Prescription drug addiction is happening all over America. However, in the Appalachian region of the United States it has gotten much worse in recent years. Not only has this dependency on opioid drugs increased, it has changed quite a bit and we deal with it daily at our facility for drug treatment in Asheville NC.
Instead of just using prescription opioids, residents are turning to heroin and quickly becoming addicted. If your son or daughter is struggling with addiction issues, be sure to call Legacy Freedom. Our affordable options for outpatient drug treatment in Asheville NC mean they'll never miss a class, and can be home for the holidays. Call today to learn more.
The Appalachian Opiate Problem Is Real!
In West Virginia alone, there were more than 65 heroin overdoses in 2012. In 2001, there were only nine deaths related to heroin. Kentucky reported that heroin overdoses were up to 129 in 2012.
Created from the poppy plant, heroin is an opioid that is synthesized from morphine. Depending on the user's preference, it can be found in powder form or clear liquid. It can also be used in a black tar form. Users either snort it or inject it into their veins. Because this drug is extremely addictive, more than 20% of those who use it once become instantly addicted.
You might be wondering why Appalachia is one of the worst areas in the United States for opioid drug abuse. The area is poverty stricken and primarily remote, and these factors contribute to the problem. Life expectancy, disability, unemployment and household income are also among the worst in the country.
All of these factors are considered when trying to understand why Appalachia's obsession with drugs is so high. People deal with chronic pain, mental illness, depression and other issues on a daily basis. But, when you're also faced with geographic isolation, poverty and other poor conditions, turning to prescription painkillers helps many "get through the day."
However, the pain relief and euphoria feeling that comes with using the drugs only takes the troubles away for a short while. Then, users are faced with trying to keep up with their ever-growing tolerance towards the opioids. That is when they turn to heroin. It's much cheaper than prescription opioids, works more quickly and is considered an easy substitute. This is another reason the problem with heroin is growing in this area. Because heroine is less expensive and easier to get, Appalachian residents are becoming more addicted to it.
Our government suspects that most of the heroin is coming from Mexico and traveling into cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Then they are filtered into Appalachia. Drug dealers are finding that they can sell heroin in this area for more money than they can in Chicago. Because the need is so very large they exploit the area.
This drug problem is overtaking most of the Appalachian area, including parts of NC. Heroin is a serious problem in Asheville NC as well. It's something that many do not seek treatment for. Overdose deaths involving heroin in America between 2011 and 2013 were at 8,200. In 2014, North Carolina had more than 1,000 visits to the ER for heroin related overdoses. More than 2,000 visits were due to opioid related overdoses. The numbers are significantly higher than those in 2013.
Addiction to prescription opioid drugs can start easily and innocently. It could occur after a bad car wreck, surgery or even a minor athletic injury. Then, as the pain continues, patients tend to want to take more and more drugs to ease the pain. Unfortunately, a tolerance begins to build up after a short while. The amount prescribed by the doctor is no longer useful and they can't prescribe more.
Heroin used to be a drug that many considered a street drug. It was for serious drug addicts that had nothing else to live for. However, in the last 20 years it has become a drug that is now used by college students and business professionals. It's no longer only on the streets. The substance abuse and mental health services administration thinks that the rise of heroin usage is a direct effect from prescription drug abuse. It's important to understand that not all opioid users turn to heroin, but it is possible. That's why working with a doctor and using only what is prescribed is key. Turn to other holistic options for chronic pain and illness to help with symptoms versus taking more pain medicine.
Here, in and around Asheville NC, and western North Carolina unintentional heroin overdose deaths in 2012, 2013 and 2014 were the highest they've been, historically. State totals are 147 in 2012, 179 in 2013, and 246 in 2014. Please do whatever it takes to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of prescription drug use and how it can quickly turn into a heroin addiction without one even realizing what is happening. Help is out there. Turn to those you know and love as well as a drug rehab facility like Legacy Freedom.
Do you, or someone you love, have a problem with heroin or another opioid drug? If so, you are not alone. Many people in the US are battling an addiction to these dangerous drugs. Unfortunately, more than 40 people die each day from a prescription opioid overdose. The CDC is working toward new guidelines that will help physicians and caregivers better understand when opioids are needed and how long they should be taken as well as in what dosage. Healthcare workers in the area should also be able to help patients find the proper drug rehab options to suit their needs.
Affordable Alcohol and Drug Treatment in Asheville NC Begins at Legacy Freedom
Legacy Freedom of Asheville NC isn’t like any other type of drug treatment your teen will experience. We offer the following to those struggling with drug or alcohol use so that they can learn what life without drugs and alcohol will be like:
- adventure therapy
- comprehensive onboarding and evaluation
- drug testing
- dual diagnosis
- family therapy
- group therapy
- individual counseling focused on the individual’s needs
- life skills
- parental support and assistance
Contact Legacy Freedom to learn about how our alcohol and drug treatment in Asheville NC is tailored to fit the needs of your teen so that they're able to learn how to rejoin life, drug-free.