If you or a loved one has struggled with prescription painkiller abuse, have you ever wondered is your doctor enabling your prescription painkiller addiction?
Out of Control
In the last decade the number of prescriptions written for painkillers has tripled and at the same time, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdose increased by 500 percent. In fact, someone dies every 14 minutes from prescription drug abuse. The Centers for Disease Control reports that four times as many people die from opiate painkiller overdose than from cocaine and heroin combined. So, what role does the doctor play in the prescription drug epidemic? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) since 2002 opiate prescriptions increased from 75.5 million to 209.5 million. Ninety-nine percent of the world’s Vicodin use occurs right here in the United States.
Enablers of Prescription Painkiller Addiction
Part of the problem is the well meaning family physician who prescribes too freely. Many physicians do not follow the guidelines set in place to prevent prescription opiate abuse. Rather than follow-up with the patient, they continue to write prescriptions for painkillers when condition has been treated. Contributing to the over-prescribing mentality that many doctors hold to, is the theory that if a patient has legitimate pain then they cannot become addicted to prescription opiates. An overwhelming amount of research, along with an out of control opiate addiction rate contradicts this notion. The bottom line is that chronic use of prescription painkillers will lead to tolerance, which creates the need for the patient to increase the amount of the drug they are taking. Self-medicating increases the risk for opiate dependency and overdose. Among many other complications related to overuse, long-term opiate use can lead to hyperalgesia which is hypersensitivity to pain.
Federal and State Government Working to Reduce Over Prescribing
In 2013, the federal government (many states to follow) implemented changes tracking for prescriptions for narcotics. The goal was to crack down on the number of prescriptions written and to restrict availability. Now, physicians and pharmacies are under strict scrutiny. Moreover, they’re now required to enter patient information for prescriptions into a database. They’re also required to check for overuse before the patient can receive the medication. While it is doubtful that your doctor is solely to blame for your prescription painkiller addiction; we will have to wait and see if the new laws make a difference in the overall number of people abusing prescription opiates. However, it may shine a brighter light on the issue and encourage many who struggle with prescription painkiller addiction to get the help they need to stop.
Prescription Drug Detox at Gallus Detox Centers
Are you or a loved one struggling with prescription drug abuse and in need of a way out? Gallus Detox Center can help you stop using without painful withdrawal. We offer many quality addiction detox programs to help you kick-start your recovery process, including:
- IV therapy medical detox program
- Prescription drug detox program
- Opioid detox program
- Opiate detox program