Whether it be Vicodin, Oxycontin, Fentanyl or any of the numerous additive prescription pills, addicts will generally take what they can get their hands on, and the abuse is obvious. There are over 70,000 drug overdose deaths every year in the US, and experts say nearly 60 percent are opioid-related. This is one of the reasons when it comes to a track and trace system pharmaceutical chains are calling it a vital need, rather than a want.
Opiates have a long history. Once shunned by society, it was then again all-the-rage, finding them an important medicinal requirement for the management of pain. However, this last rise has now become an epidemic of drug addicts. Statistics conclude that in 2017, about three million people were addicted to some form of prescription pain killers, and that’s more than the number addicted to heroin and cocaine.
A Perfect Pain Killer That Isn’t So Perfect
Oxycodone first arrived in the U.S. around 1939, but it took a while for doctors to adopt it usage. Fast forward to 1996, and it’s new tablet form, Oxycontin, with new manufacturers and a new tablet form. By 2001, Oxycontin was the most widely used painkiller, and one of the most abused.
In theory, this pill worked perfectly and was designed to deliver over 12 hours. However, in reality the pills had shortcomings and was not nearly as effective. In 2001, experts found that Oxy offered no advantage over other opioids, and the stronger the dosage, the greater the health risks. Opioid users risk increasing tolerance over time, which leads to less pain relief. This also leads doctors to prescribe higher doses in order to combat tolerance for the drug. But this often results in addiction.
Teen Number For Addiction Spiral Upward
Every day, there are thousands of teens using these addicting prescription drugs, without any guidance from health professionals. Many buy these pills on the street, many of them steal from home or from friends and family. It seems that prescription drug abuse among teens stem from a desire to feel “alive”, believing it will make them perform better in school.
So, what can parents do? Become more observant. Parents can educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse. Keep medications in a safe place, locked up if necessary. And dispose of unused medications. More importantly, have in-depth conversations with kids about the use of opiates and potential risks they face.
Young people are at a relatively high risk for drug abuse, as compared to adults. They are much savvier at obtaining pills from both legitimate sources, as well as rogue online pharmacies. So be aware of the accessibility issues everyone faces today and know that it’s more than likely your teen can get whatever prescription drug he or she wants.
Methods To Combat Opioid Abuses
Conquering prescription drug abuse is challenging, both for the individual and for health professionals. And it is important that people receive the right treatment or else no amount of work or effort will help to overcome opiate addiction. But the same methods that worked decades ago are not as effective in our current world. Other than detox and treatment centers, and support groups, pharmaceutical companies look to tracking mechanisms for better control of these drugs, and this tends to be the most effective way to curb access to prescription drugs because it’s a proactive stance to stopping the abuse.