When it comes to the less affluent classes, drug dependencies take on different meanings. Even status-driven drug use means something different in a working class environment, where resources are less equally distributed. Opiates are, due to their botanical origins, one of the most diverse and easily available types of drug in circulation today. If you’re a part of the working class community and either you or someone close to you is struggling with opiate addiction, you’ll want to keep several things in mind.
Not Only an Urban Issue
Many tend to associate opiate addiction with the urban poor. However, recently, the United States has seen a drastic increase in deaths from overdose of this drug class among the rural and impoverished. When you think about opiates in this light, it not only includes just heroin of varying degrees of quality, but also prescription pain medication—opioids. In some rural counties, numbers of opiate abuse deaths have doubled in a few short years. These statistics only account for fatalities, not the overall opiate-using population.
Officials say that the key to rehabilitation from opiate abuse is a safe place to detox. But for many, such places are either entirely inaccessible or extremely hard to access. Even with the expansion of Medicare in most states, waiting lists for such facilities make getting timely and professional help almost impossible. This means that the poorer populations in both the city and the rural communities don’t have access to the help they need, which leads to more addicts and ultimately to more opiate abuse.
Opiate pain medication is relatively ubiquitous in poorer communities, as is its illegitimate relative, heroin. While there are some pretty complex social factors at play, a simplification of the issue is that people in these communities learn the value of these drugs early on. While medication may be legitimately used to manage pain in many cases, opiates of all varieties provide another sort of relief. In communities where resources and opportunities are thin on the ground, such substances provide escape. Even though the sense of freedom does not last, and is never actual, the opiate abuse from pharmaceutical grade morphine to cheap and dangerously diluted heroin is habitual and trans-generational in many cases.
Because all these drugs are highly addictive, it isn’t uncommon for those who are prescribed it by their doctors to fall into a pattern of opiate abuse. In the case of working class and poor populations, especially in the last decade, this may often be how many addicts develop their habit. As the economy suffered, many people were forced to take jobs that were physically taxing. Long hours became longer hours. In many cases, in order to keep a job, employees may have accepted substandard treatment from their employers. This means that a greater incidence of trauma or repetitive stress injuries may have occurred and been medicated using opiates. Even mild medications can prove habit forming.
If you’re struggling with opiate abuse and don’t feel that there are any resources nearby to help you, know that there is a hotline you can call to receive help. Assistance shouldn’t be determined by your economic status. Everyone deserves access to the tools and resources that will help them build a positive, productive life. Just call the helpline at 800-890-3586, and plant your feet firmly on the road to recovery today.