Air Force Expands Drug Test
In a move that will most likely be mirrored by the rest of the working force, the Air Force and other military services will expand their drug testing to include testing for commonly abused prescription drugs beginning May 1, 2012. Major General Thomas W. Travis, Deputy Air Force Surgeon General claims the “abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and unfortunately, this trend is reflected in the military services.”
This is just another signal of how serious the prescription pill problem is in our culture today. Pain medications like Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycodone, and Morphine are now commonly abused by people who are not prescribed the drugs, and this can lead to an extreme addiction or physical dependence on the drugs. The pills can be taken orally, or the pills may be crushed and the powder snorted or injected. A number of overdose deaths have resulted from the latter routes of administration, particularly with the drug OxyContin, which was designed to be a slow-release formulation. Snorting or injecting crushed pills results in a rapid release of the drug into the bloodstream, exposing the person to high doses and causing many of the reported overdose reactions.
Repeated exposure to prescription pills causes the body to adapt, sometimes resulting in tolerance (that is, more of the drug is needed to achieve the desired effect compared to when it was first prescribed) and withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt cessation of drug use. But individuals who abuse or are addicted to prescription medications can be treated. Initially, they may need to undergo medically supervised detoxification to help reduce withdrawal symptoms—however, that is just the first step. Options for effectively treating addiction to prescription pills are drawn from research on treating heroin addiction. Behavioral treatments combined with medications have proven effective. Finding the right treatment center can make all the difference for a patient because certain standard programs may not work. At Seabrook House, patients can take comfort in knowing that we structure individually inspired detox and rehab programs in order to fit the needs of each unique patient. Seabrook House has rehab facilities located in New Jersey (NJ) and Pennsylvania (PA) and also an outpatient office in New York (NY). Contact Seabrook House today with any questions about prescription pill abuse, addiction, or treatment.