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Pain Killers: A Deadly Addiction Essay

902 words - 4 pages

Pain Killers: A Deadly Addiction
Prescription pain killers help millions of people manage chronic pain due to illness and disease every day. These medications make it possible for people with chronic diseases, injuries or cancer to continue doing the things they enjoy instead of cringing from horrible pain. They also allow comfort for those close to passing and help others heal after surgery. Despite the benefits, millions of prescription pain medications are being over prescribed and misused, creating an epidemic of addicted individuals and causing thousands of deaths each year.
There are two types of painkillers: narcotic opioid drugs and over the counter medications such as aspirin and ...view middle of the document...

They believe that most people prescribed the medications do not become addicted. Research does show that if a patient is on a clear plan monitored by a physician, there is a lesser likelihood a patient will form an addiction. The problem lies in the fact that our bodies adjust to opioid use and requires higher doses over time. As a person takes the medication, it naturally forms a dependency. If the opioids are not ingested, the body will go through withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause severe flu like symptoms as well as death. This happens even with physician monitoring. Science has proven that opioid use creates dependency, and dependency turns into addiction
The other overwhelming concern is that many people take the medication without a prescription or seek a prescription when it’s not really needed. More than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010, that is, using them without a prescription or for the feeling they cause (Injury Prevention & Control, 2011). That is an overwhelmingly large number. It is extremely easy to walk into a family practice office and walk out with a prescription for Vicodin or Oxycodone for supposed back pain or codeine cough syrup for a supposed bad cough. Many pain management clinics are taking precautions to weed out possible drug seekers however according to the CDC, Most prescription painkillers are prescribed by primary care and internal medicine doctors and dentists, not specialists. Roughly 20% of prescribers prescribe 80% of all prescription painkillers (Injury Prevention & Control, 2011). Physicians often times are quick to address the risk of dependency; however they are just as quick to write out a prescription. In fact, some physicians even get payout from drug companies...

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