The opioid crisis is ripping through the sinews of the United States, forcing the federal government and state authorities to undertake a number of steps and implement various laws. One of the laws, the states have implemented to fight against the epidemic and reduce the number of overdose deaths is offering an easy access to naloxone, an antidote that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose, sold under brand names such as Narcan. Read more
Doctors play an important role in our lives. By prescribing the right medicine for a medical condition, they fulfill their responsibility of ensuring health and safety of their patients. However, Johnny Clyde Benjamin, Jr., M.D. – an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Vero Beach, Florida – was recently charged with possession and distribution of controlled substance furanylfentanyl that allegedly caused the death of a young woman.
A Schedule II prescription drug prescribed only by a certified medical practitioner, furanylfentanyl causes the same effects on the central nervous system (CNS) as fentanyl. Many Chinese and other illegal laboratories have been manufacturing furanylfentanyl, which is the tweaked version of fentanyl. Since this highly addictive drug was not listed as a controlled substance until 2016, it is believed that Dr. Benjamin assumed he could play around with the law.
Moreover, with new analogs flooding the market, the laws pertaining to such drugs continue to remain unclear. The above-mentioned arrest is an eye-opening incident for everyone, especially in the wake of ongoing opioid crisis. Besides the above-mentioned drug, a number of life-threatening analogs of fentanyl have emerged in the United States. Therefore, the need of the hour is maintain strict vigilance over prescription drugs.
Prescription drugs are prone to misuse
Prescription drugs are a legal form of medications that are prescribed by medical experts to help an individual deal with a medical condition. Often considered safe, these drugs are being increasingly abused by individuals across the country. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 54 million Americans (more than 20 percent of those aged 12 and older) have used such medications for nonmedical reasons at least once in their lifetime.
An individual tends to abuse prescriptions drugs due to a range of reasons—including feeling good or getting high, relieving stress or tension, reducing appetite, improving alertness, participating in social circles or enhancing concentration. One of the major reasons behind the increased abuse of prescription drugs is their easy availability.
Lack of dissemination about addictive properties adding to the woes
While the over prescription of such medicines further adds to the woes of the easy availability of prescription drugs, misinformation about their addictive properties is another factor causing an increase in abuse. Some other reasons that increase the vulnerability to prescription drug abuse include the history of addiction to alcohol or some other drugs, genetics, parental drug abuse, any form of pre-existing mental health condition, peer pressure and lack of knowledge.
It is important to make sure that any addiction is diagnosed early to ensure the right treatment. An individual’s addiction to prescription drugs can be diagnosed by identifying the warning signals, such as drowsiness, constipation, agitation, confusion, slurred speech, insomnia, lack of concentration, anxiety, high blood pressure, inability to make right decisions, excessive mood swings, etc. The presence of these symptoms in any form is a clear indication that one is in need of help.
Treatment can help
Prescription drug abuse can lead to dangerous outcomes, such as increased use of illicit drugs, engagement in risky behavior, indulgence in criminal activities, overdose deaths, troubled relationships, etc. Therefore, it is important to seek help at the right time and attain recovery.
Some of the common treatment methods include therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), other behavioral treatments and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). However, one can begin his or her path to recovery only after undergoing a detox process that helps in expunging stored toxins in the body. After successfully completing the first step of addiction treatment, one stands fit for other equally challenging steps.
In case there’s someone you know who is addicted to prescription and illicit drugs and is looking for help from a detox center in Florida, the Florida Detox Helpline can help. Call at our 24/7 helpline 855-920-9869 or chat online with one of our representatives to know about the best Florida detox centers in your vicinity.
Traditionally, Americans enjoyed a good life expectancy. A multitude of factors such as the economic boom post World War II, technological advancement and sufficient access to health care services were responsible for this. Recently, it has come to limelight that for the first time since 1993, life expectancy has decreased.
A research undertaken by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Imperial College London—and published in the medical journal Lancet—predicts that in the years to come, the United States will lag behind other developed high-income countries such as Canada and South Korea in terms of the average life of an individual. The grim forecast says that by 2030, life expectancy of America will be similar to that of Mexico, while South Korea and Canada will have increased expectancy rates. Estimated average age of women will be 83.3 years and for men 79.5 years. Read more
Opioids are usually safe when prescribed by doctors to relieve chronic pain caused by injuries, surgeries, dental procedures or even cancer. Although not harmful when used appropriately, opioids can lead to addiction when misused. For many people battling with an opioid addiction, naltrexone can be the best option to reduce cravings. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medication works by blocking the sedative and euphoric effects of drugs like heroin, morphine and codeine or other such prescription medications. Extended-release injectable naltrexone has gained popularity for an effective treatment of people with opioid addiction. Read more
Opioid overdose deaths are on the rise in the United States. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 63 percent of the people, who died due to drug overdose in 2015, succumbed to prescription or illicit opioid abuse. The data suggests that the increase in rate of deaths due to prescription drug abuse is majorly driven by illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl. Notably, the number of deaths due to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl increased by 72.2 percent. Read more
Opioids are the class of drugs that act on opioid receptors in the central nervous system to relieve pain. People using these drugs are prone to get addicted or dependent on them. The abuse of, and addiction to, opioids is a serious, fast-growing and devastating global problem that affects the health, social and economic welfare of the people as well as the nation. Read more
The extent of opioid addiction epidemic in the United States is evident as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), report which observes that “More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.” Meanwhile, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) stated that an estimated 52 million Americans have abused a prescription drug at some point in their life. Read more
Opioid addiction is a major health concern in the United States. It is not sparing any gender or age-group, be it men, women, youngsters or senior citizens. The number in cases of opioid overdose in America has seen a tremendous rise over the last few years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 165,000 Americans died due to opioid overdose during 1999-2014. Read more
Expectant mothers suffering from opioid addiction are more vulnerable to pre- and post-natal complications. Sadly, babies born to opiate-dependent women are at a higher risk of experiencing premature death. A recent study at the University of Tennessee (UT) Medical Center recommended opiate-dependent pregnant women to undergo detoxification, which can significantly improve pregnancy outcomes without putting the fetus at risk. Read more
Florida Detox Helpline
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- Distribution of furanylfentanyl by Florida-based orthopedic surgeon stirs debate on prescription drugs