Opioid deaths have increased steadily over the past several years. Reports of the opioid crisis or the opioid epidemic appear in the media on an almost daily basis. Overdose deaths from another source have been steadily rising as well but have received very little media attention. Benzodiazepines, once considered an extremely safe medication, are resulting in higher rates of drug addiction and are being implicated in overdose deaths, especially when used in conjunction with opioids.
His addictive behaviors started early. As a kid he remembers playing video games addictively, experimenting with tobacco when he was only 10 years old, and with alcohol by age 13.
Celebrity deaths due to drugs or alcohol, or a mixture of substances often make shocking headlines and happen all too frequently. The list is long: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Lil Peep, Mac Miller, Tom Petty, Prince, and Chyna, to name just a few. People who seemed to have it all have died, proving that they are fighting their own battles with addiction – and sometimes losing the battle.
Relapse. A word that strikes fear in the heart of anyone who loves someone battling addiction. A word filled with shame for those who have achieved sobriety and then began to drink and/or use again.
In the United States, over six-million women become pregnant every year. Approximately 9 out of 10 of those pregnant women take medication. About five percent of pregnant women use one or more substance that is addictive. Almost ten percent of pregnant women have smoked tobacco within the past month.
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Unfortunately, expectant mothers struggle with withdrawal just like any other person suffering with drug addiction. Often the withdrawal becomes too difficult, and withdrawal symptoms are relieved by turning again to the substance.
The fact that the United States is in the midst of an “Opioid Crisis” or an “Opioid Epidemic” is old news. Statistics are staggering when we look at the number of people who are addicted to opioids and the rising number of opioid deaths each year.
According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse article published in June 2019, 19.5 million females (or 15.4 percent) ages 18 or older have used illicit* drugs in the past year. *The term “illicit” refers to the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana according to federal law, and misuse of prescription medications.
Of all the substances that people abuse, only one fits into ALL the following criteria: socially acceptable, over-the-counter accessible, the cost is not prohibitive, legal for adults to purchase in all 50 states, and often viewed as harmless or a normal rite of passage into adulthood. This magic elixir is alcohol.