Drug Detox for Prescription Drug Addiction Is All Downhill Once You See You Have a Problem

Drug Detox for Prescription Drug Addiction Is All Downhill Once You See You Have a Problem

There's a commercial on television, the first one of its kind that I've seen, that puts the prescription drug addiction problem more in the public eye than the myriad of daily news stories that most people probably don't read. Two men are at a bus stop and one tells the other he doesn't want to take a prescription painkiller for a problem he has because he's afraid he might get addicted. Being a commercial, his companion, of course, suggests a certain drug and says it's not addictive.

Which is exactly what we thought about OxyContin when it was first released - and look where we are now with that one: People addicted to or dependant on OxyContin are filling emergency rooms, drug detox and rehab centers, and morgues. When drug companies create that kind of commercial, they know they have a problem. However, as bad as the problem looks, in fact, it's worse. There are 22 million people in American in need of treatment for illegal drug or alcohol addiction or dependence. But, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 31 million - 13 percent of the population - have misused prescription painkillers. That statistic is from 2003, and there is every indication that the problem has escalated. Some experts think that even those alarming statistics are under-reported.

Why? Because many of the people addicted to and dependant on prescription drugs don't talk about it. They're middle-class executives who can barely think of themselves as addicted to or dependant on drugs, let alone consider standing up in front of a group and calling themselves an addict. Nor would they consider for a moment the idea of going to a drug detox center that offers them a room with a bunch of other guys going through withdrawal, some of whom may have just come off the street. And lining up with a few hundred others at a methadone clinic to get their daily fix is out of the question. But, they need help.

How are they going to get it? Fortunately, there are drug detox programs in comfortable, private settings that can help business executives get through withdrawal and, if needed, get into drug rehab. And they are completely confidential.

However, people taking prescription painkillers and similar drugs first have to face up to the fact that they have a problem. The good news is that that first step is also the hardest: With a good drug detox program, the rest is all downhill.

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