Prescription Drug Abuse
Preventive measures and intervention programs to combat prescription drug abuse in teens may not be approaching the subject at the right perspective, according to a new study.
A joint research by proponents from New York’s Hunter College and Indiana’s Purdue University revealed that prescription drug abuse may be caused not by peer pressure but by peer association and influence.
Sociology and anthropology professor Brian Kelly, one of the study authors, said that peer pressure does not seem to be an aggravating factor for drug abuse in teens. “Rather, we found more subtle components of the peer context as influential. These include peer drug associations, peers as points of drug access, and the motivation to misuse prescription drugs to have pleasant times with friends,” Kelly said in a news release.
The study, which was presented at the recent Annual Meeting of the American Sociological, involved interview and survey of more than 600 people within 18 to 29 years of age who engaged in prescription drug misuse for the past 90 days.
Focus was directed towards three possible scenarios of drug abuse: frequency, alternative ways of administering the drug, and dependency symptoms. Kelly shared that peer influence leads people to all three situations. “The motivation to misuse prescription drugs to have a good time with friends is also associated with all three outcomes. The number of sources of drugs in their peer group also matters, which is notable since sharing prescription drugs is common among these young adults,” Kelly added.
The National Drug Take Back Day has been very successful in collecting tons of unused and expired medicines all around the U.S. The annual event has been conduced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since 2010.
With the success of take-back initiatives such as the DEA-administered events, a number of counties in Indiana are now installing permanent drop-off boxes for prescription drugs that are either expired or unused. Marion County is the latest in a strong of Indiana localities that have supported the drive against prescription drug abuse.
The drop-off box in Marion County is jointly handled by Drug Free Indiana and the county’s Sheriff’s Department. “Drugs that are leftover… in medicine cabinets… our youngsters can get a hold of. When I’m talking youngsters, I mean toddlers and on up,” said Sheriff John Layton in a news release.
The move came after Indiana figured in the top five states with the highest deaths due to drug overdose.
The Marion County Jail serves as the location of the drop-off box in the said Indiana county. Other central counties in the state have already installed their own boxes.
The rising statistics of drug addiction in the country especially in Bay area heightened the attention of public health officials, law enforcers, and substance abuse specialists during their recent summit in San Francisco, California.
They blamed prescription drugs abuse as the forefront of the problems, which can lead to more heroin addiction on teens if they cannot regulate the issuance of drug prescription to teenagers and young adults.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the deaths of accidental overdose from prescribed medicine have bloated to more than quadruple since 1999. Meanwhile, Drugfree.org’s The Partnership CEO Steve Pasierb said that misuse of prescription drugs is the primary cause of overdose deaths and heroin addictions, as revealed in a news item.
More problems on young adults and teens are prevalent because they often believe that taking these pills are safe as they are legally advised by doctors. However, when they cannot find the medicine, they switch to illegal substances and get hooked to heroin instead.
The group is now in the first stage of tracking down doctors who are making profits from issuing prescriptions drugs to anyone. They are also coordinating with pharmacies to report any unusual prescription that they find suspicious and fraudulent.
District attorneys are calling all doctors to religiously use the statewide database to check the prescription history of the patient and participate closely in the drive to prevent the proliferation of abuse of prescription medication.
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.