Diversion and abuse of opiate (narcotic) painkillers has become problematic in this Northeast state, as in many other parts of the country. Products containing hydrocodone and oxycodone have presented the biggest problem for law enforcement agencies, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Prescription painkiller dependence is rarely the fault of the patient. Most people who have a legitimate prescription for drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin and become addicted do so after developing a tolerance. This causes some people to escalate use, which can be a dangerous turning point. Diversion of these drugs has become more sophisticated over the last decade, but federal, state and local authorities have stepped up efforts to cut down on this. Pennsylvania is one of many states to implement a prescription drug-monitoring program, a database that helps identify instances of use abuse and illegal activity.
Prescription opiates are widely available through various avenues, but tend to be very pricey on the street. For this reason, some people turn to heroin, which tends to be cheaper and available in a highly pure form. Bigger cities including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have seen an increase in the amount of high purity heroin being distributed. The DEA said smaller cities and towns, including Reading, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton have become lower level distribution points for traffickers and users. Fentanyl is a highly potent opiate medication that is also a problem in terms of abuse and diversion in Pennsylvania. Fentanyl is used to manage breakthrough cancer pain that can’t be controlled by other medications. It’s said to be much more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is used in preparations including Actiq, which comes in the form of a lozenge, and Duragesic, a patch. The DEA said popular diversion methods in Pennsylvania include the illegal sale and distribution by healthcare workers, doctor shopping, forged prescriptions and the Internet. There are many unscrupulous websites that will ship these medications without requiring a prescription. Some have been shown to provide dangerous, counterfeit and expired medication.
Opiate dependence has become a serious problem throughout the Unites States in recent years. Enrollment in Pennsylvania opiate treatment programs has also increased throughout the state. Pennsylvania detox can be accomplished in many ways. A professional, medical approach is best in terms of safe, successful outcomes. Waismann Method for rapid opiate detox has treated patients from Pennsylvania and around the world for more than a decade. Our detox takes less than two hours using non-narcotic intravenous medication that cleanses the drugs from patients’ opiate receptors. They are put to sleep by anesthesiologists who monitor the procedure carefully. Once it’s complete and patients are awake, they are no longer opiate-dependent. Accelerated withdrawal symptoms develop and pass during the procedure, eliminating the fear and suffering that goes with it. Patients are then monitored closely during recovery and can return home within a few days. We also offer an extended care program through our Domus Retreat.