A painkiller (also known as an analgesic) is defined as any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain. There are so many people who are caught up in the cycle of addiction due to pain killers. We have seen a rise in pain killer abuse over the last several years and studies, by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) show that prescription drug abuse is the second most common addiction in the United States. The leading addiction to marijuana is getting steadily approached by these types of drugs.
How Painkillers are Obtained
Many people are prescribed medication for some illness or injury that they have become victim to. Most of the time, these people are good, law abiding citizens who are just trying to make it in life. Others may already have an addiction to painkillers and they may go from doctor to doctor (doctor shopping) to get the pills that they feel they need to make it through the day. Often times, when a person runs out of the pills they are taking, they will start to seek other forms of getting high and most likely turn to street or illicit drugs for their fix.
More and more of the people who are abusing the painkillers are getting them through other routes. The Office of the National Drug Control Policy reports show that the source of pain relievers (for the most recent non-medical use among past year users) are coming from many different sources. These sources are as follows:
• 56% are getting them from a friend or relative
• 18% from one doctor
• 9% are buying them from a friend or relative
• 5% took them from a friend or relative without permission
• 4% bought them from a drug dealer
• And the other 8% got them from unknown sources
The Severity of the Problem
The problem is spinning out of control in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that there are three classes of prescription drugs that are most commonly abused. They are opiods, depressants, and stimulants. The non-medical use or abuse of these drugs is the fastest-growing drug problem today.
Although many Americans can benefit from the appropriate us of some prescription pain killers, these drugs can be just as addictive and dangerous as illegal drugs. It is preached that these drugs should only be taken exactly as directed by your medical professional. This type of preaching works just as effectively as the “just say no” campaign. It is obvious that more needs to be done to really educate someone on the dangers that these drugs pose.
Due to abuse of prescription painkillers, opiate overdoses, from both painkillers and heroin, are growing at a rapid rate.
Scope of the Problem
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that there are approximately 52 million Americans 12 and older that are using psychotherapeutics drugs for non-medical purposes. That represents 20.8% of the population in this age bracket. The most common psychotherapeutic drugs include prescription-type pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedative.
The report does not include over-the-counter drugs.
Additional data from the reports shows that 2.5 million people used these drugs for the first time within of year the survey. This averages out to approximately 7,000 people per day. Prescription drugs are easily accessible since they are legal and can be found in a home medicine cabinet. Many tend to believe that these drugs are safer to use than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is very important that we dispose of the unused medications properly so that they cannot be used for non-medical reasons.
Health Care Warnings
The health risks vary from drug to drug. Opiods, narcotics and pain relievers can slow and even stop your breathing. Depressants, such as benzodiazepines, tranquilizers, barbiturates, and sedatives can cause seizures, respiratory depression and decreased heart rate. Stimulants can lead to high body temperature, irregular heart rate, cardiovascular system failures and seizures. All of these drugs can lead to addiction if not administered correctly. The biggest health concern is of course death caused by overdose and these health risks are on the rise.
Prevention of Prescription Painkillers
By taking the following simple steps, we can help decrease the abuse of pharmaceutical painkillers:
• Dispose of the drugs that are no longer needed properly. You can do through your local take-back programs that are set up.
• If you do not have take-back programs set up by your law enforcement officials then:
1. Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers to disguise what they are.
2. Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds and any other substance that is unwanted by other individuals.
3. Disguise the medication in a disposable container with a lid.
4. Remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off. Any means necessary.
• Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so. This can cause our water systems to get traces of the drugs and administered in to the water lines.
Getting Help For Painkiller Addiction
Unfortunately, many don’t realize that taking painkillers can do damage to all areas of life. The drugs cause major health problems and have dangerous side effects. They also cause those who are usually law abiding citizens to harm those around them. For more information contact Narconon today at 800-468-6933.