There’s no denying that an opioid epidemic is happening in America right now. While there is plenty of awareness about opioid abuse, few people realize the serious dangers of prescription drugs. Find out how the overprescription of opioids connects to the growing opioid problem around the world.
The Rising Overprescription of Opioids
In 2012 alone, physicians wrote more than 259 million prescriptions in the United States for opioid drugs. That’s enough for every single adult in the country to have their own bottle of prescription opioids. Clearly, there are more opioid drugs out there than is necessary.
This overprescription happens for several reasons. First, many patients go to medical offices and ask for opioid painkillers. In some cases, doctors and patients work together to write and fill fake prescriptions illegally. In addition, some drug companies push opioid drugs through advertising and marketing campaigns.
The Link Between Prescription Opioids and Heroin Abuse
It surprises many people to learn just how addictive prescription opioids can be. It’s important to remember that chemically, these drugs are very similar to heroin. In fact, nearly 80% of people with heroin addictions in the United States first developed an addiction to prescription opioids.
Over time, some people find it difficult to obtain prescription opioids. As an alternative, they turn to drugs like heroin. In many ways, prescription opiates are directly to blame for the rising numbers of heroin users in the country.
The Role of Physicians in the Opioid Epidemic
The overprescription of opioids can’t happen without the willingness of physicians to write those prescriptions. Of course, the majority of doctors only want what is best for their patients. However, some doctors can do more to help their patients use prescription drugs responsibly.
To start, it may be wise to administer prescriptions in smaller doses. Requiring patients to come back to the office or the pharmacy regularly could be a great way to check in and prevent abuse before it begins. Additionally, there may need to be better monitoring to prevent people from sharing prescription opiates with others in their household.
Increasing Awareness to Reduce Prescription Opioid Abuse
There also needs to be more awareness among the general public. While most teens and adults are aware of the dangers of drugs like heroin, prescription painkillers don’t carry the same stigma. Learning about the rates of addiction is one way to stop individuals from abusing prescription opiates.
Fighting Back Against a Prescription Opioid Addiction
On a grand scale, there needs to be a greater focus on the overprescription of opioids. On an individual scale, an opioid addiction rehab program can save a life. At Crestview Recovery, clients can overcome an addiction through use of all of the following therapies:
The overprescription of opioids is an epidemic in America, but awareness and treatment can make all the difference. At Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon, you can get support as you fight back against addiction. Call 866-262-0531 when you’re ready to begin the journey to sobriety.