Prescription Drugs And The United States

1749 Words Jul 31st, 2016 7 Pages
According to IMS Health (2015) over 4.3 billion prescription drugs were dispensed in the United States and Narconon (2015) reports that the decade ending in 2008 saw a four hundred percent increase in people seeking treatment for opioid addiction. Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that transcends all socioeconomic boundaries in our society and is destroying lives, families, and whole communities, especially those most vulnerable; the physically and mentally ill. For one to better understand the full social implications of this issue, it is important to first review the history, impacts, and current debates around prescription drug abuse in the United States, and to then evaluate the connections that are formed by the culture, social roles, social inequalities, and social changes in our society.
Historically speaking, according to Narconon (2015), the issue of prescription drug abuse began in the 1800’s when consumers could self-prescribe medications such as cocaine and morphine. In the 1900’s, the Pure Food and Drug and Harrison Narcotic Tax acts were put into place as measures to control the sale and distribution of these substances (Narconon International, 2015). Today, the prescription drug problem continues to be a growing issue that has many consequences in our society.
The social impacts of prescription drug abuse span many different areas, including one’s health, family, and community. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2015), substance abuse can…
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