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
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”).
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
Stadol is the brand name for the prescription drug butorphanol tartrate, the second-most addictive painkiller on the market (Elizabeth Hartney, Ph.D., “Ten most addictive pain killers”). The drug works in a similar fashion as morphine by attaching to the opioid receptors of the brain to increase dopamine production, a neurotransmitter that regulates pleasure and pain. It is often used to manage chronic pain, for which it comes as a nasal spray, but can also be used as an anesthetic prior to surgery, for which it comes as an injected fluid. While responsible use of Stadol can greatly help patients, its addictive qualities make it ripe for abuse.
Fentanyl is the most addictive prescription painkiller on the market. It is an extremely powerful opioid most often used to treat surgical patients and people who have developed a tolerance to other types of painkillers. Researchers estimate that the drug is between 50 to 100 times as powerful as morphine. Over the years, it has become increasingly popular as a recreational drug, but its strength makes it far more dangerous for nonmedical use than other opioids, such as heroin. Anyone taking drugs containing Fentanyl should be aware of its dangerous and addictive qualities. Continue reading
Brand name medications such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan all contain the powerful sedative benzodiazepine. This drug is very useful in treating anxiety, sleep disorders and other health concerns, but it also carries a number of health risks, particularly when used over long periods of time. A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has uncovered an alarming trend of benzodiazepine use increasing with age. The study raises troubling questions about the way that sedatives are prescribed as well as the possible danger it poses to the elderly.
Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller known by the brand names Actiq, Duragesic and Sublimaze as well as a variety of street names, such as apache, goodfella, murder 8 and TNT (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Because of its strength, the drug is typically used to treat severe, short-term pain, such as after a surgery or to treat chronic pain in patients who are resistant to other opioids. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful drug that can cause serious harm if abused. Before taking fentanyl, it’s important to understand the dangers of using it for recreational or nonmedical purposes. Continue reading
Prescription drug abuse is the second-most common form of drug abuse in the nation. According to the 2010 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, about 2.4 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, with about 6,600 more starting every day. That trend might seem insurmountable, but change can occur at a grassroots level when everyone involved in the handling of prescription drugs does their part to ensure that medication is taken correctly.