Skip to comments.State expert says drug addiction at epidemic level
Posted on 04/26/2014 4:19:31 PM PDT by mgist
State expert says drug addiction at epidemic level About Cindy EkasCindy Ekas 724-628-2000
Penn State Fayette Eberly Campus hosted the Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission's program, 'Prescription Drug Abuse: The Cost of Getting High.' Becoming addicted to prescription drugs not only affects the family but also increases costs for government programs, Fayette County and has an affect on a social level. Doctor prescribed medications are no less addicting due to the way they are offered. Pennsylvania secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Gary Tennis spoke to the gathering about the factors of prescription addiction.
Friday - April 25, 2014
By Cindy Ekas
Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1:06 a.m. Updated 10 hours ago
Gary Tennis, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, said drug addiction has reached epidemic proportions.
One out of every four families in Fayette County, Pennsylvania and the United States is afflicted by the disease, according to Tennis, the keynote speaker at a forum this week entitled, Prescription Drug Abuse: The Cost of Getting High, presented by the Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission.
But the families keep it secret because of the stigma associated with it. Families tend to suffer in silence, Tennis told about 100 people who attended the forum at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.
Heroin use has reached historically high levels because people who were prescribed opiates or painkillers by their physicians begin using heroin when they can no longer receive the prescribed medications, according to Tennis.
Tennis, who has worked in law enforcement, estimated that about 70 to 80 percent of prison inmates are behind bars because they suffer from untreated drug and alcohol addiction problems.
If those who suffer from addiction received adequate treatment for their disease, Tennis said, the crime rate would drop by as much as 70 percent.
Those are amazing numbers, he said. But the human cost is the suffering endured by all of the families of drug addicts and alcoholics.
Tennis said prescription drug abuse became a serious problem in the late 1980s and early 1990s when physicians thought they could eliminate all pain and suffering.
There is a sense among our youth that if doctors are prescribing these medications, it can't be that dangerous, Tennis said. Many people start out on prescription medications because they have legitimate pain, and then they move on to heroin when they can't get the prescription medications anymore. These opiates are very dangerous.
Tennis said Pennsylvania legislators are in the process of approving a prescription monitoring program bill and Pennsylvania Prescribing Guidelines that will have a huge impact on opiate addicts who doctor shop for pain killers.
After the program has been put into place, Tennis said, physicians and pharmacists will be able to monitor how many pain medications patients are receiving from each one of their doctors in an effort to help alleviate the problem.
Left untreated, addiction progresses, and it is always fatal, Tennis said.
Recent statistics have shown that as many as 3 million teenagers will become prescription drug abusers in 2014, Tennis said.
Medicaid in Pennsylvania has a strong component for helping people to combat their drug addiction problems, he said.
Tennis said he is very saddened to hear many people who don't understand that addiction is a disease say that Overdose is nature's way of taking out the trash.
We need to begin treating overdose as a disease instead of a moral issue, he said. We owe it to ourselves and these families who are suffering to treat addiction like any other disease and give these addicts a chance for recovery instead of just putting them behind bars.
Where is the FED? Why is Holder’s DEA, MIA in terms of tackling the foreign cartels. Opium/heroin isn’t produced here. Foreign grown opiates have now become the leading cause of death surpassing alcohol and even car accidents in the US. Big Pharma’s and Wall Streets political donations have turned the FDA and the FCC, into otherwise useless, campaign finance for favors departments. Pharma companies legally pedal opiates that are more addictive than crack, while the FDA gives clueless doctors and consumers the false cover of “regulation” and “safety” of pills than have killed and destroyed lives. They have blood on their hands.
The Fat Cat bankers and hedge fund managers who launder money for the cartels, may act with impunity regarding FCC regulations, but they also have the blood of American children on their hands. Holder ATF curiously gave the Mexican cartel’s arsenals of weapons in the Fast and Furious scandal. Why isn’t anybody questioning why this unprecedented supply of high quality cheap street heroin is suddenly getting into this country and so readily available to children? It isn’t produced here. There was a time when we knew that cartels in countries like Colombia were the source and now the FED sees no evil. NSA is recording every law abiding citizens key stroke and conversation, and the FED doesn’t know what is going on? Welcome to Obama’s America, which has been planned since at least 1996. It’s tragic. http://www.aim.org/special-report/the-hidden-soros-agenda-drugs-money-the-media-and-political-power/
So let’s legalize marijuana.
Well the answer is obvious. We should surrender in the WOD.
We are now what what is referred to in South America as a “narco nation”. A political system funded and corrupted by drug money, which is usually accompanied by crime and terrorism which keeps the peasants in line.
Now that everyone has “free” ObammyCare, they don’t have to work anymore. They can just stay home and get high all day. Let the illegals do the work. Whadda country!
Really? 25% percent of families in the U.S. include a drug addict? I suppose if you really stretch the definition of "family." I don't consider my husband's brother's first ex-wife to be part of our family.
