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The City of Durham, which is mainly located in Durham County, also partially spreads into Wake County and Orange County. Duke University and Duke University Health System are the top employers in the area, together employing nearly 35,000 area residents.

Drug Abuse and Addiction in the Durham, North Carolina Area

A dangerous trend among teenagers is sweeping the Durham, North Carolina area. High school and college-aged teenagers are increasingly using over the counter cough medication to get high. The ingredient that causes the high is called dextromethorphan, or DXM. This active ingredient can cause an “out of body” experience similar to PCP and the user can experience side effects such as:

• Dizziness;
• Confusion;
• Drowsiness;
• Fast heart beat; and
• Disorientation.

While cough medicine with Codeine is regulated by the state and FDA, they have declined to classify DXM as a controlled substance. Thus, the drug is available to children over the counter and can cause issues ranging from permanent liver damage to death, especially when mixed with other substances such as alcohol. The Abuse of Cough Treatments Act of 2013 is currently being rehabilitated in hopes of adding an age restriction to the purchase of cough medicine with DXM.

Of particular concern is that the drug does not show up on standard drug tests. Furthermore, DXM in pill form closely resembles candy, and has therefore earned its name of “Skittles.” The drug is also being called:

• Triple-C;
• Tussin;
• Robotripping; and
• Dex.

Unfortunately, DXM is not the only drug that Durham is doing battle with. Heroin overdoses have been on the rise in the area and all across the country. Heroin addiction typically begins with prescription painkillers. As the prescription becomes unavailable to the addict, they often turn to illicit avenues, such as Heroin, which produces a cheaper high.

Luckily, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC), an advocacy group, is focusing on education and prevention of drug abuse and addiction. In 2013, the life-saving Opioid overdose antidote, Naloxone, became available to citizens in North Carolina, including friends and family of addicts. Since then, the group has promoted the drug and conducted training on its use. With the drug now widely available, it has saved nearly 600 lives.

Some people oppose administering Naloxone because they believe it will promote drug use, especially if the addict knows they can be saved from an overdose. Proponents, however, say that the drug causes severe withdrawal side effects that would deter any addict from actually wanting to take it.

NCHRC was also instrumental in passing the 911 Good Samaritan Law that encourages witnesses of overdoses to call 911. Often, bystanders will not make the life-saving call because they are afraid they will get into trouble for being near illicit drugs. The law, however, will only protect from minor drug and alcohol violations, it is not designed to protect drug dealers from prosecution if they are at the scene of an overdose.

Treatment for Drug Abuse and Addiction in Durham, North Carolina

Don’t wait to seek treatment until a potentially lethal overdose occurs. Don’t end up a part of the statistics on Heroin deaths in the Durham area. Call the hotline today and learn how to add to the statistic of recovering addicts. The specialists at Durham treatment centers can help you lead the lifestyle you always envisioned.

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