Prescription Drug Use A National Problem
A Riverside, California psychiatrist wrote prescriptions in the lobby of his fitness club and outside of restaurants for $100 each. An Orange County man who sold plastic bags of narcotic painkillers had more than $1 million stashed in his house. Outside an LA pharmacy, people peddled drugs, while their counterparts sneaked inside to buy more.
These examples are just a few highlighting the rising problem of prescription drug abuse. According to an article posted in the Chicago Tribune Online, 25 million doses of commonly abused drugs were reported stolen last year nationwide. Health care professionals and dishonest patients are diverting their prescription drugs to willing buyers, which are helping to fuel a shift towards abusing pharmaceuticals as the drugs of choice. Robberies and Internet pharmacies, which don’t require a great deal of information, are also lending a hand to the problem.
A recent survey from the federal government showed that the use of prescription drugs for non-medical uses was around 7 million Americans in 2006. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse the abuse of prescription drugs has been an increasing problem for years.
“Unlike illicit drug use, which shows a continuing downward trend, prescription drug abuse … has seen a continual rise through the 1990s and has remained stubbornly steady … during recent years.”
Another reason for the increase in prescription drug abuse is due to forgery and fraud and the length of time it takes to check out a patient’s background. In order to detect for fraud and pill abuse, pharmacists and doctors can request a patient’s prescription history from a computer database. The problem however, is that they may not receive the information for weeks. Robert Pack, whose children were struck by a car and killed by a woman who was hyped up on vicodin and muscle relaxants, has dedicated his time, life, and money to creating a computer based system that will almost instantaneously check the prescription records of patients.
Obviously something needs to be done to stop the diversion of prescription drugs because the number of people who abuse these drugs is rising at an alarmingly fast rate. For every problem there is a solution, and if you or someone you know has a drug problem in Houston, TX, don’t be afraid to seek out drug and alcohol treatment centers to get help.
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