Tag Archives: Facts And Stats

Drug Overdose Crisis Growing in Colorado

The drug overdose crisis is one of the biggest threats the United States faces, and the state of Colorado is no exception to this devastating trend. In 2016, more than 900 people died of drug overdoses in Colorado, which is 300 people more than the number of deaths in auto accidents in the state that year.

Preliminary statistics indicate the 2017 overdose death total will increase in Colorado as well. Experts say pharmaceutical opioids are the cause of about two-thirds of overdose deaths. These include oxycodone, morphine, codeine and Percocet. The remaining third of overdose deaths are from heroin. 

While the Denver and Colorado Springs areas saw more than 100 deaths each due to heroin and opioid overdoses, some of the least-populated areas in the state also endured a disheartening number of overdose-related deaths. These are some of the key findings in the Colorado Health Institute’s recent report, “Death by Drugs: Colorado at Record High.”

Opioid Deaths Rising in Colorado 

Heroin- and opioid-related deaths rose at a rapid pace during the last few years. The Colorado Department of Public Health reported that deaths caused by heroin in Denver have shot up a whopping 933 percent since 2002. The figures also indicate a 759 percent increase in heroin-related deaths from 2001 to 2016 in Colorado overall. Further findings indicate other opioid related-deaths went up 128 percent during the last 15 years.

The 912 deaths in 2016 indicate 16.1 heroin- and opioid-related overdose deaths per 100,000 residents of Colorado. This is an 83 percent increase from the 2001 rate.

Colorado Fatal Drug Overdoses by County

For 2016, the 16.1 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents rate is only slightly higher than the state rate in 2014 and 2015, and it is admittedly lower than the national average of 19.8 drug fatalities per 100,000 residents that year.

Still, these numbers offer little comfort when considering the rate of fatalities within Colorado by county. In fact, when taking a closer look at the death rate resulting from drug overdoses by county, the underlying increase in state overdose fatalities becomes even more apparent.

In El Paso County, 141 people died in 2016 because of drug overdoses, while Denver County saw a similar number (138 overdose-induced deaths). While the numbers are lower in other Colorado counties, this is only because the total number of residents is smaller when compared to more-populated regions.

The fatality rates in smaller counties are remarkably higher than those in populated places when measured per resident. For example, in Huerfano County, there were only six reported deaths because of drug overdoses in 2016, but since the population is 6,700. That means the death rate for this county is an unsettling 152.6 per 100,000 residents.

Below, we have formed two brief lists to provide a glimpse into the extent of the issue within each county and the state of Colorado as a whole. The lists feature the four Colorado counties with the largest numbers of fatal drug overdoses and the four with the highest death rates for 2016.

Colorado Counties with the Largest Numbers of Overdose Deaths in 2016 

  1. El Paso County experienced 141 overdose deaths. With a population of 690,207 residents, the county’s overdose fatality rate for the year was 20.4.
  2. Denver County saw 138 deaths because of drug overdoses. Maintaining a population of 693,292, the county’s death rate was 19.2.
  3. Adams County sustained a total number of 92 deaths. With a population of 497,673 residents, the overdose death rate was 18.6.
  4. Jefferson County‘s population of 571,711 saw 91 overdose fatalities, marking a death rate of 16.4.

Colorado Counties with the Highest Overdose Death Rates in 2016 

  1. Huerfano County had 6,642 residents and saw six drug fatalities, but the death rate per resident was 152.6.
  2. With a populace of 6,497, Rio Blanco County had three deaths and saw a death rate of 52.2.
  3. Las Animas County had a population of 14,082 and saw eight deaths, indicating a death rate of 50.9.
  4. Montezuma County experienced 10 deaths among its population of 26,906. This makes its death rate 42.8.

Consequences of Addiction

As the statistics show, opioid and heroin are far more common than most people think. Not only has opioid use risen in the past decade, but accidental overdoses on prescription opioid painkillers have more than doubled since 1999.

Overdose fatalities and addiction cases are destroying the lives of individuals and families across Colorado and the United States. As the problem worsens, more people are seeking professional drug help in Colorado.

With a concentration on expanding awareness and creating innovative treatment options, Colorado addiction treatment centers and Colorado heroin rehabs continue to demonstrate their commitment to making the state a safer and healthier place. 

Finding Colorado Heroin Rehab Here or Out of State

To treat an addiction to heroin or opioids, it is imperative to address both the physical and emotional health of each individual. If the addiction started due to a prescription that was supposed to address symptoms of physical pain, it is crucial to help individuals find a way to deal with the pain without using these substances.

People struggling with addiction also must address any mental and emotional issues they have tried to bury with substance abuse. In many cases, individuals with physiological issues attempt to use drugs as a form of self-medication. Even if an individual does not have any psychological disorders, he or she  needs to find a way to change behaviors to live a fulfilling, healthy life.

Reflections Recovery Center is located in the neighboring state of Arizona and can help fill the void that Colorado treatment centers leave. With a reputation for helping individuals rebuild their lives and mend their relationships, Reflections is an attractive choice for a number of families who are seeking Colorado heroin addiction help.

Learn About Our Prescott, AZ Location

Addiction and Suicide Rates Soaring in Arizona Cities

Drug addiction and mental health problems go hand in hand like the circle of love and marriage. We use drugs to numb pain, physical or emotional, real or imagined, and because we have mental health problems. And we sometimes have mental health problems because we use too many drugs.

Arizona has had a growing problem of both drug addiction and mental health crises. Phoenix and her suburbs have been particularly hard hit, especially Gilbert, AZ, which has been the center of opioid and heroin addiction in the state for more than 10 years.

Arizona’s Growing Mental Health Crisis 

Depression is a serious mental health problem. It can be fatal.

In 2015, suicide took more than 44,000 lives in America, making self-murder a significant health issue that affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities. In Arizona, suicide is such a severe issue it is ranked as the eighth-leading cause of death, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

According to statistics taken from CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services reports, the numbers around this deadly condition in Arizona are shocking:

  • Arizona had 10 child suicides (ages 14 and under) in 2015.
  • Arizona had 60 teen suicides (ages 15 to 19) in 2015.
  • The state had 1,276 suicides overall in 2015.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for those aged 10 to 14.
  • Taking one’s own life is the second-leading cause of death for Arizonans aged 15 to 34.
  • There are 2.5 times more deaths from suicide annually than homicide.
  • For each successful suicide attempt, there are 25 failed attempts — with many leading to hospitalization.
  • More women than men have suicidal thoughts and attempts.
  • More men than women are likely to die by suicide.

