Posted in: Medicine

Addiction To Prescription Drugs Reaching Epidemic Proportions

prescription drugs

The ever-growing problem of drug abuse and addiction in America is not by any means restricted to shadowy street narcotics.

Patients who obtain prescriptions to legal drugs from their healthcare professional for pain management and/or other reasons are getting hooked more and more on those pills even to the extent of what’s being diplomatically called non-medical reasons.

The US Office of National Drug Control Policy admits that prescription drug abuse is the country’s “fastest-growing drug problem” and that the CDC indeed has declared it an epidemic.

Medical News Today suggests that doctors may have had the best of intentions at least in terms of treating acute pain. The body’s vital signs can be rendered normal with a prescription to address pain. Dr. Aly Hassan of the University of Nebraska medical school identified pain as the fifth vital sign that goes along with pulse rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and respiratory rate.

Hydrocodone, an opiod, is apparently the most common drug prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.

According to the National Institutes of Health, patients can become addicted to narcotic painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers, and stimulants. Doctors seem in general more quick to write prescriptions for these meds than ever before, and online pharmacies make access to these drugs even easier.

So how does the problem manifest itself? The Mayo Clinic warns that “prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend’s prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse similarly adds that “prescription drug abuse means taking a prescription drug that is not prescribed for you, or taking it for reasons or in dosages other than as prescribed.

The Inquisitr writer Scott English has suffered chronic lower back pain due to a bad disk and therefore has real-world experience with potentially addictive prescription meds:

“Although there are several nonaddictive alternatives out there such as physio therapy and medical marijuana (where legal), the doctors insist that the best method for me is Oxycontin which does a lousy job at killing the pain and is highly addictive. When I broached the subject of medical marijuana with my doctor, he was hesitant to give me the prescription because ‘marijuana has a high likely hood of being abused.’ Before they would even consider a MM prescription, they made me try morphine and Fentanyl (a synthetic opiate 200 times as strong as Heroin).

When Scott broached the subject of possible addiction to Oxy, he was prescribed yet another drug: “Clonopin, which helps with withdrawal symptoms in case I need it.”

Do you think conventional medical doctors are too quick to load patients up on drugs rather than address the underlying causes of pain or illness with non-pharmaceutical approaches? Is America an over-medicated society?

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