75% of All Patients in Rehab Hooked on Prescription Pills, Says "Prescription Thugs" Addiction Expert

Jan 25, 2016, 12:27 ET from Cliffside Malibu

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The highly acclaimed documentary "Prescription Thugs," by filmmaker Chris Bell, of the huge cult classic, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster," was released Friday in select cities nationwide by distributor Samuel Goldwyn. Richard Taite, founder of the nationally recognized Cliffside Malibu addiction treatment center and a recovering addict himself, is featured prominently as the documentary's addiction expert. Taite discusses the disturbing trend of radically increasing numbers of patients addicted to prescription painkillers. Ten years ago, approximately 25% of the caseload in his elite Southern California treatment facilities was made up of prescription painkiller addicts. Now, 75% of clients are addicted to prescription painkillers or heroin, which has spurred his treatment center's tremendous growth.

"Prescription Thugs" is a powerful indictment of the pharmaceutical industry and the billions of dollars in profits earned annually on prescribed opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin and stimulants like Adderall. The film's release follows on the heels of several prominent studies that the country is losing the so-called War on Drugs because of the meteoric rise of prescription pill abuse. On Monday, The New York Times reported on its exhaustive study of 60 million death certificates in the U.S. that revealed "drug overdoses are driving up the death rate of young adults in the United States to levels not seen since the end of the AIDS epidemic more than two decades ago," due in large part to prescription pill overuse. A second study published this week in the Journal of Pediatrics linked prescription pill abuse in youth to increased gun violence.

Taite, recognized as one of the nation's leading authorities on addiction, says, "This is a problem that shamefully everyone knows about, but no one is addressing, while the death count escalates. Until the system is changed, those closest to the problem must continue to speak out – with ever louder and clearer voices."

According Taite, the abuse of prescription pills is facilitated by a lack of training about addiction among medical doctors. Pharmaceutical companies step into this training void with very big promises about what their drugs can do. "This begs the question of, 'Who are the biggest drug dealers?' The answer is obvious." Taite continues, "Why isn't the government or the public at large not outraged and doing anything to curb this trend? The human and financial cost to individuals, families and society as a whole is scandalous. If we are going to turn this around and save lives, the first place that needs our attention is Big Pharma."

Cliffside Malibu is the leading addiction treatment center in the nation, offering cutting-edge, evidence-based, life-saving holistic treatment in a luxurious setting. Website: www.cliffsidemalibu.com.


Arlene Howard Public Relations

(310) 399-3483

SOURCE Cliffside Malibu