Enough Is Enough: Prescription Drug Substance Abuse Disorders Co-Occurring With Alcoholism Doing Too Much Damage Today
At ONECENTER, the dedicated staff and clinical team are tired of seeing so many good people destroy their lives and die tragic deaths on account of co-occurring disorders like mixing alcoholism with prescription drugs, particularly benzodiazepines like Valium, Xanax, and Ativan and painkillers like OxyContin and Oxycodone. When will we finally learn from experience that mixing prescription drugs and alcohol is a fatal combination? How many people do we have to lose to this deadly cocktail before we realize that enough is enough?
Co-Occurring Disorders And Combined Drug Intoxication (CDI)
Officially it is called Combined drug intoxication (CDI), also known as multiple drug intake (MDI) or lethal polydrug/polypharmacy intoxication. Traditionally, co-occurring disorders refer to a mental disorder side-by-side with prescription drug addiction and/or alcoholism. Since both alcoholism and drug addiction have been classified as diseases, co-addiction is now a co-occurring disorder as well. Whatever you want to designate the problem, ONE80CENTER are experts at providing the best in treatment services and effective care.
To this combination of alcoholism and drug addiction that is seen every day in rehabs and treatment centers, the world has lost so many celebrities and cultural giants. Such a deadly mixture killed rock icons like Jimi Hendrix (alcohol and barbiturates) and Elvis Presley (ten prescription drugs and alcohol) as well as contemporary legends like Anna Nicole Smith (vodka and four benzodiazepines: Klonopin, Ativan, Sera, and Valium), and Heath Ledger (oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, alprazolam, doxylamine and mixed drinks).
None of the above information is some great mystery or revelation. ONE80CENTER always protects the privacy and anonymity of our clients and community. All of these statistics can be found in Wikipedia. The relevant point is the list literally could go on and on. Since the human body so quickly processes alcohol, it rarely turns up in the toxicology reports of autopsies. But drinking is almost always a factor. In addition, both the drug addiction and the drinking tend to be used as a form of self-medication to address underlying co-occurring mental problems and psychological disorders
Co-occurring as disorders, often used as a form of alternative medication for a mental problem or emotional issue like anxiety, depression and borderline tendencies, alcoholism and substance abuse tend to go hand-in-hand. In the past, the substance abuse disorders tended to deal primarily with illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine. Although ONE80CENTER still treats its fare share of patients with illegal drug addictions, it is no longer the dominant archetype. Since so many of the substance abuse disorders now involve prescription medication, it all seems terribly legal. This is what we are most likely to hear in the process of an addict’s rationalization.
The Warped Perception Of Prescription Drug Addicted Alcoholics
“Yeah, I’m taking a bunch of pills but I have prescriptions for them. What’s the big deal if I am having a drink here and there as well? I think everyone should just get off my back. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong or breaking the law. I know my limits, I just screwed-up a couple of times. Of course, I like to drink to take the edge off. Who doesn’t need a little help to deal with all the financial stress these days? With all the tabloid crap and bullshit out there, who wouldn’t want to have a few drinks with the boys before going home or maybe a bottle of wine at dinner? And, okay, sure I use something in the morning to get the day off with a pop, and maybe I take a pill or two at the office to keep things cool and collected, and a few at night to help me get to sleep. But, come on now, I’m not an addict or an alcoholic. I don’t have a serious problem. Isn’t that the way things are? Isn’t that what everyone does to get by?”
Okay, the little speech above is filled with a thousand and one clichés, but we literally experience them all the time. And we really want to get our point across and help you realize what is going on out there. We will deliver you in the coming months a series of articles and blogs that show the medical establishment’s perspective on this problem and how close it is to all the cutting edge addiction research of the day. To begin with, we took the gloves off and got down to the proverbial brass tacks. Alcoholism and addiction are cunning, baffling and powerful diseases. We are tired of going to funerals and watching parents bury their children and beautiful lives being wasted.
The Plague Of Co-Occurring Substance Abuse Disorders Worsening
Today we make the choice to put our foot down and say enough is enough. This is no longer a minor problem to push into the back of the newspapers or to be discussed only in obscure online forums, which, of course, we naturally do support and value. However, it should not take the death of a celebrity from co-occurring prescription drug and alcohol abuse to place this problem on the front page of our lives. Our country literally is experiencing a modern plague of co-occurring addictive disorders, and it is going to get worse before it gets better. That’s why it must be dealt with now. At ONE80CENTER, our clinical team and staff are experts when it comes to treating co-occurring alcohol and substance abuse disorders while making sure that any underlying mental problems and psychological issues are fully addressed.