.
Cost effective and chasing the high has some addicts switching to heroin. On top of all that, Fentanyl is being added to these opioids and killing people at an alarming rate. Users sometimes do not know it is even in the drugs they buy. And if they do not OD, the addict begins to want more of that near death high,
Prescription Opioids just are not enough
Pain management is supposed to be a healthy choice for physical conditions that cause extreme pain. And it is a lifesaver for individuals that are not prone to the disease of addiction. For others, they develop a quick tolerance and then take more and more. The prescriptions start to run out way before next visit.
This causes addicts to start their search on the streets. They continue with getting the medication from the Dr and supplementing it with pills from others. This is old school pain management addiction. It has changed drastically in the last 5 years.
Switching from Opioids to Heroin:
There comes a time with a large percent of pain pill addicts that they really are searching for the next high and no matter how many pills they take, it does not get them high anymore. Another thing is the cost of pills are expensive and addicts get to where they can no longer afford them. Then they hear about Heroin.
Heroin is not a new drug at all but most addicts start with a prescription pain med before going to Heroin. The first time with Heroin gives the addict that high they have been looking for. But just like the pills, tolerance builds quickly again and more and more heroin has to be used. Meanwhile, all the areas in their life are probably suffering due to addiction.
The New Drug on the Street: Fentanyl
Above describes the graduating process from a prescription ordered for a physical condition to a full-blown heroin addiction. For the past few years a deadly combination is everywhere and is killing people daily. Prescription Fentanyl is 50-100 percent more potent than morphine. It is usually given for severe pain like cancer and end of life illnesses. There is also illicit Fentanyl made on the street and they are adding it to the heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and even pain pills. The user may or may not know it is in there. The illicit Fentanyl can be up to 10,000 times more potent than Morphine. This is one part of the increasing number of drug overdoses. There were approximately 70,237 overdoses in 2017 according to the CDC.
This is scary enough on paper, but when you are an addict, unfortunately it is all about continuing the drug or be sick. It is the cycle until/if the addict is ready to surrender and ask for help. This would definitely qualify for medical detox and inpatient treatment would be the best possible route to freedom from addiction.
The Fentanyl Crisis
Fentanyl is being mixed with heroin because it is cheaper that heroin and more potent. They can add it and make a much more profitable batch. Considering how potent the combination is causing over doses. Business is bottom line to dealers, not the user’s health.
This has become a crisis across the country. It is not just in the homeless arenas. It is killing doctors, nurses, and lawyers too. Some addicts start wanting and getting just the Fentanyl to get that really elevated high.
If you have noticed above, it is a cycle. Constantly looking for a way to get that “high” they were chasing since the first day. This will continue until the addict is ready to surrender and ask for help. We can’t do it, the police can’t do it. It has to be a decision or desperation to ask for help.
The war on drugs continues. As long as there is a desire for the drugs they continue. Unfortunately more people will be killed by this deadly combination before it gets better. Some addicts look back to the start of their injury or disease that started the need for pain medicine and ask “how did I get here.”
The physicians and health providers are getting more educated and with the new law of decreasing the quantity of medication that can be prescribed. An addiction prevention presence is stronger
it has addicts looking on the street more or getting into a medication assisted treatment program. MAT is medication with the rehab settings, like groups, to change the way they think and behave. It is one way to break this cycle and I am praying more people get to that point of “no more” “Something has to give,” and “I cannot do this anymore.” This is the start of freedom!!
All My Best,