Prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin are abused by people who simply want to get high.
The epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse has been going on for decades. As doctors overprescribed these highly addictive narcotics, millions of people succumbed to a dependence on them. Some did so by intentionally abusing the medications of others, while many people slowly slid into addiction while using painkillers because they genuinely needed them. Now, with tightening restrictions on these medications, many addicts are turning to heroin, which is often cheaper and easier to get. If someone you know is abusing painkillers you need to be aware of the possibility of heroin abuse and addiction.
The rise of the popularity of prescription drugs has led many experts to wonder if the regulations surrounding those medications need to be heightened. Emergency departments are reporting high numbers of overdose cases involving medications prescribed for pain, anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Many prescription drug addictions begin with a legitimate health problem. An individual that suffers from chronic pain from a significant injury may receive a prescription painkiller prescription, but a short time later ever-increasing doses may be needed to achieve the same relief. What begins as a chronic health problem can lead to a full-blown addiction.
With every football tackle, volleyball dive and wrestling flip there’s the possibility that a teen athlete might be injured. In fact, 2 million U.S. high school teens suffer injuries each year. Once students enter high school, athletics become much more competitive. Rather than just sit out until the injury heals, many teens are being prescribed opioids to control their pain.
Every 19 minutes, someone dies from overdosing on a prescription drug. People are becoming addicted to these drugs and require treatment to get clean and to stay clean. Even infants are being born addicted to prescription medicines at an alarming rate. Because of this growing problem with prescription drug abuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing for tighter restrictions, namely on the painkiller hydrocodone.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing for new labeling on prescription drugs. Of particular concern to the FDA are painkilling prescription medications with extended time release formulas. The proposal comes on the heels of numerous deaths and near-death overdoses related to these powerful medications. In 2010, more than 16,000 people died from an overdose of a prescription opioid.
Most parents don’t believe their child would abuse prescription drugs. That may explain the most recent findings from a University of Michigan study which found that, despite the prescription drug epidemic, parents are leaving powerful drugs readily accessible.
The pattern of drug use initiation is changing. Teens that experiment with drugs are likely to be introduced to drug use through the misuse of prescription drugs rather than responding to offers of cocaine or heroin. While traditional street drugs are still popular, prescription drugs are gaining popularity among teens because they are relatively easy to obtain.
The use of prescription painkillers has solved challenging chronic pain problems among those with serious health conditions. Patients with cancer or other painful diseases often find that a prescription painkiller can significantly improve their quality of life.
Bad things happen to other people. This is the vision that researchers found when they interviewed parents about teen drug abuse. In a report from the University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, most parents did not seem to be concerned with teen abuse of narcotic pain medicine. Most believed it wasn’t a big problem in their community, and was even less of a problem in their own household. This lack of concern translates into limited support for policies that would minimize the ways that these drugs get into the hands of children and teens.