Opiate dependency is a very serious matter and has plagued the state of Maryland. Opiates are a class of drug that includes heroin and many prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, Demerol, methadone and morphine. The state is situated on the east coast in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Two nearby metropolitan areas – Baltimore and Washington, D.C. – contribute to the state’s problem with drugs. In 2009, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Baltimore was heavily plagued by the trade, abuse and diversion of heroin. In fact, the agency said that for the last decade Baltimore has had the distinction of being one of the worst cities in the U.S. in terms of a problem with heroin. Many times, people turn to heroin after becoming dependent upon prescription painkillers. Heroin is often cheaper and has become more pure in recent years.
The DEA says Baltimore has higher numbers of heroin addicts and related crimes than nearly every other city in the country. Maryland also has a problem with the diversion of oxycodone-containing products such as OxyContin. This is a very potent medication that is time-released and is meant to control serious pan. It can be a very useful treatment for those in pain but can be addicting when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time. Most people who become dependent upon their prescription OxyContin don’t intend for this to happen. It can happen once the body becomes used to the drug and requires more for pain relief. Others may abuse the drug for the heroin-like high it can produce. The DEA lists other medications that are often abused or diverted in Maryland as: hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab), methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex). Popular methods of diversion throughout Maryland include doctor shopping, pharmacy theft and diversion, illegal distribution by health care workers and forged prescriptions. The Internet also provides a popular avenue for the illegal distribution of controlled substances.
Opiate dependence in Maryland is serious but can be treated by professionals. Since 1997, the Waismann Method in southern California has offered rapid opiate detoxification in a safe, compassionate atmosphere. Our discreet detox occurs in the safety of a hospital where intravenous medications are given while patients are lightly sedated. This takes less than two hours and cleanses the drug from patients’ opiate receptors. Accelerated withdrawal symptoms develop and pass while patients are under general deep sedation. This enables our patients to essentially skip a painful withdrawal and move forward quickly with recovery. They are supervised very closely and our total required hospital stay is 5 to 6 days. We also offer transitional care at our Domus Retreat, where therapies include counseling and biofeedback.
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