The severity of the prescription opioid epidemic varies widely across US states and regions. For example, the state with the highest drug overdose death rate has a rate more than eight times that of the state with the lowest rate. Nebraska's overdose death rate for 2010 (6.7 per 100,000 residents) is below the national rate (12.4 per 100,000 residents).
Comparisons of rural to urban drug use within Nebraska show that rural users start using drugs at a younger age, and are more likely to use prescription opioids, use non-marijuana illicit drugs and meth at a higher rate than their urban counterparts. Their methods of use are more risky as well.
The daily count methadone use in Nebraska in 2012 was four times the rate of 2008 and overall estimates suggest that only 8.6 percent of illicit drug-dependent individuals received treatment during 2012.
In all, 3,594 Nebraskans and 8,131 Iowans were admitted for treatment for cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiate abuse in 2013, with prescription opioids and methamphetamine by far the most common.
Diverted pharmaceuticals pose a low but increasing threat to Nebraska. Among the pharmaceuticals most commonly abused are hydrocodone products (Lortab and Vicodin). Other pharmaceuticals frequently abused in Nebraska include codeine, diazepam (Valium), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone, morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan), and propoxyphene (Darvocet).
The primary sources of diverted pharmaceuticals are pharmacies and medical practitioners. Unscrupulous medical professionals either steal the drugs or commit prescription fraud by selling prescriptions.
In a process known as doctor shopping, abusers visit several doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions. Individuals also alter prescriptions or call pharmacies with false prescription refills.
Law enforcement officials in Omaha indicate that it is not uncommon for drug distributors to trade drugs. In 2000 members of the Nebraska State Patrol and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated a case in which an Omaha man mailed pounds of marijuana to a suspect in Jupiter, Florida, and received Hydrocodone in exchange for the marijuana.
In 2017, Nebraska providers wrote 56.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. The average U.S. rate in the same year was 58.7 prescriptions per 100 persons (per the CDC).
In 2017, there were more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. - an age-adjusted rate of 21.7 per 100,000 persons. Among these, 47,600 involved opioids - primarily prescription opioids. The sharpest increase occurred among deaths involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs (other synthetic narcotics) with more than 28,400 overdose deaths in 2017.
The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths has not changed in Nebraska over the past several years. In 2017, there were 8.1 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 persons. While the majority of drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid, overdose deaths involving opioids are not included for the state because the data reported did not meet inclusion criteria
NAS or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) may occur when a pregnant woman uses drugs such as opioids during pregnancy. The most recent data on the rate of babies born with NAS/NOWS in Nebraska is from 2014 and is based on state inpatient databases.
The rate of NAS/NOWS doubled from 1.0 cases per 1,000 hospital births in 2010 to 2.3 cases per 1,000 hospital births in 2014. This is according to data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.
Of the new HIV cases in 2016, 76 occurred in Nebraska. Among males, 11.3 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to opioid and prescription opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 14.3 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to opioid abuse and prescription opioid abuse.
In 2015, an estimated 2,040 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Nebraska — a rate of 131 cases per 100,000 persons. Of those, 15.5 percent of cases among males were attributed to opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 13.6 percent were living with HIV attributed to opioid abuse and prescription opioid abuse.
There were approximately 2 new cases of acute HCV (0.1 per 100,000 persons) reported in Nebraska in 2016 (per the CDC). In Nebraska, there are an estimated 8,100 persons living with Hepatitis C (2013-2016 annual average), a rate of 570 cases per 100,000 persons. A good amount of these cases are attributable to opioid and prescription opioid abuse.
Comparisons of rural to urban drug use within Nebraska show that rural users start using drugs at a younger age, are more likely to use and pawn off prescription opiods as well as such illicit drugs as meth. They also use non-marijuana illicit drugs at a higher rate than their urban counterparts. Their methods of use are more risky as well.
The great news here is that there are numerous centers of treatment and rehab available in the state of Nebraska. There are many types of treatment centers such as long term addiction treatment facilities, short term drug abuse treatment, outpatient detoxification programs, outpatient substance abuse treatment services, inpatient drug abuse treatment and others.
There is a wide range of drug and alcohol rehab facilities available. They include individual psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, couple/family therapy, trauma therapy, trauma-related counseling, cognitive/behavior therapy and others, to name a few. If you need rehab in the state of Nebraska, all you need to do is place a call to any of the available rehab centers.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.
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