With the United States battling the opioid epidemic, it has become imperative to lessen the use of opioids as prescription drugs. In the recent years, there has been a striking increase in the use of prescription opioids, especially for the treatment of chronic pain, such as spondylosis or osteoarthritis. In fact, these painkillers are also used to treat mild-to-severe pain and are often prescribed to get relief from pain due to surgery, injury or cancer. Continue reading
More people die because of addiction to opioids in Massachusetts than in road accidents or gun violence, highlighted a recent report on Bostonglobe.com. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been an unprecedented rise in opioid overdose related casualties in the United States, with approximately 47,000 deaths in 2014 attributed to opioid pain relievers and heroin. Continue reading
The abuse of opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, caused scores of emergency room visits across the United States amounting to 18,893 overdose deaths in 2014 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by CDC in December 2015 reports an alarming 14 percent increase of opioid overdose deaths in the previous year compared with the number of deaths due to abuse of opioids and related prescription painkillers in 2013. Continue reading
With prescription medication overdoses topping those caused by all other drugs combined, medical experts have started to criticize the availability of powerful opioids. A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality revealed that no adequate evidence exists proving that opioids provide better overall results than other treatments. In response to these studies, members of the federal government are attempting to crack down on the growing rate of opioid prescription abuse in America with tough new legislation. Continue reading
Prescription painkiller overdoses kill more people than all other drugs combined, but new technologies may be helping to control the epidemic. Since the introduction of a tamper-resistant form of OxyContin, prescriptions and overdoses from prescription painkillers have gone down (U.S. News & World Report, ‘Tamper-proof’ narcotic painkiller may be curbing abuse: Study”). While opioids remain the most deadly drug on the market, new developments such as these may one day stem the tide of overdoses down to a trickle. Continue reading
Hydrocodone is a versatile opioid used to treat pain ranging from mild to severe. The drug is often combined with over-the-counter pain medications to treat more severe forms of pain. When combined with acetaminophen, the drug is best known by the brand name Vicodin. In spite of its occasional use in mild medical cases, hydrocodone is very powerful and extremely dangerous. It must always be taken under strict doctor supervision to avoid the risks of side effects and addiction (About Health, “Hydrocodone for pain management”).
Cold and cough medication is used to treat lower and upper respiratory infection from common illnesses. Their active ingredients include either codeine or dextromethorphan, (DXM), two mind-altering substances that can produce a euphoric high in large quantities. Because of this, cold medication is often abused for recreational purposes, which can lead to a wide range of mental and physical problems. Before taking cold medicine without any medical need, it’s vital to understand the potential consequences.
Ritalin is the brand name of methylphenidate, a prescription drug typically given to teens who are having trouble focusing, studying or concentrating. The drug has become extremely popular due to the effects it can have on students’ grades. In some schools, as many as 20 percent of the students take Ritalin (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, “The truth about Ritalin abuse”). Unfortunately, Ritalin is also a highly addictive and dangerous drug. Due to its powerful effects and pervasiveness, Ritalin abuse has become a major problem in America.
Demerol is an older painkiller that has largely been phased out of most pain treatments due to its complication potential. The drug is now primarily used as an anesthetic during medical procedures such as colonoscopies and endoscopies, where it can be carefully monitored by doctors. Prescribing Demerol for home use or for long periods often causes patients to develop a chemical dependence or suffer from one of its many side effects. The drug is extremely addictive and prolonged use can have major health repercussions on addicts (About Health, “Demerol – Not the Best Choice for Pain Management”).
Out of all the prescription painkillers on the market, OxyContin is perhaps the most famous for abuse. With a time-release design of 12 hours, the drug was created so that patients with cases of serious chronic pain will not accidentally suffer an excruciating relapse when they do not take their pills promptly every four hours (WebMD, “OxyContin: Pain Relief vs. Abuse”). When abused, OxyContin becomes an extremely dangerous and addictive narcotic. Continue reading