Opiate behind surging drug overdose deaths now being found in marijuana
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Opiate behind surging drug overdose deaths now being found in marijuana
Text Description of InfographicFigure 1:
Differences in Marijuana Use Disorder
Women are less likely to misuse or abuse prescription pain medicines. Four million women report past-year misuse. Five million men report past-year misuse. (3)
Treatment for Sleeping Aid Misuse
Women are more likely to seek treatment for misuse of barbiturates. Fifty-five percent of past-year treatment admissions for barbiturate misuse are women. Forty-five percent of past-year treatment admissions for barbiturate misuse are men. (4)
Nicotine replacement options, such as the patch or gum, are less effective for women than for men. Quit rates after 6 months on the nicotine patch were 14.7 percent for women and 20.1 percent for men. (5)
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Overdose Deaths: The Alarming Statistics
In 2015, it was reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that heroin overdose deaths were increasing at an alarming rate in our nation. More than 300,000 people used heroin over the last decade, increasing the number of those who die from ingesting too much. Unfortunately, heroin is not the only contributing factor to the increase in fatalities, Oxycodone and Vicodin also contributed greatly to death by overdose for the same time period. Overdose deaths involving these drugs increased by 9% from 2014 to 2015. Between 2000 and 2014, nearly half a million Americans died from overdoses involving opioid painkillers.
Substance Use on the Rise
The U.S. is reaching epidemic levels regarding substance abuse. In 2013, an estimated 25 million Americans were illicit drug users, which is about 9.4 percent of the population aged 12 or older; and this is up from the 2002-09 rate of 7.9 percent. The drugs used included marijuana/hashish, cocaine/crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and prescription-type psychotherapeutics. Among whites, illicit drug use increased to 9.5 percent from 8.5 percent in less than a decade.
Illegal drug use has evolved from an inner city (i.e., black) crime to a suburban (i.e., white) disease. A 2015 Gallup poll of the use of “mood altering drugs” found that seven of the top 10 states with the highest level of abuse – the percent of those using “almost every day” – were red states located in the South: West Virginia (28.1%), Kentucky (24.5%), Alabama (24.2%), Louisiana (22.9%), South Carolina (22.8%), Mississippi (22.3%) and Missouri (22.2%).
Figure 1: Teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than cigarettes.
Past-month use of cigarettes was 3.6 percent among 8th graders, 6.3 percent among 10th graders, and 11.4 percent among 12th graders. Past-month use of e-cigarettes was 9.5 percent among 8th graders, 14.0 percent among 10th graders, and 16.2 percent among 12 graders.
Two times as many boys use e-cigs as girls.
Figure 2: Teen e-cig users are more likely to start smoking.
30.7 percent of e-cig users started smoking within 6 months while 8.1 percent of non users started smoking. Smoking includes combustible tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, and hookahs).
Figure 3: What do teens say is in their e-cig?
66.0 percent say just flavoring, 13.7 percent don’t know, 13.2 percent say nicotine, 5.8 percent say marijuana, and 1.3 percent say other. Manufacturers don’t have to report e-cig ingredients, so users don’t know what’s actually in them.
Figure 4: High teen exposure to e-cig advertising
7 in 10 teens are exposed to e-cig ads.
Among middle school students, 52.8 percent are exposed to retail ads, 35.8 percent to internet ads, 34.1 percent to TV and movie ads, and 25.0 percent to newspaper and magazine ads. Among high school students, 56.3 percent are exposed to retail ads, 42.9 percent to internet ads, 38.4 percent to TV and movie ads, and 34.6 percent to newspaper and magazine ads.
What is an Alcohol or Drug Medical Detox?
Alcohol / drug detox is the initial step in a comprehensive rehab program. The goal of detoxification is physical healing after long-term addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), once a person is stabilized, a medical detox is performed and rids the body of any illicit substances. The medical detox also treats the withdrawal symptoms that result.
How does a Medical Detox work?
A medically supervised detox breaks the connection between physical dependence and substances by using prescribed medications. The meds slowly rid illicit substances from the body. Medications used replace the illicit substances by imitating their effects at a less intense level to eliminate any physical drug cravings.
Medications are also given to decrease or eradicate any withdrawal symptoms. The process is done in a slow manner and is tightly controlled to avoid any shock to the body that happens with an abrupt stop. This minimizes health complications, reduces discomfort and decreases any medical complications from occurring.
The Dangers of a Home Detox
It is dangerous to detox at home as medical emergencies cannot be dealt with immediately. Emergencies, which are unpredictable, can easily and quickly result. Also, prescribed medications to help the process are not available in a home detox, as there is no medical staff on hand to administer them. A home detox is not recommended.
What withdrawal symptoms can happen without a Medical Detoxification?
When people attempt to lessen or stop their amount of alcohol consumption, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will manifest. Seizures, convulsions, tremors and disorientation are common with heavy drinkers. Hallucinations are known to occur in certain instances.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms manifest when a person tries to stop taking it with no prescribed medications to replace heroin. Symptoms are painful and can be fatal. Heroin withdrawal symptoms may include perspiration, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, agitation, severe anxiety and could prove fatal.
What types of Detox exist?
The medical detox process weans a person from the addictive substances. The process replaces the addictive substances with other addictive substances such as methadone, benzodiazepines, or other prescription drugs. Over a specific time period, the levels of the replacement drugs will be decreased until the body is able to function without stimulation of any kind.
Rapid detox is a type of detox that should be used selectively. It may not be for everyone. Consultation with addiction center staff is needed to see if this is a recommended course of treatment. Opiates abuse responds the best to a rapid detox.
The person is anesthetized and while unconscious, the rapid detox is administered, giving drugs which block effects of all opiates. The person isn't awake to experience painful withdrawal symptoms and when they wake up, the ability to experience the pleasurable effects from opiates is gone. The addict can try and take opiates to get "high", but the drug will not garner the same effects. The goal is to eliminate the ability to enjoy opiates' effects, thus removing the motivation to abuse them.
Examples of Medications Used:
Neurontin helps alleviate symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Naltrexone is used for both alcohol and opioid dependence. It helps alcohol abusers decrease the number of relapses and levels of drinking. It helps opiate addicted persons by neutralizing opiate effects.
Bupropion is an antidepressant. Since depression is common during an opiate medical detox, this drug will help a person stay on the road to recovery by not being tempted to use to relieve depression.
How does the detox process trigger a relapse?
A detox can't stand alone. A mental component to addiction exists, which must be treated in a rehabilitation program, once the physical dependence on substances is eliminated. If a detox takes place without any other treatment, a relapse is more than likely to result.
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