Arizona Suicide Rates Have Tripled

From 2001 to 2011, the suicide rates in Arizona have soared.

Of note is the suburb of Gilbert, near Phoenix. According to the Health Status Report for Cities and Towns in Maricopa County, the suicide rate increased threefold during the decade. In 2011, there were 31 suicides; in 2000, there were only 7, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The ratios per capita have increased as well.

The Gilbert Police Department has said it receives an average of four suicide threats or attempts each week, and one suicide completion per week. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center reports the number of mental health consultations rising over the past several years, some of which are related to suicide attempts.

Youth Suicides in Arizona

Last summer, a cluster of teen suicides rocked the community of Gilbert. Six teenagers hanged themselves, and a seventh fell victim to suicide by shooting oneself. Tragically, these young people, unknown to each other, lived less than 12 miles apart from each other. All committed suicide within a six-week period.

Subsequently, Gilbert Public Schools underwent Suicide Alertness Training to help educators recognize students who need help and to connect them with the appropriate resources.

Teen suicide prevention includes:

  • Improved communication between parents and teens.
  • Keeping a close watch on teens’ cellphones.
  • When depression is present, asking outright whether the student plans to kill himself/herself.
  • Monitoring social media.
  • Removing guns, belts and other potential means of self-destruction from the home.
  • Watching for drug or alcohol use.
  • Watching for teens talking about dying or death.
  • Being wary of teens becoming impulsive or taking unnecessary risks.

However, it’s not just the youth in Gilbert that are dying from suicide; it affects people of all ages. Friends and family may think their loved one is just depressed, but depression can become such a severe mental health crisis that suicide seems like a rational solution at the time.

Suicide Risk Factors

People at risk for suicidal behavior fall into all age groups. Some common risk factors are:

  • Having a mental health disorder
  • Having a substance use disorder
  • Stressful life events
  • Prolonged stress factors
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide

According to America’s Health Ranking for Arizona in 2016, families concerned about a loved one should restrict access to firearms, lethal doses of medications and alcohol in the home.

Lack of Access to Mental Health Treatment in Arizona

It doesn’t help matters that Arizona is the second-worst state at addressing mental health issues. According to studies, adults and youth with a diagnosed condition, serious thoughts of suicide, and substance abuse problems have serious unmet needs in Arizona.

Lack of access to effective mental health treatment means:

  • Arizonans have unmet mental health needs.
  • Some Arizona residents don’t receive mental health treatment at all.
  • Residents are often unable to see doctors because of the cost.
  • Not enough primary care physicians are screening for mental illness.
  • Insufficient mental health professionals to meet the need in Arizona.
  • There are long wait times to get treatment.
  • A significant need for community services.
  • Insurance has holes in coverage concerning mental health services.

Heroin and Prescription Drug Addiction Arizona on the Rise 

Last year, President Trump declared that America was in the throes of a national public health emergency because of what opioids are doing to our citizens. Arizona is no exception. An American crisis, an Arizonan crisis, opioids and heroin have taken over our streets.

Derived from the age-old poppy plant, opioids are synthetic and organic drugs made from opium. One of the strongest and most addictive of these drugs is heroin, commonly snorted or liquefied and then injected. People caught up in the Gilbert, AZ heroin epidemic just call it dope.

Prescription drug addiction in Arizona is often a result of opioid use. Examples of commonly prescribed opioids are:

  • Percocet
  • Oxycodone/OxyContin
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone/Norco
  • Vicodin
  • Fentanyl

In the current opioid epidemic, these medications are easily ill gotten. Whether it be from a relative’s medicine cabinet or through illicit means, prescription drug addiction is rampant across the country and in Arizona.

Opioid Deaths Skyrocketing

New reports are showing a surge in opioid overdose deaths in Arizona. In fact, 2016 marked the highest number of deaths in 10 years. Heroin and prescription opioid painkillers are to blame.

People are starting out by taking painkillers for a legitimate reason, then getting hooked and moving on to something stronger. Accidentally taking too much opioid medication causes cessation of breathing and death.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2016, the following statistics alarmed state officials:

  • Heroin deaths have tripled since 2012.
  • Every day, two Arizonans die from an opioid overdose.
  • The heroin death rate is rising faster than that of prescription opioids.
  • Hospitals saw more than 51,000 opioid-related encounters.

Because prescription opioid deaths are soaring and the government is cracking down on doctors who prescribe too much Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin, it’s no surprise people are turning to heroin for relief.

Drug Rehab near Gilbert, AZ

Because of the growing problem of heroin arrests, drug addiction and mental health crises in the Phoenix area, many are seeking out drug rehabs all over Arizona.

The city of Gilbert has seen heroin, a cheaper and more accessible alternative to prescription painkillers, cause an increase in narcotic-related arrests by 300 percent in the past 10 years. Regardless of the changing prescribing guidelines set forth by the government, when people are addicted, they find a way to get the drug they crave.

Treatment centers in Arizona are helping people who are addicted to heroin. The first seven to 10 days going without heroin is excruciating without medical help. Thus, professional drug rehab facilities wean people off opioids and keeps them as comfortable as possible.

If you or your son needs help with a mental health or substance abuse problem in Arizona, call Reflections Recovery Center while there is still time. Many of our clients have dealt with both a mental health issue like depression and a substance use disorder like heroin addiction. We have caring professionals waiting to help.

The Arizona families who have had to deal with these problems are in the thoughts of the team at Reflections Recovery Center in Prescott, AZ. For those facing thoughts of suicide, the situation can feel hopeless. However, depression is a treatable illness. There is help available.

See the Reflections Recovery Experience

Arizona Opioid and Heroin Trends in 2018

Statistics on Arizona Opioid and Heroin Trends

The United States makes up around 5 percent of the planet’s total population but uses approximately 80 percent of the opioid supply around the world. Additionally, one in four people who have been prescribed opioids for long periods in a primary care environment end up struggling with addiction.

