BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. Jan. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — After years of putting the spotlight on the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse, the Waismann Method® is pleased by recent numbers revealing opiate addiction decline. The reasons for the decline are greater regulatory controls, such as electronic tracking of controlled substance prescriptions, as well as increased treatment options and awareness. The Waismann Method has repeatedly called for these regulatory measures since first observing the rapid increase in patients addicted to prescription opiate-based painkillers.
The study findings, published in the January 15th edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, reveal that while the number of individuals addicted to prescription painkillers rose from 2002 to 2010, the number decreased between 2011 and 2013. Overdose deaths have also declined since 2009. Prescription painkillers are opiate-based drugs, including OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. The decrease correlates to an outpouring of public and government response which began in 2012, the year that 16,651 opioid-related deaths occurred.
However, the news isn’t all positive. The same study reported that while prescription based drug addictions are down, heroin addictions have increased. These findings indicate that many who were previously addicted to prescription drugs have now turned to heroin. This aligns with what the Waismann Method has proclaimed for years. The average heroin abuser is a young adult suburbanite who was first introduced to addiction through a prescription painkiller. We continue to assert that addiction rates can’t be decreased simply by decreasing the number of available drugs. A more comprehensive approach is needed to prevent substance abuse and addiction from occurring in the first place. In addition, greater access to effective drug abuse treatment and drug detoxification options at the first sign of a problem can stem the tide of cross-overs into illegal drug addiction.