Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drugs have become one of the most abused substances in the world. As a matter of fact, abuse of prescription medication has become an epidemic, not to mention a trending topic. Just recently, another breakthrough in science was revealed.
In a news release, the US FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said that they have approved a new prescription treatment that can avert the side effects brought about by an overdose in opioid. This medication is the first of its kind that can be used outside of a hospital. Even family members and other caregivers can administer it to the patient.
The breakthrough creation is called EVZIO, a handheld auto injector that contains naloxone. It is handy, portable, and convenient enough to be carried inside a pocket and comes with a set of device instructions and trainer kit. This could be helpful during emergencies for people suspected of opioid overdose. Studies show that drug abuse is the number one cause of death in the U.S., and a large percentage of these may be traced to prescription drug abuse or overdose.
Naloxone is a narcotic drug that reverses the effects of other narcotic drugs like prescription pain relievers. One of its side effects is that it can alter the way your mind thinks, the ability to act and decide and the way you react to a given situation. So it is not advisable to be driving when a patient is given a shot of naloxone. Alcohol intake during treatment is discouraged.
Naloxone has long been used to reverse effects of other narcotic drugs. It is said to be the standard treatment for overdose. The evolution of Evzio may help save thousands of lives.
The quote “going the extra mile” couldn’t be said more fittingly to people under prescription drug abuse, as a recent news report shared how abusers are becoming more creative and resourceful.
A report from the Kansas City Star revealed that authorities have received tips regarding prescription drug abusers going inside real estate open houses and looking for drugs. This may not come as a shock to some; after all, people with drug addiction will look for ways to feed their desires.
The San Diego police force is now partnering with local real estate agents and drug rehab centers to raise more public awareness on this increasing drug abuse trend. Focus will be placed on the resourceful methods that addicts will resort to, just to procure the drugs that they need. To support this endeavor, the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors has pledged to use its members — about 12,000 of them — to remove prescription drugs left inside the homes that they are selling.
The report on open houses as sources of prescription drugs has reached law enforcers, although no formal investigations have been conducted.
The issue on prescription drug abuse may be common to young adults and professionals, but the risk in abuse by seniors are also high due to multiple medication providers.
A new report released via HealthDay reveals that 30 percent of the total number of patients prescribed with pain medication are able to procure the said medicines from multiple sources. This issue could have probably contributed to the steady rise in prescription drug use — and abuse — for the past 20 years.
Harvard Medical School assistant professor Dr. Anupam Jena headed a team of researchers who looked into this particular issue. Their study showed that many patients are able to acquire prescriptions from more than one physician. “As physicians, we tell patients not to drive when they take opioids, but we also need to tell them that it can be dangerous to receive these medications from more than one provider,” Dr. Jena said.
The study involved an investigation into 1.8 million seniors who received at least one drug prescription in 2010 under the Medicare prescription program. The researchers initially predicted a figure of not more than 10 percent, so they were surprised with the number.
Through the study, Dr. Jena hopes that doctors will be conscientious enough to tell their patients about the risk of getting multiple prescriptions.
Members of the American College of Physicians (ACP) jointly released a new policy that aims to control and fight against the issue on prescription drug abuse.
The use of painkillers beyond the prescribed purpose has become a national trend that threatens to endanger the lives of U.S. citizens. As one of the leading medical professional groups in the country, ACP hopes that the new policy statement encourages all physicians to take action against this dangerous habit.
The statement was released last December 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal. “The goal of this paper is to provide physicians and policymakers with a set of recommendations to address the significant human and financial costs related to prescription drug abuse,” according to the statement as reported in CBS News.
The policy statement delineates several clauses aimed to curb painkiller abuse. These include a recommendation to establish a monitoring program for prescription drug users all around the country, improvement in public awareness and education about the killer habit, and clear-cut instructions for patients on using the pain medication.
ACP president Dr. Molly Cooke clarified the public notion that painkillers remove 100% of the pain the a patient feels. “If that’s what the patient’s mindset is he’s likely going to come back and say, I wasn’t getting enough relief and I doubled the prescription,” Cooke added.
A recent study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors revealed that teenagers who participate in sports are less likely to engage in the use of most illicit drugs.
While that finding is somewhat expected judging by the benefits that the youth get through sports, proponents of the study surprisingly discovered that this same demographic are more prone to alcohol abuse. Research team member John Cairney of McMaster University’s Offord Centre for Child Studies shared through Reuters the surprising results. “When we began our own review, we were shocked not only to find many new studies, but also ones that had been missed in previous reviews,” Cairney said.
The researchers from Canada reviewed previous studies published between 1982 and 2012, and dealt with monitoring people’s behaviors as a result of sports activities. It was through the comprehensive review that the benefit of sports activities in preventing drug abuse can be confirmed.
“We have enough data to show that sport participation could play an important role in substance use prevention. We need to understand what aspects of sport participation are most beneficial and design rigorous trials to see if sport interventions really can reduce or prevent drug use in youth,” Cairney added.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for marijuana and alcohol use, which young athletes were more susceptible to fall into. Also, the probability of prescription drug abuse — particularly in the use of painkillers and opiod medication — is higher for young people engaged in sports because these drugs are easier to get for them.
If you think that drug poisoning is deadly, wait until you see what the government has discovered.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study that indicates a threefold increase in the number of drug-related deaths since thirty years ago. The three hundred percent jump includes deaths caused by use of illicit drugs and prescription medicine, but the study did not reflect how much of the statistic came from these particular drugs.
The research team led by study author Lauren Rossen attribute most of the cases of poisoning fatalities to drugs, both legal and illegal. “Mapping death rates associated with drug poisoning at the county level may help elucidate geographic patterns, highlight areas where drug-related poisoning deaths are higher than expected, and inform policies and programs designed to address the increase in drug-poisoning mortality and morbidity,” Rossen said in a news release.
On a more alarming note, the CDC reports that in the most recent decade, the surge in drug poisoning deaths was insanely high. From a drug poisoning death rate of 3 percent in 1999, the figure shot up to 54 percent in 2009. This confirms another finding that revealed a double-figure increase in prescription drug abuse for the past five years. This figure translates to roughly 12 million people admitting to ingestion of prescription drugs outside of their intended purpose.
High death rates were recorded in counties in Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico.