Fact vs. Fiction

Fiction – Older adults are more at risk for addiction to prescription painkillers.
Fact – Young people ages 12 through 25 have the most risk of painkiller addiction. In fact, painkiller abuse at an early age is one of the most common gateways for illicit drug use later in life.

Fiction – People who abuse painkillers are most likely to acquire them from a doctor, dentist, or pharmacist.
Fact – The vast majority of painkiller abusers obtain the medication through friends or relatives. This underscores the need for opioid patients to secure their medications and dispose of any unwanted pills.

Fiction – Physical dependence on opioids only occurs with high doses over a long time.
Fact – Daily use of prescription opioids can foster physical dependence in days or weeks. This is why it is so important to take prescription medications exactly in the manner prescribed.

Fiction – Physical dependence on opioid medications can be easily overcome.
Fact – Because of the effects that opioid addiction has on the brain, successfully overcoming dependence can be especially difficult, even when patients are motivated to discontinue use.

Fiction – Opioid overdoses only occur among drug abusers.
Fact – Patients who take prescription opioids are at risk of unintentional overdose and death. The risk increases over time, when the dosage is increased, and when opioids are combined with alcohol and other drugs.

Addiction: A Family Disease

Addiction is known as a family disease because of the stress that it creates on family members. It damages the stability of the home, impacts family unity, mental health, physical health, financial standing, and overall family dynamics.

Drug abuse, and the resulting addiction, very often leads to troubles and complications in everyday life. These include neglecting responsibilities at work, school or home, a willingness to take careless risks, and getting into legal trouble for acts like stealing to support a drug habit.

Drugs and alcohol affect the way our brains work, which makes it harder for people using them to stop, in spite of negative consequences. Addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, and it is important that those struggling with addiction seek help.