How High Is Your Doctor Recommending You Get?
The pharmaceutical industry is an important one, and fills a critical role in the health and wellbeing of the population. From antidepressants, to painkillers, to new antibiotics, we have a wealth of options when it comes to fighting even the most persistent of symptoms.
But with such an abundance of drugs at hand, could we be using too much?
Prescription Drug Use on the Rise
Studies show that opiate and prescription drug use is on the rise. The hard fact is that as prescription drugs are prescribed more and more, even for legitimate reasons, it makes them more available.
This “shotgun” effect of hitting everyone means that people with addictive tendencies that wouldn’t normally seek out an addictive substance, may be prescribed something for anxiety or pain, and become addicted accidentally.
Teen Drug Addiction Is Viewed Differently
When discussing drugs and alcohol with their children, most parents forget to mention prescription drugs. They’re medicine – given to you by a licensed medical professional. They can’t be bad, right?
Prescription medication can be just as addictive as street drugs, and can cause overdose just as easily. This lack of communication and vacuum of knowledge means that when teens are pressured to try a prescription drug recreationally, perhaps by their peers, the idea is that it can’t be bad if doctors prescribe it.
Alternatively, this same lack of communication can lead teens legitimately using prescription drugs for other purposes, such as anxiety or even weight loss – with no intention of getting high – and become addicted.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Fortunately, the drug use and addiction aren’t increasing without consequences. Many people are stepping up to help those that have become caught up in the addiction storm of prescription drug abuse.
Students at Harvard Medical School are recognizing holes in their curriculum and are seeking to fill it themselves. They’re seeing the problems arising from the prescription drug industry and seek to meet it head-on.
Together, they’re bringing light to the problems in the medical field and areas that need improvement. They’ve even gone so far as to advocate for new treatments that could save the lives of overdose victims.
The FDA as well is taking strides in addiction recovery. Just recently they approved a six-month treatment for opioid dependence. These small medicated rods are implanted under the skin. Over the next six months, the implants provide a steady dosage of the drug buprenorphine, which is used for the treatment of the addiction.
Real Awareness is Key
Drug use and abuse is a dangerous issue, and without proper awareness and attention will continue to grow. If we stay aware and discerning, and be sure to speak with our children about all drugs, not just the illegal ones, we can try to stem the flow of addiction before it grows out of control.