Opioids are taking over the United States with its addictive composition, once patients are take opioids there is no escaping. The drug directed from opium which is obtained from a plant (Katz). Opioids are most commonly found in prescription pill from making underground sales more common. Since opioids are derived from a plant this makes the reality of home grown drugs more of an issue. American citizens overdosing on opioids is what is sparking the crisis because opioid “overdoses killed more people last year than guns or car accidents” (Katz). Opioids are extremely addictive and that is why so many citizens overdose on these types of drugs. After patients become hooked on opioids their body constantly is needing more and more opium to escape they pain they think they are enduring. The overdosing of Americans is not a small percentage of the population either, it is estimated that “over two million people in America have problem with opioids” proving this growing issue is an ongoing crisis (Katz). The United States government needs to take action immediately to the opioid crisis because doctors are overprescribing patients because they seemingly overreact to pain, and opioids are one of the most addictive drug types in the world.
Prescription opioid abuse not only affects the abusers, but it also affects the families of abusers. An example of this is a women named Erin Daly. She wrote a personal narrative story about her experience after her teenage brother overdosed on opioids. Erin gave up her career as a legal reporter to research for an answer on why opioid addiction is becoming a widespread problem in adolescents and young adults. Finally, Erin got ahold of her brother’s journal and saw how his problem that started with gateway drugs, then to prescription opioids from the street, and ended in a lethal overdose of IV heroine. Erin Daly wrote, “ In 2011, 4.2 million Americans ages 12 or older reported using heroin at least once in their lives, and like my brother,
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.
From teenagers to adults, many are suffering with an opioid addiction. The opioid crisis that has struck, has taken a significantly large amount of lives. There were about “...50,000 [ opioid ] overdose deaths...in 2015-roughly equivalent to the number of Americans lost in the Vietnam War”(Price). All these friends and family members are dying because of something that can be controlled and even avoided. Although there are some who believe that the programs that are enacted to help with this sort of addiction are very effective, the truth is they are not as effective as people let on to believe. There should be a more enforced and regulated limit for those with a stronger prescription drug in order to lower the overdose count, over prescription from doctors, and pill shopping.
Opioids are classified as opium like compounds; some (ex. codeine and morphine) exist naturally in opium, which is a gummy substance derived from the seedpod of the opium poppy, indigenous to Southern Asia. Other opioids are of the synthetic category, such as methadone or fentanyl (opioidaddictionsource.com). Though the use of prescription opioids may be well intended, due to their effect on the brain chemistry, it is fairly common for one to become addicted to them; America is amidst a raging prescription opioid epidemic, in fact.
“The total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement”. -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The United States currently faces an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction. This includes painkillers, heroin, and other drugs made from the same base chemical. In the couple of years, approximately one out of twenty Americans reported misuse or abuse of prescriptions painkillers. Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise and are the leading cause of injury deaths, surpassing car accidents and gun shots. The current problem differs from the opioid addiction outbreaks of the past in that it is also predominant in the middle and affluent classes. Ultimately, anyone can be fighting a battle with addiction and it is important for family members and loved ones to know the signs. The cause for this epidemic is that the current spike of opioid abuse can be traced to two decades of increased prescription rates for painkillers by well-meaning physicians.
The opioid epidemic has been the worst thing that has happened to our community or our country as a whole, much of which might have be prevented if doctor’s were not so quick to prescribe prescription after prescription of opioids on to their patients. According to Nora D. Volkow, Director, of the NIDA, The Federal government has provided restrictions on the over use of prescription medications and because individuals have developed dependence on the prescription opioids they resort to obtaining them illegally, and in some cases they are resorting to heroin for it is cheaper and easier to obtain (NIDA). Yes, these individuals have a choice to take them, and for a while they are alright, although as seen above the continued use can cause dependence which will cause withdrawal if they do not have these medications leading many to illegally obtaining and using these drugs. This is one reason one fights to see more treatment centers people can go, more harm reduction therapies that are going to help them become clean and live lives that are functional and socially
Opioids are a class of drugs that are designed to relieve pain. They are synthetic forms of the naturally occurring opiate opium along with morphine and codeine, which are parts of the opium poppy. Prescription opioids include the painkillers hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), fentanyl (Duragesic), meperidine (Demerol), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid), amongst others. Opioids of this variety are prescribed for a variety of reasons ranging from severe acute pain resulting from injury to post surgery pain relief. Illicit opioids include heroin and any opioids that are not taken are prescribed. While helpful in treating pain that needs immediate attention, prescription opioids are not ideal to treat chronic pain. Opioids, both prescribed and illicit, are highly addictive and potentially dangerous.
I can’t count the number of prescriptions I get from the same doctor for the same medication same quantity on a daily basis. I feel that some doctors are simply writing scripts to make the patient happy when in reality their feeding the addiction. I have seen patients jump form pharmacy to pharmacy in order to fill multiple scripts for the same medication on the same day. There is a system that collects and keeps track of the what types of controlled and narcotic medications people received, however the system takes days to update, so it almost impossible to know right away when the last time a patient received a particular opioid medication. Another issue that I believe is feeding the addiction for drugs abusers is the sale of needles. Depending on the state, people who do not have a prescription for needles or a medication that requires the use of needles, can simply walk into a pharmacy and buy a box of needles. Anyone with commons sense would see that if you don’t have a prescription that requires needles your most likely using it for illegal reasons. Pharmacy regulations make it to easy for people to get what they need in order to “get
Individuals who use Opioids are Addicts. The history of this very debatable topic is very educational and
Base on the sales representatives instructions, physicians started prescribing “opioids”. Shortly after, it was discovered that patient’s pain was relieved only for a small span of time, and when the pain came back it was more intense. Users had developed a resistance to “opioids”. Physicians then kept increasing their patient’s dose of medication, until the drug no longer had any effect on their bodies’ nervous system. Patients become accustomed to the fast release of endorphins cause by “opioids” (a chemical in the brain that naturally diminishes pain perception, and also acts like a sedative). Users began to notice the “rush” of the pain medication, like oxicodone (a fast relieve but short acting drug), oxicontine (extended relieve form of oxicodone) the most addicting form of “opioids”. By now they were not looking to ease their pain other that supply their dependency on the drugs. When Patients were no longer able to get enough medication from doctors, they either bought pills illegally or turned to a cheaper street drug, heroin, (a euphoric drug). “Heroin” affects the same brain receptors and provides the same “rush” effects like “oxicodone” enabling their
As we see the further progression of the opioid epidemic within the United States, pharmacists become the frontlines to recognizing and providing care for these patients. It is however difficult to provide care for a patient when even the professionals within the medical community have an associated stigma attached to the use of these drugs. Patients who have a need for these painkillers recognize this stigma, and by doing so decide to avoid consulting their doctors and do not seek the care which they need. They do this to avoid the discriminatory treatment they receive both within and on the outside of the healthcare system, and to avoid the legal repercussions associated with the misuse and abuse of these products1. It is therefore the pharmacists' job to avoid the stigmatization of these people and respect those who use these treatments for legitimate medical purposes.
Considerable cautions have been obtained throughout the United States to decrease the misuse of prescription opioids and helps to minimize opioid overdoses and related complications. Even though the pain medications have a significant part in the treatment of acute and chronic pain situations, it sometimes happen that the high dose prescription or the prescribed medications, without having enough monitoring, can create bad outcomes. It is always a dilemma for the providers to find who is really in need of pain medications and to identify those who are questionably misusing opioids.