record numbers of americans addicted to prescription pain meds

RECORD NUMBERS OF AMERICANS ADDICTED TO PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDS

Narcotic Addiction

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There are 260 million prescriptions written for NARCOTIC (OPIOID) PAIN KILLERS each year in America — a veritable “epidemic”.  Although the FDA decided yesterday to “shut down” all of the different Oxycodone-based drugs that have not been approved for use by the federal government, it will make little dent in the problem — the problem of addiction to prescription pain meds.  And just how big a problem is addiction to prescription pain medications?  It is colossal and it’s growing rapidly. 

According to doctor Christopher Jones of the CDC in Atlanta, who published a letter on the subject in a recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, pain killer use for “non-medical reasons” among men has increased by over 100% in the last decade, and 75% in the general public.  There are 4.6 million people taking these drugs for “non-medical use” more than 30 days a year.  And a whopping 1 million individuals taking prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons over 200 days a year.  And let’s face facts.  If you are taking prescriptions pain meds for over 200 days a year, you are taking them 365 days a year if you can possibly afford it. 

So, what should be done about this problem?  For starters, how about revoking prescription rights of doctors who knowingly prescribe pain killers to addicted individuals.   It’s really not that tough.  Just take away their ability to dispense narcotics.  This was done right here in our town several years ago when a local doctor earned a reputation for over-prescribing narcotics.  He then began prescribing Nubain like it was water (a synthetic opioid that is not regulated like most other narcotics), eventually losing his prescription rights altogether. 

And let’s not stop there.  If doctors are knowingly and wittingly prescribing class III drugs to addicts, they should not only have their prescription rights taken away, they should be prosecuted as drug pushers.  Sorry, but a medical license does not give one the right to dispense these drugs without good reason —- a very good reason.

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