Arizona Opioid Addiction Statistics 2018

Arizona High School Students Active Heroin Use - Reflections Recovery CenterFour out of 10 adults in Arizona know someone who struggles with an addiction to prescription painkillers.

In 2016, a total of 431 million opioid pills were prescribed to patients. That number of pills is enough for every person in the state of Arizona to have a two-and-a-half-week supply of opioids.

Opioid deaths, prescription drug deaths and heroin deaths have all increased since 2012. In fact, heroin fatalities in Arizona have tripled and opioid deaths have skyrocketed.

This all spells an epidemic that opiate drug rehabs in Arizona and throughout the nation are doing their best to clean up.

Estimated Non-Fatal Overdoses in the Past 8 Months

The crisis has taken such a toll in Arizona – and throughout the United States – that statistics are unfolding in months, rather than years. Some areas of the country are harder hit than others, and Arizona is high on the list of states suffering from opioid deaths. As you might suspect, some parts of the state suffer more than others.

Metro Tucson Non-Fatal Overdoses

According to opioid overdose statistics for 2018, the metro area of Tucson contains five communities that all had an estimated number of more than 60 people who overdosed without dying:

  • Tucson Central
  • Tucson Foothills
  • Casas Adobes
  • Tucson East
  • Tucson South

Only Tucson Estates reported having zero non-fatal overdoses in the past eight months.

Metro Phoenix Non-Fatal Overdoses

Though the Tucson numbers regarding non-fatal overdoses are large, the metro area of Phoenix has seen more. In fact, 18 different communities in the metro area of Phoenix reported more than 60 non-fatal overdoses in the last eight months. There were no communities in metro Phoenix that reported zero non-fatal opioid overdoses.

Other Arizona County Non-Fatal Overdoses

Of all the other cities in Arizona, only Kingman, Prescott, Prescott Valley and Florence reported more than 60 non-fatal overdoses. The larger metro areas of Arizona reported numbers that were significantly larger regarding non-fatal overdoses than the other areas of the state.

Common Arizona Ages for Opioid Use

To get a sense of how the opioid crisis is impacting state residents, consider the ages of those most affected. The statistics from this year and the last decade highlight who becomes dependent and at what point addiction takes hold.

Most Frequent Ages for Possible Overdoses This Year

Arizonans between the ages of 25 and 34 are the ones who experience the most opioid overdoses. Residents of age 75 and older reportedly were the least likely group to experience opioid overdoses. Around 15 percent of these possible overdoses were fatal.

Children Affected by Opioid Addiction

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a condition that occurs when a newborn is exposed to opioid drugs while in the mother’s womb. So far in 2018, there have been more than 600 cases in Arizona of babies born with possible drug-related withdrawal symptoms. A government report also said that 52 percent of mothers in these cases were being medically supervised while taking opioids while pregnant.

Fatalities Among Different Age Groups over Last 10 Years

Though 25 to 34 was the most common age group for possible overdoses over the past eight months, the most affected demographic has traditionally been a different one.

Overdose fatalities between 2007 and 2016 were the highest among Arizonans between the ages of 45 and 54. Other than children and teenagers 14 years old and younger, people aged 75 years and older were still the group that suffered the fewest amount of fatalities.

Overdose Hospitalizations and Deaths in Arizona

American Opioid Overdose Statistic InfographicFrom 2007 to 2016, hospitalizations due to prescription opioids rose by 64 per 100,000 people in Arizona. The peak was in 2011, with 162 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Of the possible opioid overdoses in the last eight months, 14 percent of those people were hospitalized in 2016 for a reason that involved opioid use. About 13 percent of the people who were hospitalized in 2016 died in the last eight months from a drug overdose.

As those statistics indicate, the period after someone is released from an overdose is a dangerous time.

Seeking help from a treatment center like the rehabilitation programs at Reflections Recovery Center is the best way to start turning things around. Reflections uses personalized treatments and the calming attributes of nature to offer support and comfort during this dangerous time.

Prescription Drug Overdoses and Fatalities in Arizona

Drug use statistics reveal that 39 percent of the people who experienced a possible opioid overdose in the past eight months had a prescription for opioids at least two months before their overdose. About 2 percent of the people who overdosed died as a result.

Of the fatal overdoses, 29 percent of them were using only prescription opioids and were not using any other types of drugs. Meanwhile, 32 percent of this group used more than one drug.

Though it is more dangerous to be taking multiple types of drugs, even just one prescription opioid medication can be fatal if taken too often or in large quantities.

The Use of Naloxone to Counteract Overdose

Many different emergency medical services and law enforcement professionals administered naloxone (an opioid overdose antidote) to Arizonans from mid-2017 through March 2018. In fact, EMS, law enforcement and other individuals administered nearly 4,500 doses outside of a hospital during this time frame.

Best Heroin Treatment Centers

If you’re looking for a drug rehab in Gilbert, AZ, Mesa, Chandler or Phoenix, consider heading up north a short ways instead. Prescott’s Reflections Recovery Center is located apart from the bustling metro areas and offers many desirable amenities and services.

Reflections offers a program, which, for many, is more conducive to long-term recovery than the standard experience. Reflections focuses on clinical and holistic treatment, as well as using the outdoors to help those in recovery get the tools they need to avoid relapse.

Learn About the Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

The Science of Addiction Cravings and Preventing Relapse

Brain Science Explains Addiction Cravings

Psychology explains that cravings are common, often coming from a place of incompleteness or a need for relief from suffering.

The feeling of incompleteness — feeling inadequate, flawed or fundamentally lacking in some way — can be a source of great psychological pain for many. Self-medicating with pills, too much wine or a penchant for overeating relieves the pain for a short time.

Neuroscience teaches us that the things we crave, the pleasure-inducing parts of life, are things that increase dopamine in the brain. Dopamine makes things, like sex, feel so good it blocks out all other ideas and desires the mind might have, narrowing our focus to one specific goal: to attain that state of pleasure until it’s fulfilled. And anything that feels that good carries the potential for addiction.

