Prescription Medication Abuse – A National Crisis

The abuse of prescribed medication is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Prescription drugs are a close second to marijuana on the list of drugs that are abused in the United States. This phenomenon has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A national survey showed that approximately 30 percent of people aged 12 and over who experimented with narcotics for the first time in 2009 did so by using a prescribed drug for non-medical purposes.

Some abusers of prescription medication, in particular teens, hold the belief that these substances carry less risk than illicit drugs because they have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained from a pharmacist.

When taken as prescribed for valid medical purposes, prescription drugs are effective and usually safe. However, they are just as dangerous and deadly …

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Appalachian Pillbillies

Appalachia is the cultural region that stretches along the famous Appalachian Mountain Trail. If you visit this area, the verdant rolling hills and breathtaking natural landscapes are hard to miss. However, when one looks beneath the beautiful facade, one uncovers a debilitating and dark pattern of widespread prescription drug abuse. Although prescription drug abuse is not an uncommon in other areas around the world, addiction to natural or synthetic opioids or painkillers (such as oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methadone, among others) has reached unprecedented levels in Appalachia. The abuse is so widespread that, in fact, a new term has been coined solely to describe those addicted: pillbillies.

Why are Opiates So Popular in Appalachia?

The high rate of addiction in Appalachia is thought to be caused in part by the pervasive poverty of the area, where the poverty rate is three …

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Good Samaritan Bill – Get Help and Avoid Prosecution

Too often a witness to an overdose will hesitate to call 911 because of fear of prosecution. Whether they are using too, or have drugs (or drug paraphernalia) on them, they think first about avoiding the police, and only second about calling for help for the victim. The California legislature, at the lead of Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D San Francisco), is aiming to change this trend.

The 911 Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act is the legislation he has sponsored, in hopes that people will be more likely to get victims the medical attention that they need in the case of an overdose. This law does not protect witnesses from all charges, but merely three specific, lower-level charges; possession of paraphernalia, possession for personal use, and being under the influence. Even this small change, it is hoped, will vastly increase the …

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Prescription Drug Overdose Remains a U.S. Epidemic, Painkillers Big Part of the Problem

We’ve been chronicling how widespread prescription drug abuse has become a problem of epidemic proportions. According to recent numbers released by the CDC, the number of deaths caused by prescription drug overdose serves as shocking evidence of the problem.

There are now more deaths annually from overdose of prescription drugs than car accidents. This is the the result of a steep increase in prescription drug abuse that has occurred over the last two decades. These numbers beg the question of what is behind the trend.

Why Prescription Drug Abuse is so Pervasive

Prescription painkillers are the key players in prescription drug related deaths. Prescription painkillers now rank as third in popularity among teens who abuse, right after alcohol and marijuana. According to the FDA, one out of every seven teenagers reports prescription painkiller abuse for the purposes of getting high …

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How Drug Abuse Increases Risk of HIV/AIDS

Ever since the first outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, the epidemic has been linked with drug abuse and addiction. Since HIV is a blood-borne disease, sharing needles when injecting drugs is known to be a leading cause of infection. Less well known is the fact that drug abuse can lead to risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, another leading cause of HIV is transmission. Drug abuse can affect judgment and lower inhibitions, causing drug abusers to engage in impulsive and risky behaviors including unprotected sex with multiple partners. People who are addicted to drugs may also agree to risky sex in exchange

for drugs or money and may be unable to insist on using condom under the circumstances.

The CDC estimates that 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV. About one in five of these people are …

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Prescription Painkillers Keep Injured Workers Off the Job Longer

Over the past decade, insurance companies that compensate workers who are injured on the job have faced growing payments to workers who were given prescription painkillers for routine injuries. The New York Times reports that insurers spend $1.4 billion per year on payouts for opioid painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Besides paying for prescription painkillers, insurers are making additional disability payments to workers who are delayed or unable to return to work after being treated with strong painkillers.


A 2008 study of workman compensation claims in California found that injured workers who took high dosages of prescription painkillers due to simple injuries like back strains stayed out of work three times longer than workers with similar injuries who were prescribed less medication. A 2010 study conducted by insurer Accident Fund Holdings found that workplace injuries cost an insurer nine …

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On the Dangers of Teen OxyNEO Abuse

Teen prescription drug use is a disturbing trend that has drifted beyond the boundaries of parental control and government order. A compelling documentary has been released called “Behind the Orange Curtain,” which chronicles the prescription drug abuse of residents of Orange County’s wealthy neighborhoods. The prestigious community has been bombarded with incidences of teenagers overdosingon a variety of prescription pills in pursuit of drug- induced pleasure. One of the most popular preferences for teenage drug abuse is the infamous OxyContin tablet. Medically distributed as a highly potent pain reducer, OxyContin offers an expensive high for thrill seekers and is extremely addictive. One may experience a number of side effects from using the drug, but deadly results can occur when it is consumed with alcohol. This often causes a serious problem for young adults who often combine prescription drugs with liquor …

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Prescription for Death – The Transition from Oxy to Heroin

The leading cause of accidental death in the United States is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drugs are responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Painkillers like OxyNEO which contains oxycodone, are actually derived from the opium poppy. They are just as addictive as their heroin. People that would never dream of doing heroin, are okay with taking a pill – especially one that comes from a doctor. That’s one of the reasons so many have become addicted to opioids in the past decade. They seem harmless in the beginning. OxyNEO is meant to be a continuous release drug, and has some very sophisticated ingredients which make it difficult to abuse (by crushing up to snort or inject). OxyNEO’s predecessor OxyContin was commonly crushed up to facilitate getting a massive …

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More Info on PDM or Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription medication misuse –accurately called “misuse” or PDM – by adolescents, early adults and mature adults is a mounting issue in California and the country.

Prescription medications that are misused or taken for non-medical motives may change brain activity and cause addiction. Of course, OxyNEO is a frequently misused medication but there are many others that fall into the following categories:

– opioids (regularly given to relieve discomfort)

– central nervous system depressants (regularly given to relieve anxiety and sleep conditions)

– stimulants (given to relieve narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity).

Continuing usage of opioids may lead to physical need and dependence. Used in excessive quantities, stimulants may lead to habitual usage, paranoia, fatally elevated body fevers, and irregular heartbeat.
In 2006, 16.2 million Americans had used a prescription tranquilizer, pain reliever, sedative, or stimulant for non-medical reasons at minimum on …

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