Of the 63,600 drug overdose deaths reported in 2016, 42,249 were attributed to opioids. The effects on the brain of the two most commonly prescribed prescription opioids (hydrocodone and oxycodone) are virtually indistinguishable from those of heroin. The addictive nature of prescription opioids is partially responsible for the current prescription drug crisis and the huge underground market in which people buy and sell these drugs illegally.
We live in a time when we know the dangers of a highly addictive prescription drug entering into the mainstream. We’ve seen it before with amphetamines in the 1960s. And we see it now with opioid painkillers. With all this wisdom and knowledge, can we prevent it from happening again with Adderall?
People receiving the top treatment for pain—prescription painkillers—can rapidly transition from pain relief to painkiller addiction. And yet, your doctor may be the unwitting instigator of this misery, if you don’t ask the right questions from the start.
A decades-long effort among American healthcare providers to better manage pain for a wider range of patients has led to the overprescribing of addictive opioid painkillers, which has led to a nationwide opioid addiction crisis.
Adults aged 50 and older are among the more than 3 million people in the United States who have opioid or opiate addictions. Overuse or misuse of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone is so widespread that President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public “health emergency.”
Since 1999, the number of deaths from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than quadrupled, and rates are increasing faster among women than among men. Women become addicted to pain medication for the same reasons men do, but there are several factors that explain why the problem is increasing more rapidly among women. Finding a women’s rehabilitation center is essential if you or a loved one is having issues, but understanding the nature of the problem is also vital to getting better and tackling the growing problem.
According to the latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, fewer teens are abusing prescription drugs. This hopeful trend is just one of many interesting statistics uncovered by the 2014 survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). While the trend is hopeful and positive, there are still many teens misusing prescriptions of all kinds, including the highly addictive and dangerous opioid painkillers, and too many teens are still dying from accidental overdoses.
A new prescription painkiller that was recently approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has public officials in some states, including Arizona, scrambling to ban the drug.
Much has been done to combat abuse of prescription drugs in this country: Drug companies have changed formulations to make their medications less appealing to abusers; law enforcement has cracked down on medical offices which act as a front for supplying drugs; and most states have implemented some form of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to keep track of who writes what prescriptions and who is getting those prescriptions filled. But a group of doctors writing to their peers are suggesting that there is more which can be done.
Both the United States and United Kingdom have reported an increase in the number of college students who use prescriptions like Ritalin and Adderall to help them focus when studying taking tests. Many of these students don’t have a prescription and can easily obtaining them from friends or family members. Professors across college campuses are learning more about these “study drugs” and are trying to counter this drug revolution.
Adderall, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is an amphetamine marketed as a way to help individuals with ADHD improve their focus. However, the drug has become a popular choice for misuse due to its ability to help students forego sleep and food in order to focus on studies. An article by James L. Kent argues that the Adderall brand is designed as a veil for the marketing of speed to kids and their parents.
It all seems so easy; if something hurts, you just take a pill and soon your pain will fade away as if by magic. And even if your pain is severe or chronic, no problem—prescription painkillers are built to handle these heavier loads, and if you pay a visit to your family doctor he or she will be more than happy to write you a prescription for a powerful narcotic painkiller that will wipe out almost all of your dreadful discomforts in no more than a few hours time.
This is the model for pain relief and healing that most of us seem to have embraced, and for the most part, physicians have gone along with the program. But when you come to rely on prescription painkillers to make your pain go away and help you to feel better, dark ominous clouds will soon begin to form on the horizon, and before you know it, a massive storm front may come rolling in, sweeping away your health and self-control in a swirling maelstrom of runaway drug addiction.
If you want to know the drug of choice for those abusing prescription medications, why not just ask them? That was the thinking behind a national survey which learned that oxycodone ranked number one thanks to the quality high it offers.
A study by researchers from the Washington University Medical School and Nova Southeastern University in Miami polled 3,500 anonymous individuals currently receiving drug treatment at 160 facilities from coast to coast, with 200 participants giving up their anonymity for follow-up interviews.
Americans have serious concerns when it comes to exposing children to medical marijuana, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
-By Kendal Patterson
Though the prescription drug abuse battle is far from won, Natalie is grateful for the victories in her four years of involvement in the issue.
She and a network of supporters wrote, gathered and sent a flood of letters that helped ensure the 2013 implementation of California’s Good Samaritan law, which allows those who witness a drug-related overdose to seek emergency assistance without the fear of arrest or prosecution. Natalie hopes the law will eventually be adopted nationwide.