The Impact of Cues/Triggers

The third piece of understanding cravings from a scientific perspective is triggers or cues. An association — the sound of opening a beer bottle or the visual of a needle on TV, for example — instantly ignites the addicted person to seek their poison. These triggers or cues elicit an emotional response, rapidly increasing the flow of dopamine to the brain.

Then internal cues – such as memories, wishes and imagination – further increase the flow of dopamine. Pretty soon, the dopamine takes over the brain until there seems only one viable course of action:  to satiate the craving and take the drug or drink.

Each time a person who is craving drugs or alcohol uses or imbibes, the impact of cues gets reinforced and stronger. Repeated cycles of craving and satiation changes the synapses in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, modifying and attuning it to achieve faster relief.

Drug and Alcohol Cravings

Brain science explains cravings as a natural process. The brain’s job is to motivate us to achieve important goals.

When someone has a chemical dependency, their unconscious automated goal is to achieve relief through drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately and ironically, people who start using or drinking for psychological pain relief inevitably end up facing greater and greater pain.

The destruction of their lives, jobs and relationships leads to financial and legal problems as well as more painful cravings, which only cause addicted individuals to feel more incomplete and more pain than when they first sought relief.

It Takes Time

According to research, cravings are one of the strongest predictors of relapse.

Drug cravings and alcohol cravings take much longer to subside than the withdrawal symptoms from these substances do. Therefore, the rehabilitation and recovery phase — what people normally picture as traditional rehab — is crucial.

During rehab at Reflections Recovery Center, our male clients learn skills that help them actively recognize triggers or cues and respond in a way that avoids relapse. We teach many other skills and lessons to clients in rehab, including:

  • Insight into the reasons behind why the client fell into addiction
  • Learning how to be sober
  • How to deal with addiction cravings
  • How to return home and avoid the pitfalls of relapse

The cravings among those in rehab will lessen in time and sometimes go away completely, but it’s not an overnight occurrence. It takes new skills, patience, time and effort to become a new person, allow the brain to reset, and experience diminished cravings.

You should expect cravings to occur. But if you’re involved in a recovery program that teaches you how to respond to the cravings in a healthy way, you should have the tools necessary to achieve long-term sobriety.

How Residential Treatment Helps

Reflections Recovery Center utilizes a variety of therapies to help those in recovery recognize and deal with cravings, triggers and cues. These therapies include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is the most widely used and recommended therapy for mental health issues. In CBT, the patient spends time talking to a trained therapist who diagnoses and treats mental and emotional problems.

The therapist and patient work together to identify and modify dysfunctional thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The process boosts happiness and confidence with the belief system that unhappiness is not predicated on events or situations in our lives, but rather how we perceive and interpret those events and situations.

The benefit of this way of thinking is that we can reconsider how we view external stimuli and change the way we think, affecting how we feel and behave in any situation. CBT is evidence-based and pronounced highly effective by scientific research.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a type of talk therapy that focuses on providing skills for social behavior and emotional regulation. Originally developed to help people with borderline personality disorder, DBT has since shown to be effective in treating many other mental health issues.

DBT typically involves one-on-one sessions with a trained therapist, although treatment centers also use it in group support meetings where individuals learn and practice new psychosocial skills with others. Group members share their experiences and provide mutual support in these instances.

DBT teaches clients skills in four main areas:

  • Mindfulness
  • Distress Tolerance
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a well-studied and non-invasive treatment for addiction, trauma and many other psychological disorders. The therapist helps move traumatic events and negative emotions stored in long-term memory to the forefront of the client’s mind. Then, the therapist can help the client reassess and reprocess those thoughts in a new way.

The therapist then help the client understand his or her own experience(s) in a more rational, realistic and positive way. Removing the impediments of negative self-thinking opens the channels in the brain’s neurological mechanisms for healing.

The results from this simple therapy are amazing. It clears away negative feelings and emotional distress, helping the client emerge grounded in strength and a survivor mentality.

See Our Other Helpful Therapies

Get Help with Coping with Addiction Cravings

Reflections’ rehab program places a heavy emphasis on learning how to deal with addiction cravings in the aftercare phase. This ensures the client has the tools necessary to manage their cravings as they recovers. It also gives them the best chance of a successful and lasting sobriety.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cravings, contact us today. We have a team of trained professionals waiting to help.

See Which Aftercare Services We Offer to Our Graduates

Explore Our Aftercare Program

Heroin Overdoses and Deaths an Ongoing Emergency in Virginia

Most Americans are aware of the ongoing problems in the country related to prescription opioid abuse, opioid addiction and overdose deaths. While prescription opioids represent the majority of accidental drug overdose deaths in the country, heroin is a close second.

Many people who develop an addiction to prescription opioid painkillers easily transition to heroin use. Virginia has seen some of the worst effects of the ongoing heroin problem in the country, particularly when it comes to heroin overdoses and deaths.

Prescription drug abuse in Virginia has been a problem for years, but reports indicate that heroin is overtaking prescription pills as the leading cause of overdose deaths in the state. Surveys of new heroin users indicate that 4 out of 5 users report having used prescription opioid painkillers before moving on to heroin.

Virginia’s Problems with Heroin

2016 saw staggering numbers of overdose deaths in Virginia, ranging from three to nine deaths per 100,000 residents in some areas to as many as 33 to 52 deaths per 100,000 residents in others.

More than 75 percent of all overdose deaths in Virginia in 2016 occurred from opioid use, or 1,133 out of 1,420 deaths. This figure could increase, as the results of 60 cases are still pending. Since 2013, drug overdoses have been the leading cause of unnatural death in Virginia.

Other stats worth noting:

  • Fairfax County had one the highest rates of overdose deaths in Virginia in 2016.
    • 80 of the 103 recorded overdose deaths happened due to opioids.
  • In Northern Virginia, opioid deaths increased dramatically in the past five years, from 180 in 2011 to 310 in 2016.
  • The highest per capita overdose death rate in 2016 was in Fredericksburg, with 11 deaths among it’s population of less than 30,000.

Heroin Overdoses and Deaths on the Rise

While prescription opioids have represented the lion’s share of overdose deaths throughout the country for several years, a few states, including Virginia, have marked an increase in heroin- and fentanyl-related deaths. In 2012, prescription opioids were responsible for 435 out of 572 opioid overdose deaths in Virginia, and “only” 185 happened due to heroin or fentanyl use.

