Rates of Prescription Addiction in California
Prescription addiction in California is an issue of grave concern. In 2017, California’s prescription overdose death rate was 2.8 out of 100,000. The actual number of addicted patients lies somewhere between the 39.5% of people prescribed opioids and 1,169 who had a fatal overdose. As the L.A. Times reported that year, “More people die each year from drug overdoses in California than in any other state, though that’s largely because of the state’s enormous population.” A total of 1,169 Californians overdosed and died in 2017 from taking opioids prescribed by their doctors.
Why is the Rate of Prescription Addiction in California Even Scarier Than it Sounds?
A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found a startling result when it examined a group of patients who had been taking prescribed opioids but had not yet developed an addiction or a dependence. Within the three years that the study covered, 7.3% of those patients had begun using heroin, at a rate of about 2.8% every year. If this is the rate among non-dependent and non-addicted prescription opioid users, it makes one wonder what the rate might be among people who have struggled with previous addictions?
What Are the Signs of Prescription Addiction?
If you notice a loved one exhibiting the following symptoms, consider calling an addiction treatment center for advice on how to approach the situation. If you know he or she has been under stress or in pain recently and has an active opioid prescription, it is essential to pay attention to these signs. These signs are not definitive proof your loved one has started abusing prescription drugs. However, they are the first indication that something may be wrong and that your loved one needs help.
Look out for:
- Sleepiness or overall drowsiness
- Loss of coordination
Since the remaining signs are mostly internal or mental, you may not notice them in someone else. Therefore, it is tricky to diagnose an addiction on your own. Be careful not to confront your friend or family member without the help of intervention professionals, especially if you have not confirmed an addiction.
If you have been taking prescription opioids and are concerned that you may be dependent on your medication, evaluate yourself for the following symptoms:
- All of the above symptoms
- Nausea, constipation, or a feeling of stomach upset
- More pain, instead of less
- A feeling of being “high” when you take your medication, or the urge to take more to obtain that high
- The sense that you need to keep increasing your medication dosage to receive the same benefits
How Can Addiction Treatment at a California Rehab Help?
Prescription addiction is not an easy issue to deal with on your own. The dangers of addiction include future heroin use and the possibility of overdose death. Don’t make the mistake of taking the situation too lightly. Just because your doctor prescribed your medication does not mean you’re in the clear. If you are concerned about medication dependence or outright addiction, Clear Life Recovery can help you decide what to do.
Using healthy, holistic recovery methods that emphasize healing and wellness, Clear Life Recovery can help you detox and stay off of prescription opioids for good. If you suspect you or a loved one may be dependent on your medication, or if an addiction has already taken hold, call today to break the cycle before it spirals out of control.