It started out as a fairly simple surgery. While it is much more painful to have tonsils removed at the age of 18, the surgery is not uncommon. As the young woman who had just finished her freshman year in college, she and her parents were prepared for the process. The post op instructions included a warning that for the first ten days the pain would progressively get worse. After those ten days, however, the patient should expect a quick turn around.
The unexpected part of the surgery was the problems that followed resulting from the prescribed pain medication. Directed to use the pain medication on a regular basis to avoid falling behind on the pain levels, the patient’s parents were quick to follow the directions. They had no idea that their daughter would quickly become dependent upon the prescription medication.
Initially unknown to her parents, the 18-year old college students continued to take the medication even after the the first ten days passed. And even after her first prescription was gone she managed to find ways to get her hands on other powerful pain medications from friends and friends of friends. Although her surgery was the first week of summer break, by the end of summer she was still taking several of the pills a day. By Winter Break the problem had worsened. In fact, her grades had fallen to the point that she did not was going to be the worse, telling her parents that she was on academic probation or trying to explain to her parents why both her checking and savings accounts had bottomed out.
Some Drug Addiction Problems Start with Prescription Medications
The drug rehab process serves patients from nearly every walk of life and every income bracket. While the assumption may be that drug rehab centers are full of a certain type of patient, the truth is far from what most might expect. Substance abuse treatment centers, whether they be public funded locations or private rehab facilities, attempt to curb the addictions of all patients who need treatments. And while some addicts enter their addiction from less threatening gateway drugs, more and more addicts begin their problems with a doctor’s prescribed medication.
The drug rehab process, whether administered in a public or private setting, makes use of a full staff of trained professionals. Doctors, counselors, therapists, dietitians, and exercise scientists work together to meet the needs of patients who are trying to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Although sometimes difficult to predict, some patterns appear when the drug rehab process population is examined. For instance:
- 70% of mental health problems, that sometimes lead to addiction, begin during childhood or adolescence
- The 15 to 24 year old age group is more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than other age groups
- Men have higher rates of addiction than women
- Women have higher rates of depression and other anxiety disorders
The drug rehab process can be costly for individuals or the state agencies paying the bills, but the cost of not solving substance abuse problems is even greater. For instance, substance abuse in Canada has cost that country’s health care system $8 billion. Furthermore, 47,000 Canadian deaths are linked to substance abuse every single year. And while 20% of Canadians experience a mental illness, these problems that are known for leading to substance abuse are not limited to any one country.
For the families of loved ones who suffer from addictions to drugs or alcohol, few prices are too much to pay if it means that person can be saved. Families that are torn apart by marijuana, meth, cocaine, or alcohol addictions, in fact, often go to great lengths to help their sons and daughters, husbands and wives. Making the decision to get treatment for a family member, however, is only the firs step in any rehabilitation process. The addicts themselves must commit and open themselves up to the treatments to receive the benefits. The best intentions of families and the best services from rehabilitation centers around the world can only work if the addicts finally give in to the help that they are offered. This help, with extreme effort from the patient, can curb drug and alcohol addictions.