In 2016, that figure increased dramatically. Out of the 1,133 opioid-related overdose deaths in “Old Dominion” in 2016, 810 occurred due to fentanyl and/or heroin use.

The remaining 469 were due to prescription opioid deaths, indicating a trend away from prescription opioids and toward illegal opioids like heroin and fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be as much as 100 times as powerful as heroin. It continues to cause serious problems in Virginia, and the state reports the number of fentanyl-related deaths tripled between 2012 and 2016.

Recent Heroin Bust in Virginia

In March 2017, law enforcement officials announced the end of “Operation Purple Rain.” A drug bust spanning Maryland and Virginia led to the arrests of 11 individuals running a massive heroin trade ring. The 11 individuals from Fairfax County, Alexandria, Prince George’s County and Prince William County worked together to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, a potential street value of up to $1 million.

In total, the bust led to the seizure of 400 grams of heroin, 330 grams of cocaine, 7 pounds of marijuana, 19 grams of PCP, 10 firearms, and about $18,000 in cash. While the seized drugs have not yet been linked to any of the recorded overdose deaths in 2016, law enforcement hopes that increased pressure on drug dealers will make heroin harder to buy and calm the growing number of overdose cases in the state.

Consider Heroin Rehab Outside of Virginia

In VA, help for heroin addiction can be hard to find. Many people struggling with heroin addiction also find that staying in their local area is difficult. The familiar places and faces can make it difficult to separate oneself from an addiction and start the recovery process.

Reflections Recovery Center Offers Specialized Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Anyone searching for help for heroin addiction in Virginia needs to know their options for treatment out of state, as well. Heroin rehab outside of Virginia may offer some individuals a better chance at recovery than in-state options. Some people struggling with heroin addiction may require specialized treatment, or may simply need to recover far away from stressors and triggers that enable their addictions.

Located in Prescott, Arizona, Reflections Recovery Center is an award-winning substance abuse treatment facility. Specialized heroin treatment in Virginia may be difficult to find, and we are certain our unique program can offer the best possible recovery experience.

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction in Virginia, avoid becoming one of these tragic statistics and start toward recovery with the comprehensive and award-winning treatment offered at Reflections Recovery Center.

Explore Our Addiction Treatment Programs

Addiction and Drug Overdoses Rising in Utah

Utah generally has the reputation of being one of the most family-focused states, with most residents placing a high value on family life and traditional values. However, this reputation has not prevented the rising tide of drug addiction and overdose rates to take hold in the state, and opioid addiction in Utah appears to be a continually worsening issue.

Additionally, some lifestyle trends in Utah, including the high Mormon population, may actually be worsening the issue. This notion may seem counterintuitive given the religion’s strict stance on substance use.

Rising Death Toll in Utah

In 2015, an average of 24 Utah citizens died every month from opioid overdoses. From 2013 to 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Utah seventh in the nation for drug overdose deaths.

The issue isn’t constrained to a particular area or demographic. People from all income brackets, ethnic backgrounds and financial situations have suffered the ill effects of the opioid epidemic, spurring the federal government to deploy several million dollars in additional funding to fight the opioid crisis in the state.

In Salt Lake County, about 59 percent of opioid users were unemployed, while 13.6 percent held full-time jobs. In Summit County, one of the most affluent areas of Utah, only one-third of opioid users held full-time employment, and 23 percent either worked part-time or not at all.

Health insurance coverage for substance abuse is another problem in the state, with as many as 80 percent of opioid users within a county having no coverage for treatment, such as in the case of Wasatch County. Addiction help in Utah isn’t accessible for everyone struggling with opioid dependency.

Paths to Addiction and Overdose

The trends in Utah mirror those found throughout the country when it comes to opioid abuse and rising overdose death rates:

  • In 2000, the number of prescription opioid-related deaths in Utah was only about 60.
    • By 2012, that number dramatically increased to more than 250, and it stayed that high or higher through 2015. (Many other states in the country have reported similar trends.)
  • Since 2000, prescription drug deaths in Utah have increased 400 percent.

Researchers and law enforcement officials have highlighted one cause for concern when it comes to opioid abuse in Utah. While most residents consider “street” drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to be taboo, they may view bottled drugs prescribed by doctors as harmless and safe, not realizing the high risk of addiction and overdose these drugs carry.

The vast majority of people developing opioid addictions today are ones who start taking opioids with a legitimate prescription. They gradually build tolerance and require more of the drug to achieve the desired effect.

Opioid Addiction in Utah Leading to Accidental Deaths

Drug Overdose Deaths in Utah Statistic - Reflections Recovery Center

Although there have been some declines seen in prescription death rates in Utah over the last few years, heroin-related deaths have increased in that same time frame.

Unfortunately, people who do not have access to substance abuse treatment or healthy alternatives to prescription opioids will turn to heroin as a substitute.

Prescription opioids like OxyContin are very expensive on the black market, while a dose of heroin can be as little as $5. Prescription opioid abuse can easily lead to heroin abuse in a very short time.

Overdose deaths in Utah are often accidental. For example, if an older individual takes one opioid pill per day before bed and forgets that he or she already took a dose, he or she may mistakenly double dose. This is potentially life-threatening, especially at night, as opioids can cause respiratory depression.

The Utah Department of Health reports that most overdose deaths involve individuals who suffer from chronic pain and take prescribed medications.

Answers to Opioid Addiction in Utah

It may be difficult for some Utah residents struggling with addiction to admit their problems and seek help. Utah has a very high Mormon population, and illicit drug use is taboo in their religion.

However, they view prescribed medications as safe and acceptable, leading some to believe their prescription opioids are safer than they truly are. They may also feel ashamed or frightened at the idea of ostracism for admitting their addiction. Anyone seeking a trauma recovery center or a substance abuse treatment program may not find the right answer within Utah.

Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona

Reflections Recovery Center is a substance abuse treatment facility in Prescott, Arizona. This means it could be a perfect solution for anyone in Utah seeking addiction treatment.

For anyone living in Utah who is finding it difficult to locate the right long-term addiction treatment, AZ can offer a fantastic setting for recovery only a short trip away. Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona can provide hope using both time-tested treatment methods and the latest holistic therapies that you’ll be hard-pressed to find at most other facilities.