The WOD was never really fought —it was fought only to the extent that it would induce the taxpayers to put up with lots of new LEO hires, powers and equipment purchases.
AND NOT ONE MICROMETER FURTHER THAN THAT —that is how militaries operate and now public agencies operate.
In it’s current form the WOD is really a War on the Taxpayer.
It does not make ANY sense that the WOD would ever be won, akin to the ideal virus which hobbles but never really kills it’s host.
For alcohol, are things better now or not since prohibition ended? During prohibition, the moonshiners were selling booze designed to keep you buying their product. Now it is regulated to ensure that alcohol sold has a limited effectiveness, even if some people still drink to excess.
I don’t believe it would be any different with drugs. Legalize and regulate their effectiveness. Most people, who use drugs, would probably limit their use under those conditions.
This article is talking about prescription drug abuse as well as illegal drug addiction. Prescription drugs are exactly the "legal and controlled" drugs that drug-legalization proponents tout ... but they still destroy many lives.
What's the frequency, Kenneth?
My daughter was addicted to meth for about 8 years. It was pure hell. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. She has been clean for three years, is engaged to a great guy, been at the same job for three years, got promoted to supervisor, and is going to college full time hoping to get into the RN program. She is making As.
Drug/alcohol addiction is horrible for the addicted and their families. My daughter had a lot of support from family and friends and church. Lots of prayers. That she came back from where she was is a miracle.
And you know what? For several years I had no idea what meth even was, much less that she was addicted to it. But as she got worse, it became apparent that she was using some type of drug. I won’t go into details but it robs the addict of their life.
My daughter was an honor student in high school, grew up in church, and we were very close. All it takes is a few of the “wrong people” and curiosity and I believe it can happen to anyone.
As for prescription drugs, a lot of people start out using them for legitimate pain but they, too, are addictive.
I wish no one was addicted to anything. I wish young people knew what drugs, illegal and legal, can do to their lives. But it isn’t just young people. Addiction can affect any race, any economic level, any age.
My daughter got out alive. Many do not and it is tragic.
I have enormous sympathy for people who get dependent on prescription drugs. A treatment/withdrawal plan should be in place from the moment a patient is prescribed an opioid drug. No one should suffer needless pain and no one should have his or her life destroyed by a treatment plan that fails to incorporate an exit strategy. To me that is malpractice.
OTOH recreational users, bah. Most of the ones I have encountered started off incredibly arrogant, thinking they were stronger than the drug or smarter than all the other users. Sometimes life’s lessons come hard.
I definitely agree that drugs are harmful, but the war on drugs have turned a relatively minor problem into a huge problem. Pablo Escobar, and the other drug lords, became billionaires because of it.
Throw “ADHD” drugs into the mix, too.
I’m glad your daughter was able to recover from meth addiction. So many don’t.
Even if you have a good relationship with your children, there are so many dangers for them. Unless you never let them out of your sight - and how can you manage that? - something can always go wrong.
I think drug addiction is a huge problem whether the drugs are legal or illegal. It’s the same problem for addicts and their families, perhaps a different problem on the national and international law enforcement level.
Do you think that someone wouldn’t be extremely rich - if not Pablo Escobar, someone else - if the drugs his organization is trafficking were legal?
Those of us who live in the non-addicted world find it hard to believe. Yet it is that pervasive, I suspect. Medical professionals hand out pain killers like candy, and people get used to not having pain, ever, and the addiction starts. Now "meds" to cure depression, bi-polar, ADHD, mood swings, you name it cause doctors to give even very sane, normal older people mind-altering legal drugs. Some of my friends who should've known better have become very fond of them.
It is out of control, and it won't get any better with Obamacare and ever more diagnosed psychiatric disorders (real and made up) causing use of mind-alterning and pain-numbing medications.
What America isn’t understanding is that this is social engineering at it’s finest. Soros, who laundered money for the cartels, has been pushing drug legalization, including heroin since the 90’s.http://www.aim.org/special-report/the-hidden-soros-agenda-drugs-money-the-media-and-political-power/
It is Soros’ $Billions in influence peddling, and lobbying, that have led people to believe that the war on drugs was useless. Bottom line, this crap wasn’t around when I was growing up in the drug capital of the world -Miami, in the 80’s and 90’s. There was cocaine, and since there really was a war on drugs, it was too expensive for curious kids.
What has gone on since the 90’s is BS. Big Pharma is legally destroying lives with “legal” opiates, and creating a nation of addicts. This is what destroyed China. Afghanistan now has unprecedented amounts of opium production, as does China, Iran, and Pakistan. Why is it getting into this country so easily?
Drug legalization didn’t just happen miraculously with Obama. This was planned all along, and like everything else Obama, made to look like came out of citizens activism. It was bought and paid by Soros and the cartels he launders money for.