Over the years, prescription drugs have become health allies for doctors and their patients. Today, it’s one of the leading causes of death, outpacing fatal car accidents.
Perhaps a lot of people are now wondering, how did this situation happen? Aren’t prescribed medications supposed to lengthen lives and not the other way around?
Experts say the advent of the prescription drug abuse problem is one of the results of doctors prescribing too much or excessive drugs at present compared to how they do it before. It may not be the intention of health care experts, but the more they give out prescriptions, the more drugs become available that can be easily misused.
Another reason is that kids these days perceive prescribed medications to be a lot safer than other illicit drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. In reality, 15,000 deaths in 2011 were due to opioid pain killers; twelve years ago, this figure was only at 4,000 and heroin-cocaine deaths combined in 2011 only totaled 8,000.
People should know that these medications can be very addictive. No matter how justifiable doctors’ prescriptions may be, there is still a need to genuinely evaluate a patient’s condition before prescriptions can be issued. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report claims, more than 1.9 million people in America are now classified as prescription opioid-dependents and this number has kept on increasing.
To avoid becoming victims of prescription drug abuse, always remember to use medications, especially painkillers, properly and only for the purpose for which they have been prescribed.