If You or a Loved One Suffers from Addiction, Get Recovery Help Now

Explore Our Rehab Program Options

Why Are Benzodiazepines Like Xanax Widely Abused?

The number of deaths from benzodiazepine overdoses has risen steadily in the past 15 years. The number of those seeking treatment for addiction to benzodiazepines has likewise spiked during that same period.

While generally safe to use when taken according to a physician’s directions, these medications pose a serious risk of abuse for patients who rely on them for the treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.

A Family of Useful Medications

Benzodiazepines are a family of drugs with many familiar names. The most widely known names in the class are:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Librium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Serax
  • Restoril

These medications are beneficial for treating a number of disorders, including anxiety, depression and seizures. With so many different medications in this category treating so many different disorders, it is no wonder that they are prescribed to many, many patients in the United States.

Prescription Numbers Rise

Between 1986 and 2013, the number of people with a prescription for one of the benzodiazepine family of medications rose from 8.1 million to 13.5 million.

It is fairly common for someone with a prescription for one of these medications to also be prescribed a second or third medication in the same class of drugs. Over time, the body develops a tolerance for a particular medication and doctors often increase the dosage or prescribe another benzodiazepine to restore the desired effects of the drug.

Stigma Decreases

Since Librium was introduced in the 1950s, the stigma associated with mental health problems has dissipated somewhat. Whereas in the past, few people would seek medical help for anxiety or depression, people now regularly seek treatment options for mental health during routine doctor visits. While this has led to advancements in mental health overall, it does also create more opportunities for addiction or abuse.

Prescription Use Seems Innocuous

Mild anxiety, insomnia or depression are common to many individuals who are prescribed benzodiazepines. Everyone experiences such symptoms from time to time, and in the midst of a bout with one of these conditions, it can be difficult to handle or assess the severity of your symptoms.

Determining whether temporary or long-term medication is the correct avenue of treatment can be a very fluid decision for patients and medical professionals alike. Some individuals become accustomed to drug regimens over time, and short-term relief can turn into ongoing dependence.

As you build a tolerance to the medication and your doctor prescribes higher doses or additional medications, it may not even occur to you that you may be growing dependent on the medication and that an addiction is forming.

While the health care industry makes every effort to help avoid drug dependence, these very safeguards can lead to the conclusion that certain drugs do not carry the risks for addiction that illicit drugs carry. This is one of the main reasons drugs like Xanax are so likely to be abused.

Risks of Prolonged Benzo Use

Risks of Quitting Benzo Addiction Without Medically Assisted Detox - Reflections RehabOver time, the body’s tolerance to benzodiazepines often becomes a dependence on the drug as well.

The medication is now a part of the chemical mix the system expects, and the body, therefore, depends on having the chemical for daily operation. Without it, a series of side effects may appear.

We generally call those side effects withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, continual use of drugs such as alprazolam may ironically lead to greater anxiety or depression for patients. As anxiety deepens, higher doses or additional medications are prescribed, leading to a cycle of increased use and even alprazolam addiction.

There is also a very well-documented risk of falling associated with Xanax and other benzodiazepines. Auto accidents are also much more likely for those taking the medications. Combining the medication with alcohol or other sedatives makes the risk of overdose much more likely and leads to thousands of deaths each year.

Don’t Fight This Alone: Get Benzo and Xanax Addiction Help

While Xanax addiction often sneaks up on those who come to abuse it, Xanax detox is often a difficult process. Getting into an alprazolam rehab program can ease the transition off the medication and help ensure success. Medically assisted Xanax detox can free you from the dependence and prevent medical problems that can result from withdrawal.

While in years past there was a stigma around getting mental health treatment, the country now recognize the importance of sound mental health. Don’t let any perceived stigma prevent you from seeking help for Xanax dependence. There is Xanax addiction help, and you owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chance for success.

See More Prescription Drug Resources

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Football and Opioid Addiction

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Addiction

The injuries sustained by football players – and athletes in other contact sports – put players at a higher-than-average risk for opioid addiction due to the need for painkillers. But as scientists are learning more about how contact sports can damage athletes’ brains as well as their bodies, we’re realizing that the link between hard-knock sports and addiction is even stronger than was previously known.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), formerly known by other names such as dementia pugilistica and punch drunk syndrome, has not yet been tied to addiction directly, but it certainly affects the brain in ways that leave players more susceptible to addiction.

This is especially concerning when taking into consideration the fact young men often begin playing contact sports like football in their early teens, or even younger.

What Is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a type of brain injury that results from repeated blows to the head, or a single severe concussion. It is found most often in athletes who participate in contact sports – such as football, hockey and boxing – as well as in combat veterans.

CTE was the central topic in the 2015 film “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, which was based on a true story.

CTE can lead to neurological and behavioral changes such as:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Impulsive behavior, impaired judgment and lack of self-control
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty speaking and walking
  • Problems with memory, attention and language

The only way to definitively diagnose CTE is by doing an autopsy of the brain after death, so scientists are still learning about this condition. Because there are other types of conditions that can cause similar symptoms, it can be difficult for doctors to accurately diagnosis CTE in living patients.

In addition, CTE symptoms often don’t manifest until eight to 20 years after players retire.

The Connection Between TAU Proteins, CTE and Opioids

Male Athletes Sports-Related Injury and Opioid Addiction Statistic - Reflections Recovery CenterDoctors are able to diagnose CTE postmortem when they find abnormally high levels of TAU protein and widespread neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain.

TAU proteins in the brain are always linked with some form of degenerative brain disease. They are found in the brains of athletes with CTE, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

One study found that opioid abusers also had greater amounts of TAU proteins in their brains compared to the control group.

Because athletes often use opioid medications for physical injuries, it can be difficult to determine if the buildup of TAU proteins in football players are caused by opioid use, by CTE, or both.

However, there’s clearly a link between brain injury, physical injury, opioid abuse and an unhealthy buildup of TAU proteins that can lead to brain dysfunction and dementia.

Because CTE affects judgment and self-control, athletes with CTE may more easily succumb to the temptations of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, emotional instability caused by CTE can lead to drug use in some cases.

