The continuing rise in OxyContin abuse nationwide-combined with more high profile pharmacy robbery cases involving the prescription pain killer in 2011-has prompted a Texas treatment center to double efforts against this growing epidemic.
Burning Tree, a long-term drug and rehabilitation facility, plans to expand outreach to individuals and groups abusing OxyContin and the generic oxycodone as well as the family members of those abusing any form of the drug. By raising awareness of treatment options available to counter OxyContin dependence, Burning Tree aims to help more Americans end the cycle of addiction and return to healthier lives in 2012.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has labeled oxycodone, the key ingredient marketed as OxyContin by Purdue Pharma, as the most abused medicine in the United States. That assessment is based on the number of drug seizures made by the DEA annually. Its position as the top drug threat in America is further supported by other agencies and organizations as well.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 20 percent of U.S. residents have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, with oxycodone ranked as the primary drug of choice. According to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey, 1 in 20 high school seniors have abused OxyContin, and the most recent figures for deaths directly or indirectly related to abuse of OxyContin (or its generic form) was more than 11,000 in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Treatment at Burning Tree in Texas provides OxyContin-dependent individuals with a comprehensive program, spiritually based and guided by addiction specialists who recognize drug dependence may be accompanied by co-occurring mental disorders. Effective treatment deters criminal behavior related to dependence, which may include illegal purchase of OxyContin or theft of the drug.
An organization known as RXPatrol, which consists of aforementioned pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma and various law enforcement agencies, reported in 2011 that pharmacy robberies in the last seven years neared the 2,000 mark. Pharmacy robberies make the drug more readily available for black market sales, while dealers heavily profit. In Seattle, for example, investigators report the drug is being stolen and resold for a dollar a milligram, or roughly $5,000 for a bottle of sixty 80-milligram pills.
The success rate of treating an OxyContin-dependent individual is increased with a dual diagnosis approach that integrates treatment for both drug dependence and mental disorders. A long-term rehabilitation setting also becomes an asset during the course of treatment by allowing an individual to create a path towards recovery step by step and practice a relapse prevention plan while in the care of treatment providers. Burning Tree operates two such facilities, outside of Dallas and Austin, treating individuals from all 48 contiguous states.
For more information, visit www.burningtree.com.
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