Police Psychology | Opioids and Opiates
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
I live on Long Island, NY. Last year 493 people died on Long Island from opioid and opiate overdose with Fentanyl being the worse drug for deaths. That’s more than were killed in car accidents in one of the most heavily trafficked areas of the country. More than gang related deaths, more than murders in general (although one could argue that a person selling opioids to another is actually committing murder). Yes, 493 people died last year and the trend so far this year suggests we may actually be ready to beat that number. So, I called Geisinger-Marworth Treatment Center, an awesome facility in the woods of Pennsylvania, that I refer almost any police officers from anywhere. I asked them what is the deal with the opioid problem on Long Island and do I have anything to worry about with the nation’s cops. Some of what I found out is a little disturbing.
Let get the vocabulary right first. “Opiate” is a word that covers naturally occurring derivatives from the opium plant like Heroin, Morphine and Codeine. They are the original addictive drugs and really what it was all about when the guys came back from Vietnam addicted to Heroin and Opium. Opioids are synthetic versions of the opiates like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Percocet, Vicodin, Percodan, and Fentanyl. Both sets are addictive, but the synthetic drugs have become a bigger problem recently and it’s not just what is being sold on the streets. (more…)