It is estimated that about 18 million people misuse prescription drugs in the U.S. each year. About 5,480 people abuse such medications for the first time every day . Not all of those who misuse prescription drugs “just once” will become addicted to them. But many of them will.
Many of us silently cheer when we hear about a mega-corporation losing a lawsuit against an underdog. This particular aspect of human nature is evidenced in Hollywood films, music, books, pop culture, and bedtime stories.
When we work to address the current drug addiction epidemic that has swept our country, we must accept a universal truth. The truth is that the mass introduction of opioid pharmaceuticals (and other addictive pharmaceuticals, for that matter) onto the drug scene has changed how drugs are accessed and misused. In fact, the heavy proliferation of addictive medicines which began in the late 1990s served to alter the face of the addiction scene forever.
Drug use and excessive alcohol consumption cause and worsen a very long list of physical and mental illnesses. To maintain a healthy life, avoiding drug use, or recovering from addiction, are vital first steps.
It’s no longer a news story that our nation is struggling with an opioid addiction epidemic. It’s been going on for some time. This is an epidemic that started out with opioid pain relievers, and even though other opioid addictions have cropped up since then, a decent piece of the pie chart that is the American opioid addiction crisis is still comprised of pain reliever addiction.
According to a Washington Post article published February 2015, the United States and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow direct to consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are the parent of a teenage or young adult child. You’re told by your child’s dentist that his (or her) wisdom teeth are going to be a problem and they need to be removed. Dutifully, you make one or more appointments for the extractions.
The United States is in the midst of struggling with its worst pharmaceutical drug addiction epidemic to date. Pharmaceuticals have been in use for decades, but only in the last fifteen to twenty years have manufacturers significantly increased the production of addictive pharmaceutical drugs.
948,000 people used heroin in 2016, a sharp increase from 404,000 in 2002. More than two million are addicted to the abuse of pain medication. For some people, there’s no difference between these two. If they can’t get one kind of drug, the get the other.
Prescription drugs can be wonderfully helpful in limited medical situations, but their help comes at a steep price.