In a story from Fairfax Times, we share a candid journey of how prescription drug addiction can affect anyone at any age:
Kevin Flattery was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia and had a promising life ahead of him. In 2010 he graduated from the University of Virginia and then traveled to Hollywood, California to pursue a career in filmmaking. It wasn’t long after that Kevin began suffering from panic attacks, stress and depression. He started self-medicating with the opioid drug OxyContin and returned home to his family in 2013 to get help for his addiction.
Unfortunately, Kevin passed away in 2014 at the age of 26 due to an overdose of prescription opioid drugs.
Since Kevin’s untimely passing, his father, Don Flattery, has been speaking out against the dangers of opioid addiction and overdose. His work has attracted the attention of Senator Tim Kaine and President Obama.
What Makes Opioids Attractive?
Don says that opioid addiction is particularly challenging because many people are unaware that drugs of this nature are derived from the same poppy plant that’s used to make heroin. This gives them the same addictive qualities. Also, drugs like OxyContin and morphine can be deadly if overused. The only way to stop the pattern of abuse is through structured prescription drug addiction treatment.
Another issue is the overprescribing of opioid drugs. Before this epidemic, prescription painkillers were mainly prescribed for those who had life-threatening illnesses or were recovering from injury or surgery. Yet over the years, the pharmaceutical companies have been successful at getting these drugs into the hands of patients for a number of reasons.
In 2007, Purdue Pharma, which markets OxyContin, paid $600 million in fines to the federal government to settle criminal and civil charges. According to the lawsuit, the company misbranded the drug and undermined its potential for abuse.
Prescription Drug Abuse Is An Epidemic
Prescription drug abuse continues to be a major problem in our society. Since 1999, overdose deaths have tripled. According to the Center for Disease and Control, 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Some of the reasons include:
- Greater social acceptance
- Overprescribing of medications
- Aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies
- Availability of medications sold online
- Safer image because the drugs are legal
Once hooked on prescription painkillers, it’s very easy to turn to heroin. As prescription opioids become more difficult to attain and more expensive to take, people fall back on the cheaper and widely available drug heroin, which produces similar effects.
Prescription Drug Addiction Can Happen To Anyone
Addiction does not discriminate. And now with the growing tolerance and availability of drugs like OxyContin, more drug problems are starting at home rather than on the streets. Once an addiction forms, it’s very easy to turn to drugs like heroin, even though you may have never thought that to be the case.
If you or someone you love is addicted to opioids, The Dunes is here to help. Our high-end residential treatment program will create a customized recovery plan that addresses your addiction. Once you complete one of our highly structured programs, we will provide you with aftercare support, helping you to stay on track with your goals.
To learn more about how The Dunes East Hampton can help you create a life that is free from drugs and alcohol through luxury holistic and clinical treatment, call us today. Click here to learn more about our treatment programs.
Join us in spreading the word of the risk of addiction with painkillers. Share this story with friends, family and colleagues.