Rise in Pain Pill Related Crimes

Addiction to opioids and other pain pills can be very overpowering and has led to a rise in pain pill related crimes. Oxycodone abuse, as well as the abuse of other pain pills such as hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), is largely responsible for this alarming trend. When pain pills are taken for a short period of time and exactly as prescribed, there is little danger of addiction. It’s when you take more medication than prescribed, take prescriptions that belong to others or take pain pills in a form that will cause you to feel the effects more quickly that you can get into trouble. Opioids provide a very intoxicating high, particularly when injected or crushed and snorted. The compulsion to repeat the euphoric feeling that comes from oxycodone abuse or other pain pill abuse can lead to disastrous consequences, including criminal activity.

Main Pain Pill Related Crimes

The rise in crimes caused by opioid abuse is related to the increase in the number of these prescriptions being written. There are several different crimes that are tied to the use and abuse of pain pills. Criminal activity from pain pill abuse is typically triggered by an overwhelming compulsion to obtain more medication. The main crimes related to prescription pill abuse include:

  • Stealing medication from friends and family, which may include going through medicine cabinets of acquaintances any time you have the opportunity to be in someone else’s home
  • Faking illnesses and visiting multiple doctors or multiple pharmacies
  • Stealing money from family, friends and strangers
  • Stealing prescription pads from doctors and forging doctors’ signatures

As addiction progresses, so does the likelihood of criminal activity. Stealing a few dollars from a family member may progress to breaking and entering into other people’s homes, or even holding up a pharmacy.

Overcoming Addiction to Pain Pills 

The rise in the availability of prescription pain pills has led to dramatic increases in negative consequences associated with them. This includes criminal activity, emergency room visits and overdose deaths. The nature of addiction is such that you will ultimately do things that you would never have done if you had not been addicted to a substance. Oxycodone abuse and abuse of other pain pills is a progressive illness. Untreated opioid abuse frequently leads to the abuse of other substances, particularly heroin. If you are abusing pain pills, you have a problem that isn’t likely to go away without help overcoming your addiction. If you have not yet committed a pain pill related crime, there is a good chance that as your disease progresses, you will. Breaking the cycle of addiction requires more than willpower. Getting past a problem with oxycodone abuse or abuse of other narcotic pain pills will require the help of addiction professionals. Begin by talking to your doctor or an addiction specialist. Withdrawal from pain pills may be very intense and may need to be done in an inpatient facility. Medications and counseling can help reduce the compulsion to abuse opioids, and may need to be continued on a long-term basis. Support from a 12-step group such as Narcotics Anonymous is important for long-term recovery from addiction to pain pills. Admission that there is a problem and commitment to recovery can give you the opportunity to prevent the long-term consequences of pain pill abuse, such as criminal activity or overdose. Resources National Institute on Drug Abuse: America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse WebMD: Treating an Addiction to Pain Killers https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/breaking-an-addiction-to-painkillers-treatment-overvew

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