In the 2002 made-for-TV movie "The Secret Life of Zoey," Julia Whelan (Zoe) plays a teenager whose divorced mother (Mia Farrow) and father (Cliff De Young) are trying to deal with their daughter's long-hidden addiction to painkillers. It was an early look at the growing epidemic of opioid abuse that's become a national health crisis.
These days, according to a large U.S. National Institutes of Health survey, 10 percent of Americans have had a drug use disorder, and 4 percent are currently struggling with the use of narcotic pain medicines, marijuana, amphetamines, club drugs (such as ecstasy), heroin, cocaine, sedatives, or tranquilizers.
But only one-quarter of those with a drug use disorder are getting help. And that's a shame because the health risks of abuse are huge — more than 200 people die every day from drug overdose.
Treatment and recovery save lives and allow people to reclaim a productive life. So, if you're struggling with drug use, here's info that can help you move toward sobriety:
• Addiction affects brain receptors and is a treatable disease. Want to find a treatment option in your area? Go online to www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
• No single treatment is appropriate for everyone, but counseling (individual and/or group) and other behavioral therapies, plus certain medications, can be helpful. The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry has a doctor listing at www.aaap.org.
• You may be interested in participating in a clinical trial of a new approach to drug treatment. If so, check out the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.
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