Many people know that fentanyl is a growing problem in all corners of California as well as America. Unfortunately, however, a silent crisis is growing in San Diego County. The most sobering part is that the drugs are the kind that are legally available as well as sold on the street; prescription drugs. And overdoses related to prescription drug use, including opioids, in 2020 rose to 576 deaths. That’s nearly double the number of overdoses in 2019.
Who Are Most Vulnerable To Overdosing on Prescription Drugs?
According to the Prescription Drug Report Card, men are the most likely to die from an overdose. Out of the 576 overdoses last year, 430 victims were men, and 146 were women.
Prescription drug statistics included opioids, including fentanyl, which has contributed to the most overdose deaths in the nation in the past year.
Prescription Drug Overdose Deaths Are Preventable
Many institutions, including music or arts venues, now keep their supply of naloxone to help reverse overdoses. Naloxone can start working in a matter of minutes, and it’s available from harm reduction organizations and healthcare providers. People who use Medicare or Medi-Cal need a prescription from their doctor for it to be covered. However, some participating pharmacies offer it without a prescription.
The best way to prevent an overdose is to get clean and sober. Staying sober in the long term can help you live your best life. Addiction is a progressive disease, and few people have found recovery without a bit of help.
If you’re addicted to prescription drugs, help is available.
Symptoms of a Prescription Drug Addiction
If somebody you love may have a problem with drugs, you may wonder what the symptoms of a substance use disorder are.
Evidence of misusing prescriptions:
- Powder in bags or on mirrors or hard surfaces. Some people with substance use disorder crush pills and snort them. Some people smoke them or inject them. Needles, plastic bags with residue, and glass pipes with burn marks may be evidence of misusing prescriptions.
- A person “nods out” or is often groggy during the day, even when they get more than 8 hours of sleep. They may slur words or seem drunk if they are shaken awake.
- Hoarding pills from multiple doctors. Evidence of numerous bottles of pills that contain the same prescription.
- A considerable change in their lifestyle; they may avoid all of their family and friends. They may begin to have financial trouble, have trouble keeping a job, or simply seem to have ultimately decided to “opt-out” of their former lifestyle.
- They may try to stop using prescriptions or promise to stop using, only to start again a few days later. This may be due to physical withdrawal symptoms that make it incredibly challenging to get sober without help.
- They may have legal trouble, get DUI’s, or be arrested for forging prescriptions.
- They may steal or mismanage the family finances or have other secrets that alienate them from others.
Getting Help for Addiction in San Diego
If you or somebody you love has a problem with prescription drugs, we’re here to help. Getting sober can seem to be a huge task if you’re addicted to a substance. This is why getting help is important! We’re here to help you get started on the journey to recovery. Give us a call at 619-363-4767.
Our Medical Director Dr. Milgram has this message we wanted to share here. He is in recovery himself for decades and is known as an inspirational figure in the San Diego recovery community:
Worry, fear, boredom, anxiety, loneliness, escapism, insomnia; these are the emotions that plague our society. The plague that is COVID is making these human imperfections more frequent and more pronounced.
There are healthy effective ways we can not only deal with these feelings and situations. But it is human tendency to take an immediate and effective way to escape: The Devil’s Drugs. They are too readily available. There is easy access to someone who can promise you the gates of heaven. You are invincible. And you want it now. From a friend or family member who has some. Or from a prescriber who will prescribe, sometimes inadvertently but often as a legitimate dealer. Hey, maybe it‘s even covered by your insurance. Maybe you know somebody who knows someone who can get it for you in a park or a parking lot. Trust me. You are not invincible. These are not your grandparent’s drugs. These synthetic drugs have a high addiction potential. I don’t think they should have ever been released to the public, like Quaaludes. You give these drugs to a thousand white mice…and a thousand whit mice will be pushing that button for more. Physiologically, we are not dissimilar from a white mouse. They use these same white mice to test the drugs and extrapolate to human consumption. WE WANT MORE OF THAT!!
These drugs cause what is known as hyperalgesia. Let’s say you stroke the hairs on your arm with a feather. These drugs make a stimulus that would be a tickle or an unpleasurable event and convert it to pain. What do you do? I WANT MORE OF THAT!!
