There are thousands of people in America that are dealing with some kind of chronic pain. Many rely of prescription painkillers just to get out of bed. There is a crisis going on right now that has many of these people, and their doctors, worried that it may become very hard to keep their prescriptions in the near future. This is because health officials are dealing with the enormous problem of prescription painkiller abuse.
Millions of people abuse prescription drugs and as a result there have been many deaths. This is what officials are trying to prevent. In fact, there are 15,000 deaths in America every year related to painkillers.
The Dark Side of Painkiller Use
There are people who use prescription painkillers for their purpose and there are those who abuse them. You’d be surprised to know that many addicts don’t go into the drug use with the desire to get high.
Many begin using them for legitimate reasons, just as a man named Michael Israel did. Michael suffered from Crohn’s disease, which is a chronic digestive disorder that causes bad cramps in the gut. His doctor prescribed him a painkiller to make him more comfortable. After taking the pills for a while, Michael confessed to his father that he had been abusing them and that he needed help in order to stop. This proved to be a much harder ordeal than they had hoped for. Unfortunately, Michael ended up taking his own life.
Other the other hand, there are people who are able to take painkillers without becoming dependent on them, but the truth is that any prescription painkiller has the potential to become addictive.
What Is Going To Happen To Painkiller Guidelines
As much a painkillers can aid someone who is in pain or sick they also have dangerous side effects and a high potential for addiction. As officials at the FDA work to find a way to keep drugs out of the wrong hands, many patients are worried that they will no longer be deemed eligible to be prescribed painkillers. Doctors may become scared to even offer prescriptions to patients and stop prescribing painkillers altogether for fear that they will get in trouble.
Although nothing is set in stone in terms of new policies, officials at the FDA are working hard to find a way to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands while keeping them available to the people who truly need them. They are also trying to find ways to prevent addiction in order to save lives. So far they have urged pharmaceutical companies to reformulate their drugs to be more tamper proof.
Many have already heard of the new formula of Oxycontin that was recently released. Abusers are unable to crush this new pill and are then unable to snort or inject it. While there has been a tremendous drop in Oxycontin abuse since the new release, officials have pointed out a direct link to the use of heroin as a result.
But we should not take that as a loss. Just deal with the problems one drug at a time, slowly but surely. Enforcement can put in more control, doctors can become more educated on addiction. In addition to that drug education can happen in the home as well as in schools to prevent the issue from happening in the first place.
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