Many states in the northeast part of the country are experiencing big increases in the number of people seeking treatment for prescription painkiller addiction. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration reported in 2008 that hospitals and addiction treatment centers in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont were seeing more patients who had become addicted to opiates including OxyContin. The diversion, abuse and addiction of prescription drugs has become an epidemic in this country as more and more prescriptions are written and people are becoming more savvy about obtaining them. The diversion of prescription painkillers is big business and seems to be getting easier, according to law enforcement agencies. Diversion in the state of New Hampshire occurs through various methods, including the forgery and alteration of prescriptions. Illegal dispensing and over prescribing by healthcare professionals is also a problem. These professionals may also divert prescriptions drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet for themselves or to sell.
Though most people don’t intend to become dependent upon their prescription medication, those that do may turn to doctor shopping to secure more than one supply. Lawmakers in most states have agreed to take part in a prescription drug-monitoring program to help identify cases of diversion and abuse but the measure has failed three times in New Hampshire. The DEA said a growing trend that seems to be affecting all New England states is diversion through underground Internet “pharmacies” that illegally distribute these potent controlled substances without requiring a prescription. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that New Hampshire was tied for fourth place in the U.S. for the highest number of methadone related deaths. Fentanyl patches (Actiq), Suboxone and OxyContin have also been linked to many cases of addiction in the state, according to the DEA. Some of these drugs are diverted when people resell their prescriptions. In other cases, it’s been found that some doctors have been negligent in over prescribing Suboxone.
The abuse and diversion of prescription opiates and heroin is a serious problem throughout the nation. Residents of New Hampshire have long sought out the services of the Waismann Method for rapid opiate detoxification. Located in southern California, this renowned program has served people from around the world for more than a decade. The Waismann Method program is known for its success and safety ratings as well as its humane approach to opiate dependence. We use intravenous medicine to cleanse the drugs from patients’ opiate receptors. This happens while patients are lightly sedated by general deep sedation and resting comfortably in a hospital. This speeds up withdrawal and symptoms develop and pass while patients are sedated. This procedure lasts less than two hours and we require that patients stay between 3 and 6 days. From there, they can return home or choose to transition in our Domus Retreat aftercare facility.
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