Then you develop tolerance to the drug. Until you rapidly, sometimes within days, need more to get you to that place where you want to be. And you then know. I NEED MORE OF THAT!!
NAD+ Helps with Detox and Recovery
We have been very successful treating alcoholism and drug addiction to heroin, opiates with our innovative and experienced team and the magical molecule of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), which detoxifies and fixes your brain, relieving withdrawal symptoms and cravings with much greater regularity than your neighborhood rehab center. But these are The Devil’s Drugs. And they require an all out and effective therapeutic approach to avoid the gates of hell; loss of you job, your family, your money, your home. And finally you lose yourself and then you lose hope. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonipen, Ativan, Ambien and the sort) are not a good solution. You solve a problem by creating another problem. But prescribers too readily whip out their prescription pads to give you a stopgap that may be as bad or worse than the original problem. Please don’t take Kratom either. Often the addiction to Kratom is worse than heroin. Unfortunately, it is readily available and touted as “natural”. When you are addicted to Kratom, you may be suffering such terrible withdrawals that you have to use through the night every two hours.
The best way to avoid this whole situation is to not allow these drugs into your body. Avoid them all-knowingly because I have here told you of their power, their danger, and the high percentage for your physiologic tendency as a normal human being to succumb to the power of these drugs. But it is human tendency to think you are different, stronger, better, even invincible. I WANT TO FEEL IT, NOW!!
We have an alternative therapy here in Carlsbad, with the magic molecule (NAD+) that is already present in every living animal and plant cell. And that the body naturally uses to detoxify, heal, pump up immunity, and create new neural pathways that results in less cravings, less withdrawal symptoms and a high degree of long-lasting sobriety, health, longevity and wellness. We help restore restful sleep, use additional therapies, and get you on the road to a new life free from the influence of these drugs.
NAD+ is the magic. There is an art to the administration of it—starting with the best NAD+. Then there are therapies that enhance and propagate the NAD+ effect. Then, once off the drugs, you need to deal with the emotional, physical, depression, anxiety, any underlying mental disease, situation, and establish an ongoing program of healthy nurturing lifestyle.
There is such a thing as recovery, let us show you.
I am The NAD MD,
The pandemic has made life difficult for millions of Americans. Economic depression, lost jobs, and despair alongside the pandemic's isolation have caused more drug use than ever. Sadly, across the United States, fentanyl is causing overdoses at record levels. In San Diego County alone, there are currently three deadly overdoses a day. The opioid crisis hasn't been this bad for four years, and experts worry that addiction is snowballing quietly.
Fentanyl Contaminates Supply Chains
Researchers have sounded an alarm for the past few years about the rise in overdose deaths involving fentanyl. The majority of overdoses now involve the drug, which is 50-100 times as powerful as Morphine. Overdoses that involve fentanyl are usually deadlier because of the potency of the drug.
For people who have an opioid use disorder, there are many risks to take when buying drugs. Regular drug supply chains are strained, and China has outlawed the manufacture of oxycodone (aka Oxycontin) and fentanyl. Because of this, chemists that rely on illicit drug sales have been offering fentanyl either as an adulterant or alternative to other opioids. Chinese drugmakers funnel fentanyl through the Mexico border, and from there, it makes its way into heroin, Oxy, and other street (and internet) drug dealers.
Addiction More Prevalent, Support is Key
Coroners believe that most of the overdoses that they are seeing are accidental. People who have relapsed from recovery are already more likely to use more of a drug than their body can handle. Now, they can fall victim to isolation and a relapse cycle. Some people end up self-medicating their mental health disorders too.
Harm reduction advocates recommend that family members of people with an opioid use disorder or other addiction know the signs of an overdose. Keep Narcan (an opioid overdose reversal drug) in the house. There are even test strips that can help drug users test their supply for fentanyl. Ask to speak to family members you love via video and set up times to check-in.
There IS help available for people who need it. Offer support and love and even help find resources, such as a therapist or inpatient program for substance use disorders.
Getting Help During a Pandemic
Getting help for addiction during a pandemic starts with the same step as always – reaching out! We're here to help you create a new journey and plan your next steps. You're powerless over your addiction, but you can help yourself start a path to recovery.
Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.