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Every Day, Millions Of Americans Take Some Form Of Prescription

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Every day, millions of Americans take some form of prescription drug to treat anything from an anxiety disorder to severe physical pain. They are not getting these drugs off of the streets, from a dark alley, or from a drug dealer; they are getting them from people that are supposed to help you feel better: doctors. “Roughly one in five Americans are prescribed an opiate every year, for treatment of an acute injury, for example, or dental work or for chronic pain.” (McCarthy) Obviously, some of the painkillers prescribed nowadays actually do help people function in everyday life, but, unfortunately, it is all too easy to become addicted to anything from OxyContin to Vicodin or Percocet. Almost every person can identify someone in their…show more content…
Believe it or not, doctor-prescribed drugs such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone are in the same class of drugs as Heroin is because they are all considered Opioids. Even if a patient does not have any history of drug abuse or addiction, it does not take more than one prescription for that person to become dependent on a drug that completely takes their pain away. If a person walks into a doctor’s office and claims they are in terrible pain, they will almost certainly walk out of the office with a prescription. According to Michael McCarthy, “Experts ascribe the rise in the abuse of prescription drugs to the increased availability of these drugs, growing social acceptance of sedatives, painkillers, and anti-anxiety medications, and the perception that pharmaceutical drugs are safe, especially among young people.” (McCarthy 1505) A person who has never taken any kind of drug could walk into a doctor’s appointment with a terrible cough, leave with a prescription for codeine, and be hooked three days later; one really can not be too careful. Prescription painkillers are human-made to numb physical pain, while street drugs, with an extremely similar chemical make-up, are abused to numb physical and emotional pain. Nobody wants to live a life with hardship, difficulty, or any kind of hurt, so a
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