The US Congress needs to recall control over suppliers of prescription pain medication. When there is no different choices offered prescription pain medication can causes drug addiction. I will be disgusting legal prescription pills, which stated by the CDC has now killed more people than cocaine, meth and heroin combined (CDC)
When an perso becomes hooked on painkillers, they develop a mental illness, and can suffer for addiction problems. Addictions to prescription drugs are dangerous and a growing problem. However this problem can be prevented by legislating regulations over the distribution of prescription pain medication. We need to stop this problem starting with the distributors, by enforcing more regulation on prescriptions given to patients, holding our drug companies responsible for the over production of these drugs, and by offering alternative treatments that don’t require drugs but still relieve pain.
As a child I went through the very popular Federal Government funded D.A.R.E drug prevention program, the main focus was on marijuana and alcohol, but failed to educate on prescription drugs. Many communities used D.A.R.E as a primary tool in the fight against youth drug usage. However unlike alcohol and weed, painkillers are virtually glorified by our society as a metrical of science. This could be because our government is consciously ignoring the potential dangers of these pills. In another article from the Huffington Post written by Paul Blumenthal in regards to the 2012 Presidential Election called “How Drug Companies Game Washington”, I learned that since 1998 drug companies have spent $2.3 billion on lobbying our lawmakers and another $183 million on campaign contributions”(Blumenthal Par.3). These facts lead me to think our government cannot be trusted to regulate the drug companies, as many politicians are being funded large amounts of money by the industry. In 2009 and 2010 alone drug companies spent $516 million lobbying lawmakers (Blumenthal Par.11). This amount of money, I believe, has caused our elected officials to turn a blind eye towards the drug companies. Allowing the companies that sell prescription drug to become prescription “thugs”. I use that term to describe the personal interests for profits that big pharm has displayed in the past decade. I strongly see these companies are thinking of the US citizens as consumers rather than the medical patients we are. However, opioid abuse is still a serious issue, but many will not feel the full effects addiction can have until they are
When it comes to pain, people of all different walks of lives, types of pain, and addiction, will do almost anything they can to feel normal. When your doctor gives you a bottle of pills, most people will take it with no hesitation. This is of course because it is your doctor who is telling you this. They are a medical professional, one whom attended college for 12 plus years and if they are telling you that it is safe, it must be safe. Or is it? Is it to far off to think that doctors can be persuaded to give certain people exception in the same way politicians seem to be given break to big companies. Regardless of speculation, reliving pain is still the burning question.
Abusive users can continuously use the health care system by moving from doctor to doctor to receive multiple prescriptions. This method is called “doctor shopping” and is a major fault in our fight to keep drugs in the hands of real patients. I have actually met a “doctor shopper” on the streets of Palm Springs. She had multiple prescriptions for painkillers from different doctors, and she was trying to cash in on her surplus amount of pills at a weekend festival I was attending. This was possible because at the time there was no current system local or country wide for doctors to see if patients were receiving other medications from different doctors. Fortunately, California has the newly created “Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System” or C.U.R.E.S, which is a database of Schedule II, III and IV controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in California. In the description of the “Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program” written by The State of California Department of Justice they state their efforts to stop “Doctor Shopping” and over prescribing. With this system every prescription provider must log in at least 25% of the prescriptions given to patients into a statewide database (“Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program”) Allowing doctors to be more aware of previous and current medication patients have and are receiving. This will be in affect starting June 1st of 2016; under the law every provider in California will be mandated to log medication information into C.U.R.E.S. This process will be enforced by the Department of Justice on a weekly basis (“Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program”). I believe if there was a nationwide systems like C.U.R.E.S it help to end prescription drug abuse that is being fueled by legal prescriptions written by doctors in America. By allowing our doctors to access this information about past and current prescriptions, we are stopping “doctor shopping” patients from getting surplus supplies and help to end their addiction. With stronger regulation over patients, the health care system will end its contributions to this drug epidemic. Making C.U.R.E.S a countrywide act will allow doctors to move forth in the fight against drug abuse. This will open the door to focus on alternative methods and help end the excessive distribution of these drugs. If fewer patients have these drugs, our youth will also benefit because they will be less exposed to the potential life treating dangers of painkillers.
