Drug addiction is a serious problem that plagues and often destroys the lives of many. While drug addiction is a problem throughout the nation and truly the world, there are certain areas in the United States that have inevitably been hit harder than others.
The use of methamphetamines or meth is on the rise in Skokie. It currently ranks as one of the citie’s most widely used drugs, and the destructive nature of this drug poses a serious threat to residents’ welfare. While the 2005 Federal Combating Methamphetamine Epidemic act reduced the number of meth related drug busts by controlling the sale of pseudoephedrine, the effect was only temporary. Meth producers simply found ways to skirt the law by recruiting people to buy ingredients outside of state lines. Producers of methamphetamines are also known to submit bulk orders to websites in a way that can not be tracked.
In 2009, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that one-fifth of America –- that’s over 48 million people -– have abused prescription drugs. Skokie alone reportedly sees an average of nearly 1,000 deaths resulting from painkiller abuse each year. The problem is rampant throughout all demographics and groups. In the past five years, there has been an increase of over 400% in the number of painkiller abuse cases in Skokie.
One of the most difficult aspects of this particular drug addiction is how accessible these drugs are. For example, younger users are frequently able to reach these drugs by simply opening the medicine cabinets in their homes. Prescriptions for other family members or leftover pills from surgeries or injuries are a prime target and are impossible to regulate or stop the use of by law enforcement.
Abusers of painkillers are also legally able to obtain painkillers by visiting multiple doctors to get the same prescription for pain. Because sharing information between health providers is a sensitive and difficult process, obtaining painkillers for misuse is often as easy as feigning an injury and claiming medication is needed to combat discomfort. Additionally, numerous pharmacies sell painkillers without requesting sufficient information from the customer.
There are several steps to being implemented to reverse these issues, such as requiring a photo ID to pick up a narcotic from any pharmacy as well as keeping any collected records for at least three years. While this is a step in the right direction, much more could be done with current technology. A database shared by medical professionals, for example, has been a repeatedly suggested solution that could actually put an end to “doctor shopping”. Until the proper tools are put into place, painkiller abuse will continue to be an issue and dampen efforts to stop the drug epidemic in Skokie.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. While some states have legalized it, it remains an issue in states that continue to prohibit the drug. More than 50 percent of marijuana users take it on at least a monthly basis. Marijuana use is most prevalent with Skokie residents aged 25 and over.
There is treatment available for all cases of drug abuse. While the majority of patients receiving treatment are involved in outpatient care, those seeking to soundly cure the addiction often check into inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment involves being admitted to a rehab center specifically designed to help identify and combat the various causes and symptoms of drug addiction. Differing from outpatient treatment in which the individual is still resuming their activities outside the treatment center, inpatient treatment requires the individual to remain in the center. This intensive option is designed to create an environment that most effectively weans the user off the drug and prevents exposure from any potential to be drawn back into the destructive addiction.
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