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
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.
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.
Addressing the people exposed to opioids may reduce the number of people starting and continuing to abuse drugs in the long term. In addition to this suggestion, data found from 2006-2015, the duration of opioids increased by a third suggesting fewer patients choose to start using opioids for pain management, however, patients already on medication continue to do so. This is because once long term opioid users, even when taking their medication as directed by their doctor, eventually develop a tolerance to the drug. A tolerance to pain medication can cause patients to up their dose or take too many medications in a small time frame in order to alleviate the same amount of pain that a smaller dose would have fixed in the past. The risk of developing tolerance is an important conversation to have with a health care professional because in addiction to pain, patients go on to develop a physical dependence to the drug. Physically patients feel pain, illness, and other symptoms; in some cases they are unable to give up the drug. This is when their dependence is classified as an
Through my observations of the Narcotics Anonymous meeting I believe that my analysis could be beneficial to the realm of medicine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) released a study that displayed, “health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.” Considering the mass amount of prescriptions being written nationwide, it is not surprising that one of the members in the NA meeting I attended was able to easily obtain painkillers from her doctor. The specific interaction I encountered during the Narcotics Anonymous meeting where the woman described that her addiction was being supported by the constant prescriptions written by her doctor
Opioid use has to begin somewhere. Patients that are prescribed opioids for pain treatment run a risk of developing dependency on the prescribed medications. Numerous individuals who take the opioids for extended amounts of time may begin to progress towards higher tolerances of the prescribed medicines. Due to this higher tolerance, individuals may feel like they need to take more than what was prescribed. Eventually this can lead to craving opioids in order to function or to “feel better” throughout the day. In fact, it has been estimated that between twenty-one and twenty-nine percent of patients that are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them and close to ten percent develop an opioid use disorder (https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis, 2017). “Some people experience a euphoric response to opioid medications, and it is common that people misusing opioids try to intensify their experience by snorting or injecting them” (https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use, 2015). This means of drug intake, generally leads to the exploration of more easily acquired drugs with stronger effects.
Opioid abuse, misuse and overdose is a problem in The United States. You can’t turn on the TV or read a newspaper without some mention of the epidemic. This issue has caused the practice of prescribing or taking narcotic pain medication to be looked at under a microscope. Patients are fearful to use some necessary pain medication, because they may become addicted. Other patients who genuinely do have pain and need medication are having a tougher time obtaining the help they need. The problem of abuse and addiction is tough to solve since for some people the medications are the only way they can function and live a semi-normal life. A patient with pain may be hesitant to visit the doctor and
The source describes the opioid overdose epidemic across the U.S. as a significant issue possibly deriving from economic stress, social isolation, and over-prescribing pain relievers. Action must be taken to help and prevent dependency on opioids in order to stop this rapid rate of overdose throughout America. Proper education is vital for younger and elder generations to know how to prevent opioid dependency.
Opioid addiction is a condition that is preventable as well as one which individuals display several noticeable risk factors before the actual addiction prognosis to the point of causing death. There is a strong correlation between the early misuse of prescription opioids, which are prescribed for non-cancer pain management, and the development of a dependence on such opioids. Early detection of risk factors such as the misuse of opioids that are prescribed will help indicate that a patient is developing an addiction.1 Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers must closely monitor patients and the rate at which opioids are consumed as well as refilled.
Opioids, otherwise known as prescription pain medication, are used to treat acute and chronic pain. They are the most powerful pain relievers known. When taken as directed they can be safe and effective at managing pain, however, opioids can be highly addictive. Ease of access helps people get pain medications through their physician or by having friends and family get the medication for them. With their ease of access and being highly addictive the use and misuse of opioids have become a growing epidemic. Patients should be well educated on the affects opioid use can have. More importantly instead of the use of opioids, physicians should look into alternative solutions for pain management. While pain medication is helpful with chronic pain, it is also highly addictive, doctors should be more stringent to whom and how often they prescribe pain medication.
Prescription opioid abuse is the intentional use of prescribed pain medication, or analgesics, for uses other than or beyond the time limits of, what the prescription is written for. It has become a widespread problem in the United States and is growing quickly. Unfortunately, most of the blame falls on our healthcare system, which tends to take the “band aid” approach to health issues. Oftentimes, pain medications are overprescribed and undermanaged without addressing the origin of the medical ailment that is causing the pain. Due to the misconception that taking these FDA prescribed drugs are safe, rates of abuse with these drugs is on the rise. Accidental deaths due to prescription opioid overdose have increased dramatically since 1999, and surpass those caused by cocaine and heroin. Prescription opioid abuse has a tremendous negative impact on the individual, the healthcare system, and society in general. This paper will explore the trends, history, mechanisms, individual impact, societal costs, and the management and treatment of prescription opioid use and abuse.
Does anyone you know and or love currently struggle with opioid addiction? Have you witnessed the loss of a life due to opioid addiction? Opioid addiction is a major issue we are all facing the United States either directly or indirectly. The opioid epidemic has continued to grow yearly, and shows no real solutions in the trend of it slowing down or it coming to an end. Doctors are well aware of this information and are working to reduce the number of opioid abuse cases created at the source. There are options available to addicts including but not limited to inpatient rehabilitation programs, detoxification programs/facilities, and outpatient counseling support. These options cost a significant amount of money, unaffordable to most addicts,
Today the recent growth of prescription opioid painkillers has made opiate use far more domesticated and widespread than ever before. Even though heroin use has declined, the use of prescription opiates has increased. The use of prescription opiates for people who are dependent on the drugs for pain reduction has lead to an increase in abuse. When a family member or friend begins taking the drugs, not because they need them, but because they want to feeling, it becomes an addiction. Even though an addict is dependent on opiates, a person who is opiate-dependent is different because of the psychological, physical, and financial effects.
In the United States, more than 2 million people suffer from substance abuse disorders that correlate with use of prescription opioid painkillers. Over the past 15 years, overdose deaths due to prescription opioids have more than quadrupled. One of the underlying causes is the over prescription of pain relievers by physicians. This was demonstrated in 2013, with the writing of 207 million prescriptions for opioid pain relievers.
To put it in perspective, in a list of substances most abused by Americans ages 14 and older, prescription drugs came third with marijuana and alcohol taking the top two (“Prescription Medication Abuse” 4). Opioids specifically are contributing to this problem. The amount of opioids being used has also increased by 400% since 1997 (“Is Substance” 2). With about 2.1 million Americans being addicted to legal narcotics, opioid addictions make up the majority of prescription drug abuse in America (“Prescription Medication Abuse” 2-3). It doesn’t take long for an addiction to these substances to form either. In fact, one-third Americans who took prescription opioids for a minimum of two months became addicted to them (“Prescription Medication Abuse” 7). Although it may seem like a small problem, with about 30,000 Americans dying from opioid overdoses every year and an estimated 78 Americans dying every day, it is anything but (“Prescription Medication Abuse” 3). Not only can these addictions lead to death, it can also lead those suffering from opioid addictions to turn to illegal drugs. Those who become addicted to opioids will often switch to illegal opioids such as heroin or fentanyl (“Safer Alternatives” 1). There are a couple reasons why some may want to switch these drugs rather than the prescribed opioids. One, heroin is cheaper than