As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention-Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Codeine all contain opioids and in pill form they are commonly prescribed to treat mild to chronic pain (Center for Disease Control). These pills unfortunately, are very accessible and are a gateway drug to addiction. In 2008 Janet Lundry in association with The Kaiser Family Foundation recorded 234.1 billion dollars was spent in the US for prescription drugs (Lundry). This figure has only growing at a historically high rate. According to a Huffington Post article written by Samuel K. Roberts, PhD entitled “Drug War Abroad, Prescription Pain Killers at Home,” in 2012,health-care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for powerful painkillers (Par.4). However, these pills come with a downside, the patients are becoming too dependent, to the point that our Federal Government finally had to address the issue; in 2012, the Presidents Administrations noted, “Prescription drug abuse is the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem,” calling the issue an “epidemic”(Roberts Par.2). This would only be supported by the CDC (Centers of Disease Control) that reported from 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people had died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Also, between 2009 and 2012, Stephen Patrick recorded in the article “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Associated Health Care Expenditures United Sates” that hospital were able to charge $1.5 billion to treat infants that were born with addictions to painkillers (Patrick). These statistics display the brutal reality that any drug addiction can have on a person’s life. We are not talking about street produced drugs like heroin or cocaine; we are disgusting legal prescription pills, which reported by the CDC has now killed more people than heroin and cocaine combined (Centers of Disease Control).
Despite the rise in addiction and even with C.U.R.E.S insight, many will stand in favor of little to no regulations on these opioids pills as they are an effective method in relieving pain, and more regulations will make it harder for patients whom actually need these drugs to get them. For example, as reported in the Article “New rules on narcotic painkillers cause grief for veterans and VA” written by Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, Craig Schroeder was a Marine corporal serving in “The Triangle of Death” located in the region south of Baghdad when he was injured by a bomb explosion. This explosion broke his foot and a herniated disc in his back, and also caused traumatic brain injury that directly affects his hearing, movement, and memory. Since the explosion he has been on a continuous regimen of opioids to ease this chronic pain (Wax-Thibodeaux). Veterans like Corporal Schroeder live in a daily nightmare that can only be eased by prescription drugs. I agree that injured veterans should have access to painkillers without having a fear of being denied a refill based on limited prescriptions C.U.R.E.S would enact. However, as shown in a 2011 study by the “American Public Health Association”, the overdose rate among veteran patients is two times the national average (Wax-Thibodeaux). Many veterans are coming home from war with life changing injuries that cause daily agony. In fact more than 500,000 veterans as of 2013 are on prescription opioids, according to the Veterans Association (Wax-Thibodeaux). All these prescriptions are just masking their problems and in return they become dependent on these pills.
From soldiers, celebrities and normal citizens like my best friend the danger of addiction are real. I believe Americans have become reliant on pain medication to treat their ailments, leading people to ignore the potential dangers of prescription pills. The Pharmaceutical companies, is causing to alternative therapies. In my research of alternative methods to relive pain ‘The American Chronic Pain Association” has recommended guided imagery, therapies, and chiropractic treatments amount others as a drug free solution to chronic pain. Patients can use cognitive behavioral therapy as a different method. For example, a patient will be asked to think positive thoughts and to relate back to positive images when faced with pain. Through this method your body naturally releases serotonins, boosting your production to one’s immune system, causing relaxation. By increasing relaxation levels, pain, stress, high blood pressure and heart rate can be reduced (“Chronic Pain”). This method will allow patients the chance to overcome their pain instead of just masking it temporality, also giving them a drug and cost free method to use whenever, wherever. Patients also need to be offered longer chiropractic treatments. This hands-on approach targets an injured area with muscle manipulation. Chiropractic treatments believe with proper muscle alignment the body will have a chance to heal its self naturally. This method can be used instead of surgery or afterwards to rehabilitate and relive pain. Post surgery is often the time some users are most at risk of becoming addicted to painkillers. Doctors’ immediate reaction is often to prescribe painkillers, for a quick fix solution. However this only causes a patient to feel dependent on a substance to feel normal. When it comes to the question of how to stop pain, prescription pills work great. When there no alterative options are available these pills can causes drug addiction.