Opiate Addiction in Hawaii

Opiate Addiction Recovery Program

As of 2014, prescription drug overdoses topped motor vehicle accidents throughout Hawaii as the leading cause of accidental death. Over the course of the past decade, prescription painkiller-related overdose deaths have increased by 68% statewide. It is absolutely fair to include the state of Hawaii in what has become nationally known as the current ‘opiate epidemic’ – overdose deaths throughout the entire US have been skyrocketing, and more innocent men and women are losing their lives to painkiller and heroin addiction today than ever before.

To put things into perspective: The United States makes up four percent of the world’s population – and consumes slightly over 80 percent of the world’s narcotic painkiller prescriptions.

opiate addiction

Prescription painkillers, even when initially taken as prescribed, can be exceedingly easy to get hooked on – especially for those who are predisposed to substance dependency. The vast majority of men and women who currently struggle with opiate addiction initially began taking prescription painkillers after being prescribed the opioid narcotics by a medical professional. It was previously exceedingly common for painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin, or Hydrocodone to be prescribed for short-term treatment of pain-related issues, such as sports-related injuries and post surgical procedures. Unfortunately, the highly addictive qualities of such narcotic medications frequently lead to unintentional abuse. State officials as well as members of the general public soon took notice, and statewide preventative measures were put into place in attempts of reducing the number of painkiller-related fatalities. The state of Hawaii implemented a Take Back program, providing residents with a safe place to dispose of unused or expired pharmaceuticals.

With the widespread crackdowns on painkiller distribution, the street cost of prescription opioid narcotics began to rapidly increase. Soon, satiating a full-blown painkiller habit became completely unaffordable. Those who had developed physical and psychological dependencies on the pills began turning to a more affordable and readily available alternative – heroin. It is currently estimated that 4 out of every 5 cases of heroin addiction initially began with an introduction to prescription painkillers. In Hawaii (along with the rest of the nation), heroin addiction has become a steadily increasing issue. More admissions to inpatient addiction treatment currently involve heroin dependency than ever before. In attempts to increase awareness and prevent more cases of heroin addiction from developing, local and state government officials have begun implementing programs to help with what has quickly become an epidemic of its own. Clean needle exchange programs are being put into place, and opioid blockers such as Narcan are being more widely distributed. However, the rates of heroin-related overdose death continue to steadily climb.

opiate addiction treatment

The most effective method of action in stymying the progression of the Hawaiian opiate outbreak has been the establishment of inpatient treatment facilities statewide. With more available treatment options, more opiate-addicted men and women are receiving the professional help they so desperately need and deserve. If you or someone you love is battling an addiction to prescription painkillers or heroin, there is help available. Lease contact Maui Recovery today for more information on our own program of opiate addiction recovery, or for a more comprehensive list of treatment options. We look forward to speaking with you soon.