Opioid Addiction from Sports Injuries

Physical injuries suffered by athletes, and the resulting surgeries, can lead to the use of opioid painkiller medications, which can lead to a physical dependence in as little as a week.

Studies have found that opioid abuse is 3 to 4 times higher among NFL football players than in the general population. Former NFL tight end Nate Jackson once said, “Pain pills were as common as shoulder pads and cleats” in the locker room.

According to an ESPN survey of 644 former NFL players:

  • 52% of players used painkillers in their playing days.
  • 71% of the players who used opioids also misused them.
  • 15% of those players continued to abuse opioids after retirement.

Interestingly, that same survey found that 98 percent of the NFL players who reported misusing opioid painkillers in the last 30 days also reported having undiagnosed concussions.

High School Football and Opioid Addiction

It’s not only athletes in professional sports who are at risk. Kids in high school sports are routinely exposed to repeated injuries and brain trauma during their developmental years that put them at risk for painkiller abuse and brain damage that could have lifelong consequences.

Because of the time delay between when injuries occur and when the health problems appear, it’s conceivable that the devastating behavioral changes and substance abuse problems that we see with young people in their 20s are actually due to events that transpired during their teenage years.

The problem with young athletes and substance abuse is so concerning that West Virginia is leading a multi-state initiative aimed at helping high school athletes avoid falling victim to the opioid epidemic.

“Many people think injuries are the biggest threat student-athletes will face, but reality shows the medicine they’re prescribed after an injury could present another danger,” says West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Protecting the Health of Our Young Adults

Since contact sports – and the injuries that come from them – are a part of life for athletes, it’s important that parents and coaches keep a watchful eye on athletes who are recovering from injuries, especially during the critical developmental years of high school when substance abuse often begins.

If your child has shown signs of painkiller abuse following a sports injury, Reflections Recovery Center is here to help before the problem spirals out of control. Talk to us about your concerns with your child’s painkiller use.

An Active Lifestyle Is an Important Part of Addiction Recovery

See How We Roll

Does My College-Aged Child Need Rehab?

When you help your son or daughter pack their things and send them off to college and life on their own, it can seem pretty straightforward at first. They’re an adult now. Your job as a parent is over. The responsibility for their future rests in their hands.

But when you start seeing signs that your newly-adult-aged child may be getting involved with drugs, the situation becomes murky.

Should you intervene, or let them sort things out on their own?

How responsible should you feel for your adult child’s actions?

Where’s the line between letting them be independent and stepping in as a parent?

The Line Between Freedom and Safety

Parents can be hesitant to get involved when they see their college-aged children using substances, because they’re unclear about what their role should be at this point in their child’s life.

While it’s good to foster a healthy sense of independence and give young people a chance to work out their own problems, a parent always has a right – and a responsibility – to intervene when their child’s safety is at risk, regardless of the child’s age. Substance use is most definitely a safety concern, and age shouldn’t be a deterrent from sending a child to rehab, if necessary.

When you see obvious signs that your son or daughter is using drugs, getting involved in the drug culture, or partying too much, there’s no time like the present to offer help and get them on the path to recovery. Early intervention prevents the problem from getting especially dire.

Do NOT wait for your child to “hit rock bottom” to provide the motivation for them to change their circumstances. Rehab for college students is a viable option available to your family, so don’t hesitate to go that route if your child is struggling.

Signs That Your College-Aged Kid May Have a Drug Problem

College Students Amphetamine Misuse Statistic Chart - ReflectionsSometimes it’s not obvious that there’s really a problem. Parents may be unsure if the behaviors they’re seeing are just normal growing pains as their child adjusts to adult life, or the sign of a substance abuse problem.

Here are some telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Changes in behavior and attitude that are not consistent with your child’s personality
  • Mood swings, irritability and erratic behavior
  • Periods of extreme hyperactivity, staying up all night without losing energy, etc.
  • Periods of lethargy and lack of motivation
  • Hanging out with other people who are abusing substances
  • Changes in work, sleep and eating habits
  • Inconsistent attendance at school
  • Medication or valuables missing from home, or an unusually frequent need for money
  • Acting secretive
  • Physical symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, nosebleeds, tremors, slurred speech, poor coordination, unusual bodily smells, etc.
  • Weight loss or gain, changes in physical appearance and personal grooming

Trends in College Substance Abuse and Addiction

Prescription drug use is rising on college campuses. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about these dangerous substances.


College campuses are certainly not immune to the opioid abuse crisis sweeping the nation. These powerful painkillers may be used legitimately for extreme short-term pain, such as after a surgery, but they can become addictive after even just a week or two of use. They are also abused by people looking for a high to help them escape from the troubles of everyday life.

A 2015 survey found that 16 percent of college students had taken pain pills not prescribed to them. That number was higher – 22.5 percent – for students involved in intercollegiate sports, most likely because opioid painkillers are often prescribed after sports injuries and surgeries.


Also called benzos for short, benzodiazepines are the class of anti-anxiety drugs known by brand names such as Valium and Xanax. Known by earlier generations as “momma’s little helper,” they should really only be prescribed for extreme cases of anxiety, but are often overprescribed to many people who are dealing with stress-related anxiety.


Students with a heavy load of schoolwork, and often part-time jobs as well, have been turning to substances for years to help them get everything done, especially caffeine and energy drinks.

However, abuse of Adderall on college campuses, along with other ADHD medications such as Ritalin, has risen as these substances become more readily available in medicine cabinets across the nation. College students also sometimes turn to illegal drugs like speed (an amphetamine) and cocaine to stay up longer and get more done.

Alcohol Is Always a Concern

Binge drinking is practically synonymous with college life, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. Despite being legal (for those 21 and older, of course), alcohol is one of the most physically harmful addictive substances, and those who abuse alcohol tend to vehemently deny they have a problem because alcohol consumption is so common and socially acceptable.

If you suspect your son or daughter has binge drinking problems, or is turning to alcohol regularly to cope with college life, get help for them as soon as possible.

A Parent’s Role Changes, But Never Ends

The college years are when young adults are shaping their futures, and they are open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Some of those things are positive, and others may be negative. If you feel that your child is going down a negative path, a little redirection now will help avoid major problems down the road.

