Prescription pill abuse is on the rise in Georgia as well as throughout the United States. Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed in the past ten years. What is worse is that nearly 15,000 people die from prescription painkillers a year. That is more than the total people who die from cocaine and heroin combined! Prescription pain pills include narcotics, stimulants and depressants, which are the most commonly abused.
Men are two and a half times more likely than women to have alcohol abuse problems. Due to the accessibility and price, alcohol is also becoming a problem among Australia’s teenage population. In a study conducted in 2004, 25% of those aged 14-19 drink alcohol on a daily or weekly basis. The study also stated that 77% of boys in that age group consume high intensity beers, while 85% of girls of the same group consume liquors. There has been an increase of young people with alcohol problems in youth centers, police stations and hospitals in the past five years.
Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or they take their own prescription. Abuse can include taking a friend's or relative's prescription to get high, and to treat pain. Some people take other people's drugs for their purposes to relieve pain, to stay awake, or to fall asleep. Others take them to get high, at larger doses than prescribed. Most prescription drugs come in pill or capsule form.
Prescription drugs that are most commonly abused, classified as Opioids, are OxyContin, Vicodin, and Demerol, which are used to treat pain or relieve coughs or diarrhea. Some Depressants are Nembutal, Valium, and Xanax, which are used to treat anxiety, tension, panic attacks, and sleep disorders. Some Stimulants are Ritalin and Adderall, which are used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. (Vranken) All these prescription drugs are commonly found among the streets we walk and drive today and the neighborhoods we live in.
It’s a Personal Choice Drug addiction is an ever growing problem in the United States. Opiate addiction is a big part of this drug problem. While there is no miracle cure for opiate addiction there are options to aid in its treatment. Suboxone and methadone are two of the most popular treatment methods used for opiate addiction. They are used as a step toward the recovery process.
It also found that 14 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women drink every day and 6 per cent of men drink more than a week's recommended alcohol intake in one night. Deaths from cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol abuse have doubled in the past 10 years and the condition in young people has increased eight-fold. Cirrhosis is killing more women than cervical cancer and more men than Parkinson's
While certain drugs are great for pain management, such as oxycontin and other narcotics, they are also great for a “high” and are commonly abused (“Prescription Medications”). Doctors have to adhere to strict guidelines while prescribing these medications that were implemented by the federal government (“Practitioner’s Manual: Section V Valid Prescription Requirements). These guidelines can sometimes interfere with a doctors intuition and own plans of action. Another example of this is marijuana. Many patients undergoing chemotherapy swear by the magic that is pot.
Steadman 1 Prescription pain pill addiction among young adults has increased at an alarming rate in the past few years. Narcotics’ including hydrocodone (Loracet, Lora tab, Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan), codeine (Tylenol 2s, 3s, and 4s), morphine (MS Contin), Fentanyl patches, are all prescriptions being abused by young adults. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, 2006) reported an increase in the nonmedical use of prescription pain medications among young adults ages 18-25. More people initiated use of prescription pain relievers in 2004 than began using cocaine or marijuana. Oxycontin was introduced in 1996 as a pain reliever for terminal cancer patients.
By 1999, the average American was exposed to nine prescription drug commercials per day. That number has increased forty-fold and now advertisements and commercials about prescription drugs have become a part of our everyday lives. “Between 1999 and 2000, prescriptions for the fifty most heavily advertised drugs rose at six times the rate of all other drugs. Sales of those fifty intensively promoted drugs were responsible for almost half the increase in Americans' overall drug spending that year.” (Greider, p. 30) Through TV, magazine, and newspaper advertising, pharmaceutical companies are taking their message directly to the public. If it weren't for pharmaceutical advertising, the weekly news magazine Newsweek would have about 30% less pages.
“The Prescription Drug Epidemic” Since the beginning of the 1990’s drug overdose death rates have increased significantly by over 300% (Webmd.com). The shocking fact behind this is that the increase is not related to illegal drugs but rather over the counter medications that have since become more readily available in today’s society. Since the drugs are considered legal, the lines of drug abuse have been skewed in years past and many users assume these are safer than their illegal counterparts when that is not the case. Prescription drugs are equally, if not, more dangerous than illicit drugs. In order to decrease the abuse of prescription medications we must understand where these drugs are coming from, what their effects are on the mind and body, as well as what can be done to prevent these drugs from getting into the wrong hands.