Prescription drug addiction in New Jersey is out of control. According to the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, admissions in the under-25 demographic to New Jersey drug rehabs increased 9 times from 2005 to 2011. If you like percentages, that's a 900% increase in 6 years. The worst part is that most of the addictions don't begin at the street corner, they begin at home.
According to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, 70% of all painkillers abused come from the medicine cabinet at home. But when the "store" is out of stock, the addict goes to the next best place - the street. And that begins a vicious cycle, because while the drugs were free when they came from the medicine cabinet, they stop being free when the abuser hits the streets. And they are not cheap. Unless they have a source of funds at home, such as stealing from dad or mom, they have few options. They can rob a house; they can go to the doctor and steal prescriptions, then sell them;, they can go to jail, willing to risk it all for a simple high.
When the main emphasis is for the legal system to focus on criminalizing the behaviors rather than treating the addict, the public is led to believe they are helping clean up the streets, lower crime, and remove the offenders from the mainstream. But the truth is that there will be an increase in the probability of same offender returning from the system with more experience, greater skills, and no closer to recovery than when they popped their last pill.
In 2008, an estimated 15,000 individual lives were lost due to painkiller overdoses. In 2010, 69 tons of Oxycontin were dispensed and 42 tons of hydrocodone left the pharmacies in a legal manner as well the same year. That's like giving every man, woman and child in America 200 mg of Percocet and 120 mg of Vicodin.
The root of most painkiller distribution rests with doctors who write scripts for the drugs, and the pharmacies who are dispensing them. Without a tracking system tied to a tangible, unalterable identifier, "patients" can go from one doctor to another, and another, and another, complaining of different ailments, and then filling them. Often, they'll sell the drugs to raise money to buy the next round, while retaining many of the pills for themselves.
If you are visiting this page, chances are that you or a loved one is in need of help - we urge you to take the next step toward helping yourself or your loved one. Chat or call one of our counselors to discuss any questions you may have regarding prescription drug abuse, addiction and treatment. Together we can find a solution and discuss treatment options that will best suit your needs.
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