Dr. Oz: “Pain Relievers” – First Step to Heroin Addiction
In today’s Dr. Oz show, you can’t help but feel alarmed that addiction already touches the most normal of families and happiest of American homes. The perfect Mom…the all-American child…are no longer safe from the clutches of narcotics addiction.
This is certainly the new face of heroin addiction, and thankfully Dr. Oz is giving the much needed attention to this nationwide secret. Cynthia and Stephanie’s stories were put in center-stage to serve as a wake-up call to all of us.
Dr. Oz: How a Perfect Mom Became a Heroin Addict?
Cynthia was an example of a perfect Mom. She’s a mother of eight, a grandmother and a member of PTA, who was busy with cooking and helping her children with homework. But, everything was turned upside-down when her doctor put her on pain-relief medication. She’s had seven Caesarian Sections, and over time it built up scar tissues that caused her hip pains. It got so bad that she needed to see a pain doctor. She was prescribed with a cocktail of pills for pain relief: Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Soma, Flexeril, and Valium.
So, after a month of taking these pills, she wanted more. She couldn’t get through the day without taking the pills. After six months of pain medication, she was taking up to six tablets of 80 mg Oxycontin per day! When a different doctor saw her, the addiction was full-blown and it was too late to stop even if the doctor told her to cut back on the amount of her medication. Ultimately, she ended up in heroin. She used up her one month supply of pills in one week, and then used heroin to help her through the next three weeks. She met a heroin dealer which she knew about from her high school kids. He taught her how to smoke it, and from then on she was hooked. She found that heroin was cheaper than her medication. She’d sell one Oxycontin tablet and in exchange get heroin enough to last her three days. She was only at her end when she looked at herself in the mirror for the first time in years: she found a shriveled stranger staring back at her. That’s when she realized that she was nothing but a junkie – and no longer a perfect Mom.
Dr. Oz: How an Honor Student Ended Up a Heroin Addict?
Stephanie grew up in a great home, with a really loving family. Until high school, she had good grades, was an outstanding student and played varsity softball. In college, everything was going great until she acquired a stomach flu that caused her so much pain. That was the turning point where everything started going downhill. They took her to a hospital , and when she was discharged, she was prescribed with 5mg Percocet. The pill made her feel high and happy – a feeling that was new to her. And then a college friend introduced her to 30mg Percocet, which is six times more potent than her usual pill. So, she crushed it, snorted it, and it made her feel like she found her best friend.
Her addiction had gotten so bad that she started stealing from everyone, including her parents. She also stole from every job she’s got. Then she outgrew the pills. She needed higher and more doses. Her boyfriend introduced her to heroin. She didn’t want to use it at first because she thought it dirty. But it was cheap. It was available. And she needed it all day – every day.
Dr. Oz: A Grim Warning to the American Nation
Addiction and Recovery Specialist Seth Jaffe, who is a former heroin addict, explains how addiction happens to people who are otherwise upstanding citizens, and who we think are free from risk of this problem. He says that once taken in a short amount of time, pain relievers build up tolerance in the body, thus making you want more. Over prescription of this pill is the root of addiction, paving the way to the new face of addiction in the new millennium. He further explains that, “Unfortunately, this country is being flooded with a tsunami of heavily addictive, HEAVILY ADDICTIVE, narcotic pain medication. This country needs intervention, because this is here to stay.” It is alarming to know that 40% of deaths in America today is heroin related.
We should all watch out because highly addictive opioids will gradually get you into heroin use. These medicines are created to help people who are in level 10 pain, like terminal cancer patients. But what’s happening is, these pain medications are prescribed for moderate pain. For instance, Fentanyl patches are easily prescribed to relieve pain, when this is only necessary for severe cases of pain.
Addiction is Badly Affecting Our Loved-Ones
Now, it is not just the addict who suffers from addiction, but the family and community are also affected. Becky, Stephanie’s mom, says that it hurt to see this happening to their daughter and how it unraveled before them. They wanted to fix it, but they couldn’t. And it took so long for Stephanie to heal. Becky says that an addict is “not a bad person trying to get good, but a sick person trying to get well. This truly is a disease.”
Dorothy lost her only child to heroin addiction. She is making an appeal to help those who are hooked in drugs. She explains that, “it happens behind doors – next door. One in every three families is an addict.”
Dr. Oz: Opioid warning label
Dr. Oz warns with all emphasis and seriousness that you should have ONLY ONE doctor prescribing your medications. His Opioid warning label goes:
- Have only one doctor prescribing pain medications.
(Don’t go doctor shopping.)
- Take medication for one week then switch to something less potent.
(For example, you are prescribed with Oxycontin for ankle sprain, knee pain, or you just had hysterectomy, ask your doctor to switch you to something less potent after one week.)
- When you don’t need it anymore, flush it down the toilet.
(Get rid of it. Get it out of your house, away from your family.)
Dr. Oz explains that doctors have over prescribed this medicine, and it seems that people expect to. But, you have a choice. You have the power to stop this before it puts you on the road to addiction.
We need to wake up America.