Here are some steps you can take as a parent to help your college-aged child avoid drug abuse:

  • Prevent your child’s access to prescription medication by disposing of any unused drugs in your medicine cabinet.
  • Check in regularly to get a sense of your child’s workload and stress levels, and help them figure out healthy ways to lighten their load.
  • Tell your child you are always there for emotional support no matter what – and follow through on that promise if they do come to you for help.

Explore Rehab for College Students

It’s good to give your child room to be independent and explore new things, but if you suspect drug use is happening, it’s important to intervene sooner rather than later. No matter how old your child gets, your right to be concerned for his health and safety never ends.

Get Help for a College Student Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol

Learn About Our Intervention Services

The Role of OxyContin Abuse in Opioid Addiction


The long history of opioid abuse in the United States dates back more than a hundred years. It continues in the form of heroin and painkiller abuse, despite many attempts to eliminate it.

The rise in the number of those addicted to OxyContin stems directly from pharmaceutical companies’ influence on the market. One large company in particular used marketing to distort the public’s knowledge and perception of opioid-based painkillers in order to keep sales numbers high. It claimed the drug provided 12-hour relief with a single pill, an enticing offer to many suffering from chronic pain.

The truth about the dangers of OxyContin, unfortunately, lies in the details, information which the company omitted.

The Origin Of Oxycontin

Stronger Doses OxyContin Higher Highs Lower Lows - Reflections RecoveryIn 1996, Purdue Pharma released a new opioid-based formula designed to provide long-lasting relief from pain.

Gone were the days, the company bragged, of patients consuming multiple pills a day to find relief from pain. The promise, backed with a robust marketing campaign, hit home.

Prescriptions for painkilling medications jumped by 8 million from 1995 to 1996 as patients began clamoring for the new wonder drug.

Two years later, Purdue Pharma changed tactics. It directed a new campaign at medical professionals using a video promotion that showed six people claiming relief from chronic pain after they received OxyContin.

The company put this material in almost 15,000 locations for use in patient education libraries. The campaign was effective, and the year following the video’s release saw an increase of 11 million opioid painkiller prescriptions over the previous year.

Purdue Pharma did not relent, buying ads in medical journals across the country in 2000. In 2001, The Joint Commission, a nonprofit group charged with determining hospital standards and accrediting medical centers, released a book directed at doctors wherein the commission argued that addiction posed no significant risk to patients taking opioid-based painkillers.

Purdue Pharma paid for the book to be published. Other sources released similar information, increasing the chances the information would be taken as accurate.

However, all was not well for Purdue Pharma. In 2007, the company faced charges of misbranding the drug and hiding its potential for addiction. Three top-level executives pleaded guilty and the company paid $635 million in a settlement with the U.S. government.

OxyContin Reformulated

Purdue Pharma returned to the opioid scene in 2010, unveiling a new tamper-resistant version of OxyContin that the company claimed was a stronger deterrent to misuse because it was extremely difficult to crush. The corporation claimed this would reduce the number of people snorting or injecting it. Surveys revealed a 23 percent drop in the drug’s abuse in the next two years, but experts pointed out that other factors contributed to that decrease.

Many abusers reported changing opioid types or simply switching to heroin, a cheaper, more readily available option. Nearly a quarter of the people questioned said that the deterrent properties did not slow their abuse of the drug.

The manufacturers of OxyContin, as well as other companies selling opioids like Percocet, maintained the safety claims of their products and insisted that the drug, when properly used, continued to play a major role in pain relief.

The Current State of Opioid Abuse

In March of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stepped in, making bigger moves to combat this epidemic. The CDC director stated that no other medication used regularly for the relief of a non-fatal condition matched the fatality rate of opioids. The CDC studied the effects opioid drugs had on pain relief and found no significant improvement and potentially a worsening effect.

The CDC’s study concluded that:

  • As many as 26% of patients suffering from chronic pain take prescription opioids.
  • 1 in every 550 patients on opioid-based therapy died from causes stemming from opioid use within an average of 2.6 years after initiating treatment.

Presentation to the U.S. Senate

Dr. Nora Volkow presented a report to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, highlighting several alarming statistics regarding opioid use and abuse:

  • Opioid prescriptions rose at meteoric rates from 76 million in 1991 prescriptions to 207 million in 2013.
  • Increases in emergency room visits related to opioid abuse climbed during the same time frame, as did the number of patients admitted to rehabilitation for OxyContin addiction.
  • By 2015, prescription drug abuse accounted for as much as 10% of Americans over 12 years of age reporting a substance abuse disorder
  • As many as one-fifth of individuals who abused heroin developed an addiction from the use of prescription opioids.
  • Deaths from overdosing on prescription opioids tripled from 1990 to 2010, when it reached 16,651 deaths.
  • By 2002, opioid poisoning accounted for more deaths than heroin or cocaine. In 2015, this number exceeded 20,000, with heroin claiming almost 13,000 more.
  • Deaths among women from prescription overdoses increased in excess of 400 percent in the first decade of the 21st century, compared to a 237 percent increase among men.
  • Heroin overdose deaths tripled among women from 2010 to 2013, bringing the death rate from drug overdoses to 1 in 100,000 women.

Children Are Affected, Too

Adolescents face an epidemic as well, with the number of adolescents that had a prescription for opioid-related drugs doubling from the mid-1990s to 2007.

More than 275,000 young individuals reported nonmedical use of opioids in 2015, with another 122,000 reporting an addiction problem with the drugs. These children most often received the drugs from a friend or relative passing on unused pills.

Dr. Volkow also reported that the risk for addiction increased when the drug was consumed in a manner that increased the potential for a euphoric high. This included the more common ways of misusing the drug: snorting or injecting, along with drug pill combinations and mixing alcohol with opioid use.


The dangers of these drugs remain strong today, as the country witnesses a continuing rise in the number of deaths and addictions directly tied to opioid abuse. The trend matches the increase in prescriptions of the drug.

Much misinformation still exists about proper dosage. The problem presents a complexity that requires further study. The medication does offer beneficial relief when prescribed and used correctly for those truly in need of pain relief. Yet, it can place the patient at risk for much worse problems.

 Want to Learn More About OxyContin’s Health Risks?

OxyContin Addiction and Treatment Info