As with much of the nation, Louisiana is fighting an epidemic of prescription drug addiction. The pharmaceutical industries in South Florida and Houston are two of the largest resources for prescription pills; Louisiana is situated right in between them, resulting in a wide availability of these drugs. Louisiana's mixture of urban and rural areas means that many inner city streets, as well as small towns, have countless prescription drug addicts suffering every day. Prescription drug abuse usually means being addicted to a drug from one (or more) of these categories: Opioid Painkillers, CNS Depressants and Stimulants.
Now one of the largest public health menaces in 21st century America, drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone were developed to treat mild to severe pain problems. However over-zealous and fraudulent mass-prescribing of these drugs has made it the #1 deadliest kind of drug in the country, sparking a nation-wide tidal wave of fresh opiate addicts whose addictions have ruined their lives, driven them toward crime, and left them with one of the toughest addictions in the world. An attempt to change formulas of some of these pills (to curb abuse) has been effective, but many people are still hooked on opiates and can't attain pills, sometimes switching to street heroin as a substitute.
Opiate detox is one of the most intense types of addiction treatment. Many addicts will need substitute drugs to taper off opiates without inducing serious mental and physical problems. Combined with counseling, therapy, and re-acclimation to normal life, opiate rehab can often take as long as a month or more, although many recovering addicts will tell you that the fight lasts for the rest of their lives.
Xanax is often said to be the most prescribed drug in the world. Unfortunately, while some people do suffer from mental health problems that can be helped with medication, millions have been unnecessarily prescribed these types of drugs for relatively mild mood disorders, leaving them with an even worse mental health problem of drug addiction. Addiction to depressants is a terrible situation, but even recreational use of depressants has serious consequences. One of the most common types of drug overdose today is the mixture of depressants with other drugs, like alcohol, which kills recreational and habitual users every day.
Stimulants are used for dieting as well as treating attention-deficit disorder. However most of these drugs are amphetamines and are dangerously addictive. They induce paranoia, aggressive behavior, and other mental health problems as well as addictive and unsafe behavior when abused chronically.
Treating addiction to stimulants requires both physical and psychological treatment, and depending on the level of addiction, a prescription drug rehab program is highly recommended. Withdrawals from stimulants can be tough, but not as bad as withdrawals from opioids, and substitute medication is not always necessary. Psychotherapy and counseling is often part of a stimulant addiction treatment.
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