Millions of people throughout the world are taking drugs on a daily basis. If you were to ask someone why they take prescription drugs, most people would be taking them for the right reason. However, it’s estimated that twenty percent of people in the United States alone have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.1 Prescription drug abuse is a serious and growing problem that often goes unnoticed. Abusing these drugs can often lead to addiction and even death. You can develop an addiction to certain drugs that may include: narcotic painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants.1 Prescription drugs are the most common abused category of drugs, right next to marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and
Opioid use in the US has increased over the years, and this has led to an increase in substance abuse. Substance abuse is not only associated with use of illicit drugs but also prescription drugs. In 2015, of the 20.5 million reported cases of substance abuse, 2 million had an abuse disorder related to prescription pain relievers and 591,000 associated with heroin.1 The increase in substance abuse disorder has led to an increase in opioid related death. In 2015 drug overdose was the leading cause of accidental death in the US with 52, 404 lethal drug overdoses.2
The rate of death due to prescription drug abuse in the U.S. has escalated 313 percent over the past decade. According to the Congressional Quarterly Transcription’s article "Rep. Joe Pitt Holds a Hearing on Prescription Drug Abuse," opioid prescription drugs were involved in 16,650 overdose-caused deaths in 2010, accounting for more deaths than from overdoses of heroin and cocaine. Prescribed drugs or painkillers sometimes "condemn a patient to lifelong addiction," according to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This problem not only affects the lives of those who overdose but it affects the communities as well due to the convenience of being able to find these items in drug stores and such.
Many people have developed an addiction due to an injury and which were prescribed painkillers to manage and treat the pain. Prolonged use leads to dependence and once a person is addicted, increasing amounts of drugs are required to prevent feeling of withdrawal. Addiction to painkillers often leads to harder drugs such as heroin due to the black market drug being cheaper. Prescription drugs remain a far deadlier problem and more people abuse prescription medication than cocaine, methamphetamine heroin, MDMA and PCP combined. Drug abuse is ending too many lives too soon and destroying families and communities.
Analysis: Opioids are a class of drug that are medically used as very effective painkillers, like fentanyl and morphine, however, they are highly addictive and produce a feeling of euphoria (“Opioids”). This combination leads do a lot of abuse and dependency, where people take more than prescribed in order to feel better. People start off taking the opioid painkillers in order to not feel pain as prescribed by their doctors. Then, they end up getting addicted to them. There are also illicit opioids, such as heroin, that are also highly addictive and also lead to dependency and death (“Opioids”). These illicit versions are taken for recreational reasons, and are also often mixed with other drugs. The combination of taking an unregulated drug in conjunction with other drugs leads to a lot of overdoses.
Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic in the United States especially among the youth of our country. The Partnership for a Drug Free America says that 2,500 teens a day abuse prescription drugs. Abuse of these narcotics can lead to serious mental and physical consequences. Why is this such a problem, what can we do to solve it, and how is it affecting our social lives?
There has been an increase in heroin and opioid abuse in america. It has been affecting everyone and the incoming generation greatly. The use of pain reliever drugs is often the leading cause to abusing opioids and/or heroin. These pain relievers are often addictive and once people are addicted and cut off from them they begin searching for other ways to satisfy their cravings. The prescription drugs are often easily dispensed to people so it’s easier to access. This easy access makes it easier for people to get a prescription, leading to a higher risk of addiction.
As we all have researched and found out the devastating numbers to the opioid epidemic “the abuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids is one of the greatest threats facing public health in the United States today. It is estimated that as many as 2.5 million people in the US are suffering from opioid addiction related to prescriptions, and an additional 467,000 are addicted to heroin”(2017).
The use of opioids and other drugs continues to gradually increase in the United State. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled since 1999” (CDC website). Individuals are abusing prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. Prescriptions opioids that are supposed to be used as pain relievers, cough suppressants and for withdrawal symptoms are being use by individuals in order to feel relaxed or for the overwhelming effect of euphoria. These types of drugs are to be taken orally, but people are snorting, smoking, and injecting them in order to get a better high. I have personal encounters with opioid drugs and opioid abuser on a regular
In the United States, there has been upward swing of opioid abuse over the past decade. Overdose deaths involving opioids – both prescription pain relievers and heroin – almost quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. Well-intentioned efforts to curb prescription opioid abuse have yielded new policies with unfortunate, unforeseen consequences for the 15% of the US population that suffer from chronic pain – nearly 45 million people.
An epidemic is on the rise and is hitting closer to home than one may expect. From the hospitals to the pharmacies and the medicine cabinets of many Americans, the damage prescription opioids are causing have been detrimental. Prescription opioids being medication that is meant to alleviate extreme pain, has induced more damage into the users life with its controversial side effects, and death in an abundant amount of cases. The issue revolving around prescription opioids does not just stay within the parameters of the dangerous medicine itself, but in addition the expansion of loose laws and corruption within the medical industry. This rise in the prescription opioid epidemic has been created by a contribution of physicians, pharmaceutical industry and a misconception of the medicine in the eye of the public. Even with all these factors in play, there is still hope to bring an end to the prescription opioid drug ring, with the combination of current laws and hopeful laws and restrictions in the future. The epidemic of prescription opioids has gone on for far too long and has caused an obscene amount of critical damage to the lives of many for the issue to be ignored any longer. Usage of prescription opioids must be reduced to ensure the safety of patients and to stop further abuse and death.
The misuse of opioids has been around for over 20 years in the United States. In a 2017 article “Opioid Crisis”, it states that in the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies misled healthcare providers by informing them that patients would not become addicted to opioid painkillers. As a result, healthcare providers too liberally prescribed opioid pain relievers. Opioid abuse rates started to climb and it was clear that these medications were highly addictive. According to Volkow, Frieden, Hyde, and Cha (2014), between 1990 and 2010 death rates from prescription opioid overdose quadrupled in the United States. This surpassed the death rates from cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. Furthermore, they state that the epidemic is a result
To illustrate the magnitude of the research problem and provide a frame of reference, this section begins with a brief overview of the increased use of pharmaceuticals and prescription drug abuse in the US. The section continues with the relationship between illicit drugs and prescriptions, adolescents’ abuse, personal and social factors; then concludes with the theoretical approach. The Social-Ecological Theory, will be applied in researching prescription drug abuse, possible influences and protective factors in adolescents in relation to prescription drug abuse, to develop focused intervention strategies and educational programs for this population, similar to other substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.
Even though people need their prescriptions, the abuse of them is getting out of control and we need to find a way to regulate it better,because it can destroy a family, cause some to become addicted, or even kill them. Prescription drugs are no joke, they can be worse than illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and even heroin. The only difference is a doctor can prescribe these types of drugs. The problem we run into with prescription drugs is there is not enough being done to keep the person from becoming addicted or them selling to others. In 2007 2.5 million Americans abused just painkillers (Drug free world). That is not even including the other two types. Now it is starting to affect teens, one out of every ten teenagers admit to abusing a prescribed drug(Drug-free world).
The purpose of this report is to show the major problems we face in America if we do not address the misuse of prescription drugs. America’s pain pill and heroin addiction exceeds that of all other countries in the world, statistics from the UN office on Drugs and Crimes show. This report will show emphasis on the misuse of prescription drugs and some of the causes.