1-800-732-5430 | Atlanta, GA
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It’s certainly no newsflash that opioid dependence has become prevalent in America. But the fact that teenagers and young adults are more likely to abuse opioid painkillers than older adults might just blow your mind. Between 2002 and 2004, 1.1 percent of people aged 12-17 and 1.3 percent of people aged 18-25 were addicted to prescription drugs. That’s approximately twice the percentage of people between the ages of 26 and 49, and six times the percentage of adults 50 and older.*

And the numbers continue to rise.

From teenagers to mature adults, one thing is certain: people are getting hooked — even overdosing — on painkillers. Today, more people die from opioid overdose than cocaine or heroin. Opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin, Lortab and Percocet are effective for individuals who suffer from severe chronic or acute pain; however, more and more people are using these prescription drugs to alleviate stress and relieve emotional pain.

Abusers of opioids use them as a means to ‘numb out’ and deal with anger, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Pain relievers may provide an escape from reality for a while, but the addiction will backfire at some point. The individual develops a tolerance to the drug, whereby he or she must take more pills to get the same effect as before, and life eventually becomes unmanageable.

Opioid addiction causes long-term damage to the brain and often requires professional treatment for lasting recovery. The biggest challenge in treating those who are dependent on opioids is that long-term use can result in a ‘flat’ effect. In other words, the person becomes apathetic and unmotivated. He or she may no longer care about things, including recovery.

Learning healthy ways to cope and getting professional help are the best ways to overcome opioid dependence. There is hope for the addict, but the road to recovery takes work and a willingness to get better.

*Data based on the 2002, 2003 and 2004 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs) on the nonmedical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs.


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10 Comments

  • My son was a patient at Marr and we were very pleased with his treatment there. He has severe back issues which includes a shattered pelvis so he is in chronic pain and was given opioids many years ago. After his stay at Marr he has not made very successful progress. He went to Blue Ridge recovery center and was not very happy with the program. Now he has a lot of anxiety and no drive to get better. He goes to a psychiatrist only once a month which is not enough treatment. He is covered by WellCare and is still dealing with Workers Comp issues.
    We’re at a loss at how to help him or what his next step should be. Could you please give us some advice as to what he should do? His mental state is not good, racing thoughts, feels like he has major issues. Please help him or give advice on what his next step should be. Thanks so much, Renee Mansour(mom)

    • MARR says:

      Renee,

      Thanks so much for your response to the Opioid Challenge in America. I am glad that your son’s treatment at MARR was successful. At this point, he may be struggling with issues and complications arising from his chronic pain condition. It is not unusual for anxiety and depression to accompany chronic pain, and it makes it even worse when there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. One option you may want to consider is working with a Pain Center that utilizes different methods other than just opioids. The Emory Pain Center in the Emory Healthcare system has been a program that specialized in finding alternative methods of managing pain. I know it seems like an overwhelming situation, with a lot of variables. But, it has been my experience over the years, that appropriate non-opioid management of the pain will alleviate many of the emotional issues as well.

      I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, please contact us. We are more than happy to help you find the right place for your son. Our number is 1-800-732-5430.

  • Mark McCulloch says:

    How does one deal with the ‘flat’ effect? I have been clean from opoids for nearly two years and still struggle with apathy and lack of motivation. Do you have suggestions for simple things in daily life to help? I’m not interested in using again, just in getting more enthusiasm for life.

    • MARR says:

      Mark, please feel free to call 678.805.5100, where we can give you a free assessment and help you find a therapist to help you out of the ‘flat effect.’ Other things you can do are exercising, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and attending AA or NA meetings if you aren’t already.

  • Jon Stangel says:

    What type withdrawl program do you have? Withdrawls are the scariest part of recovery so I need to know how you handle that. Thank you

    • MARR says:

      Jon, we believe you are looking for a detox program. Unfortunately, we do not offer detox, however, if you call 678-805-5100, we can offer you a free assessment, and connect you to a local detox program.

  • Anonymous says:

    My son is 24 and addicted to opiates. His psychiatrist has also had him on xanex for 2 yrs.
    He recommended MARR but he would need detox. Did I read that you do not have a detox program?

    • MARR says:

      Hi, we do not have a detox program, however, if you call 678.805.5100, our Admissions Team will be able to give a free assessment and refer your son to a detox center, and possibly admit him into our program once he detoxes. He must go through an assessment to enter our program.

  • Tayloe Rivera says:

    I believe i have brain damage from 10 to 12 years of using ms conton 30 mg and oxycodone without
    Asprin additives and soma. Last year i got a retaliation diagnosis of being delusional and paranoid. I was not either one of these ,however the nurse doctor treating me was angry that I had turned her in for her rude behaviour. I was seeing a psych doctor for bipolar disorder as well as major panic attacks. She authorized me to have two halladol injections with adivan and benadryl.
    Then reported i was not cooperative and saying in appropriate things
    Well if i had shot her up twice with halladol mix
    On top of the ms conton 30 mgs and oxycodone 30 mgs as well as soma. Quite frankly i was scared she was going to deliberately overdose me. The next thing i remember i went to a behavioral clinic withou consultations with my pchsicologist or my pain management. They even said they didnt think it was due to my opiod use!
    I was in that facility for 18 days on halladol.lithium shots and pills. I was being treated for something i was not parinoid and dillusional as she had stated i was scared of her and of course i DID NOT want to go to that place
    I felt like a prisoner being held against my will. I was as compliant as possible and as soon as my insurance sent a letter of denial of payment suddenly i was out the next day. I have not been well since that day ..i went from a happy productive individual with creative instinks into an almost invalid. I developed vertigo and underwent a test to rule out inner ear problems. I am getting an mri as a cat scan only showed a haze over my brain indicating a atrophy. I am 63. And have never looked my age or smoked or drank! My question do you think they helped with the brain damage I feel like ive had since i got home
    I could not even get out of bed until recently.
    The report of the retaliation of the female doctor
    Went so far as saying i looked much older than my stated age of 62! Why would that have anything to do with it ? Ive always been told i dont look my age…always!!! I just want the vertigo to go away! Is their a chance she hurt me further than the pain management doctor?

  • andrea tiffany says:

    I was at Marr from 1995 through 1997. I had been in treatment four times previously to my time at Marr. I chose to stay in a 3/4 quarter house and later independent living all made possible at Marr. I highly recommend it for anyone seeking help. It is the closest you can get to staying sober in the real world. The support you learn to accept from your community will be the same support you’ll need for sobriety after Marr.I did have a brief relapse in 2001 but have been clean since 4/2001. A miracle and one i give many thanks to Marr for.
    Affectionately, Andrea Tiffany
    P.S. My 79 year old mother is here with me and she said the Alumni picnic yearly at the lake was one of the greatest days of her life..

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