Over the past 15 years communities have been affected, families destroyed, and thousands of individuals have died during the ongoing opioid epidemic. In only six years, statistics show that the rate of overdose deaths doubled from 21,089 in 2010 to 42,249 in 2016.
Despite all the hype new substances of abuse get by the media, opioids are still around and still taking a deadly toll on people who abuse them. But what are the facts about opioids?
What is 50 times more potent than heroin? What is 100 times more powerful than morphine? Same answer to both questions, Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a strong synthetic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be medically used for pain relief and as an anesthetic.
Methamphetamine never received the notoriety or news attention that opioids did – at least not until recently. Now headlines from medical journals, government agencies, popular magazines to radio stations are screaming warnings about the dangers and increases in methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine (meth) abuse is growing. The drug is becoming easier to get and is inexpensive. It is also highly addictive, and methamphetamine treatment can be complicated. Unlike some substance abuse disorders that are treated with medications, at this time there are no medications that have proven effective to counteract the effects of methamphetamine or improve abstinence rates for people seeking recovery from methamphetamine addiction.
Methamphetamine promises to make you feel good. It promises to give you lots of energy. It promises to curb your appetite and help you lose weight. It also promises an almost immediate, pleasurable, amazing rush. It sounds good!
As the much-publicized war on opioids continues, another drug is quietly regaining momentum and leaving a deadly path of destruction. Methamphetamine is back. Back in a very big way.
Many of those who have experienced less difficulty with recovery talk about an “aha” moment where they realized at a very deep level that they wanted to change their lifestyle and regain their health. They often echo a well-known quote, saying, “they got sick and tired of being sick and tired.” In other words, they were ready for recovery and willing to make the changes necessary to achieve their sobriety.
According to the Surgeon General’s Report published in 2016 “20.8 million people aged 12 or older in the United States had a substance use disorder. That number is similar to the number of people who suffer from diabetes and more than 1.5 times the annual prevalence of all cancers combined (14 million).”
I attended Gulf Breeze Recovery in 2016 after over a decade of failed attempts to get clean at 12-step drug treatment centers. I was an IV drug user, and I thought that if anyone truly understood how powerful my cravings were, then surely they would see why it was impossible for me to stay sober. That’s why one of the most valuable insights I gained during my time in Gulf Breeze was my relationship to cravings.